ARC Review: The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (Tour Dates #1) by Avon Gale


Author: Avon Gale
Publication Date: September 25, 2017
Format: ARC
Page Length: 234 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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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.

This is a fun tour band F/F romance. There’s nothing too angsty in this story, so this was a refreshing read after I binged a particularly angsty series. I love when books are about musicians and about music in general. Absolutely love. So, I knew I was going to like this book from the beginning.

There’s rock musician, Vix Vincent, the lead for a band named, well, Vix Vincent. Touring with her own band, making a name for herself, all of it has always been her dream. She’s had this band since high school, and touring the road with her band is her life. It’s everything she’s every worked for. Then, right before the summer tour, a band mate, the fiddle player, got married and him and his partner got approved for adoption, so he wouldn’t be touring with the band, leaving Vix trying to find a replacement. And fast.

The auditions weren’t going well at all until Sawyer Bell walks in. She’s classically trained on the violin and home for the summer from Julliard. Playing music is everything she’s ever loved, but the rigorous competition at Julliard has whittled away the love she had for her instrument. She wants to find that love for playing again, and so she auditions for Vix’s band. At first, Sawyer seems nothing like the type of person they’re looking for. She’s all cowboy boots and long flowing skirts, but she blows them all away with her skill and passion at the fiddle.

With all the members decided on, the band goes on tour. Traveling long hours on the road and doing laundry and showering at truck stops, all to play an opening 45 minutes set on stage can be hard. But Vix and the band love doing it. I love that we get to see the band members’ passion for their music and seeing them interacting with other bands they meet on their tour.

We see the love that slowly burns between Vix and Sawyer on their travels across the United States. They met only once in high school, Vix a senior and Sawyer a freshman, but it was a passing moment and something that Sawyer remembers quite clearly. It’s been more than a few years now with Sawyer a junior in college, but Sawyer still remembers how she felt about Vix Vincent.

I love the bickering humor between Vix, Sawyer, and the other band members, Jeff (Vix’s ex-boyfriend), Connor, and Kit. There were times the guys totally rubbed me the wrong way with their comments about bisexuality, but Vix was there to correct them every time and set them in their place, so that was something at least.

Vix is bisexual and Sawyer is a lesbian. There are some moments where, I don’t know, Vix being bisexual is the cause for tension between them and that kind of irritated me a bit? It’s kind of the same issue I have with reading stories where bisexual characters wind up in an argument with their partner because somehow their relationship isn’t “enough” because the character is assumed to want to be with someone else. That’s really the biggest issue I have, I guess.

This isn’t a book about fame or the band suddenly hitting it big as a plot point. It has a more realistic feel to it where it’s just day-to-day interactions between band members and us traveling with them on their summer tour. I liked how we meet and hear about the characters for the next book (M/M) in this story and I’m looking forward to reading The Ballad of Whiskey Jax. The Love Song of Sawyer Bell is a pretty laid-back kind of story. There’s no big drama really. Just a natural progression of events? I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for readers looking for a fun and sexy F/F book to read!

***Thanks to Judith at Binge On Books/A Novel Takes PR for the ARC as part of a bookstagram tour***


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