REVIEW: The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (Tour Dates #1) by Avon Gale
A Tour Dates Novel
Victoria “Vix” Vincent has only two weeks to find a replacement fiddle player for her band’s summer tour. When classically trained violinist Sawyer Bell shows up for an audition, Vix is thrilled. Sawyer is talented, gorgeous, funny, and excited about playing indie rock instead of Beethoven. Their friendship soon blossoms into romance, even though Vix tries to remember that Sawyer’s presence is only temporary.
Sawyer’s parents think she’s spending the summer months touring Europe with a chamber ensemble. But Sawyer is in dire need of a break from the competitiveness of Juilliard, and desperately wants to rediscover her love of music. Going on tour with her secret high school crush is just an added bonus. Especially when Vix kisses her one night after a show, and they discover that the stage isn’t the only place they have chemistry.
But the tour won’t last forever, and as the summer winds down, Sawyer has to make a tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart.
Word count: 62,000; page count: 232.
Dear Avon Gale,
I loved your solo hockey books, but passed on two of your recent books with coauthors because they did not sound like my cup of tea. So when DA commenter Cleo recommended your solo f/f romance with Riptide publishing, I was very excited to buy it and started reading right away .
In many ways, this book had what I’ve come to associate with your writing style: two charming, likeable heroines, low angst story, and a lot of funny banter between the characters – this story had all that and I really enjoyed it up to a point.
The blurb describes the set up perfectly. Victoria aka Vix Vincent and her band are looking for the substitute fiddle player for their summer tour and are almost ready to give up until Sawyer, who will start her senior year in Juilliard, shows up and wins them over very fast.
Sawyer felt incredibly stressed at Juliard for a couple of years, but did not quit it for many reasons. She hoped to rediscover her love of music by trying something different than auditioning for the spot in the classical orchestra for the summer.
Her audition shows that she is a perfect fit for the band and Sawyer feels that she may rediscover her love of music without much extra stress on top of it. She and the band members hit it off right away and off to start the tour they go.
As blurb also told you, Sawyer was in high school with Vix, who was three years older, and spent the year they were in the same school having a major crush on Vix, even though they met and spoke only one time (which for this story and these characters made perfect sense to me). The crush went nowhere but now when Sawyer realized that the leader of the band is the same Vix, she is even happier. Vix of course did not remember her.
I really liked the beginning of the story – I felt as if I was with them in the small van they were driving between the tour cities, I felt their love of music and appreciated some glimpses into the process of song writing. I liked how Vix and Sawyer seemed to have such a sweet chemistry together before they ever started having sex and how natural the first kiss felt to me.
Sawyer is aware (or should I say almost aware) that she is a lesbian but she did not have any experience with the women. She had one relationship with the guy in Juilliard which did not go anywhere. Vix is bisexual.
Both women find out pretty fast that they really enjoy each other’s company and even though initially Sawyer is nervous, they end up having sex together and start a relationship. Sawyer embraces the confirmation of the fact that she indeed prefers to be with women with little or no angst and good humor.
“Well, that was a ringing endorsement right there, wasn’t it? Sawyer picked up one of the packages and eyed Vix thoughtfully. “I should get this. It’s like an investment, right?” “Um.” Vix raised both eyebrows at her. “Are you going to collect dildos?” “Well, everyone needs a hobby,” Sawyer said, which made Vix want to kiss her. “But I mean, an investment in my lesbian lifestyle.” She smiled at the woman helping them. “I’m new to all of this, can you tell?” The shopkeeper giggled. “That’s amazing. In fact, I’ll give you a twenty percent discount on all your purchases today, how’s that?” “Thank you,” Sawyer enthused.”
“After a few more songs, Vix nudged Sawyer with her elbow. “So, we’re driving straight on tonight to Portland. And we’ll have one last chance to rock out to Racer tomorrow.” “Thank you for the reminder, Google Calendar,” said Sawyer. Vix stuck her tongue out.. “I was thinking we could go find that alcove for a bit while no one’s missing us.” Sawyer slipped her hand in Vix’s and squeezed. “Mark me as attending that event,” she joked, and let Vix pull her away.”
For quite a while both Vix and Sawyer seem to worry about one thing – where would their relationship go after summer ends. Sawyer would have to go back to Juilliard, and Vix is not going to abandon her band and will once again be on tour much more often than not. That worry seemed reasonable and understandable to me.
However, what comes after the solution was presented came out of left field to me. I understand of course that human beings do not always act consistently, to put it mildly, but I keep coming back to the quote about the difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense. Vix’s reaction made no sense to me. All summer she was freaking out about one thing and now she was freaking out about a completely different one.
Without going into spoiler territory, I would also like to say that of course a fictional character can act inconsistently as well. I just need to be convinced that she had reasons to *act inconsistently* and to me Vix’s freak-out was not sufficiently supported by the text (it is as if the editor looked at the book and said to the writer – oh wait, not enough angst for the separation plot point. Must have one no matter how contrived it sounds).
And to be honest in the second part of the story I also wanted more plot. Note I am not trying to rewrite the story which was presented, I am just saying that I was a little bored by what was presented in the second half. They tour, they have sex, and they write songs. It became a bit repetitive for me.