On a Wing and a Chair by Louise McBainOn a Wing and a Chair by Louise McBain is a contemporary romance between a sweet rock musician and somewhat down on her luck museologist.

Kate has her dream fellowship at a prestigious art institute in New York City, until an unfortunate intimate evening. She manages to get a small job in Georgia for the sorority every woman in her family pledges, thanks to her grandmother on the board of directors. The sorority’s founding mothers had eight large, ornate and one-of-a-kind chairs made and the Board wants them found and brought back to the sorority for an exhibition.

Syd was an L.A. based famous rock musician, and now she’s an Atlanta based famous rock musician after a nasty divorce. The only thing Syd got out of their relationship is a vicious song about the man who stole her wife. It’s her biggest hit, and people keep asking her to sing it even though it brings back disturbing memories.

One night at a small concert she spies a woman in the crowd wearing a rare early career tee shirt and she makes a point of chatting her up. Kate has been an enormous fan of Syd’s since she was sixteen, so meeting the rocker is awesome enough. But then Syd volunteers to help find the chairs and they spend a lot of time together, searching for the furniture and the courage to begin a real relationship.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Both Syd and Kate love what they do, and are good at it. Unfortunately for them, they’ve hit a snag in their career path and must deal with the fallout. Kate is in the more precarious position because if she doesn’t find the chairs there’s little chance for her to continue in museum work. Syd’s struggle with her muse since the divorce is a little difficult to read, until she meets Kate and it roars back to life. The way Kate fills Syd’s head with poetry is super sweet.

I very much enjoyed reading about two women who refuse to let adversity stand in the way of what they love doing, and the search for the chairs is a lot of fun and at times a little sexy. What seems like an insurmountable goal – finding chairs with very little evidence to point in the right direction – seems impossible at the beginning but like a well written mystery Kate and Syd follow the scant clues on a fun chase.

Neither woman is shy about their physical attraction for each other, and I liked the lack of angst in that regard. They are both funny and smart and are surrounded by funny and smart family and friends. The title is by far not the only clever pun in the book, and by far not the only humorous bit. The entire book has a nice load of southern inspired humor, which like the food in that part of the U.S., is unique.

Cons And Heads Up

Syd’s wife leaves her for a man, and both she and man are complete tools.

The Conclusion

Syd the very sweet rock star and Kate the dedicated museum director are both great people who are talented, smart and committed to their chosen field. It takes a while to get to their relationship with each other, so the reader is left dangling deliciously waiting for events to unfold. It’s not exactly a slow burn because they each realize right away that they really like each other, but their caution gives the reader more time to get to know them better.

Finding the titular chairs is a large and fun part of the romantic journey. How great is it to finally meet the celebrity you’ve lusted over for half your life and discover she’s not only really nice but interested enough in your vocation to want to tag along and help.

Excerpt from On a Wing and a Chair by Louise McBain

“Cows! I see cows!” Katie yelled, and pointed her finger out the truck window toward a pasture ahead on the left.

“Where? How many?” Syd asked, squinting at the horizon. The interstate highway was under construction, so she and Katie were driving back roads. The detour added an hour to their journey to retrieve the Snowy Egret Chair, but Syd didn’t consider this a hardship. It gave her extra time in a confined space with Katie and allowed for Syd’s favorite travel game of Highway Barnyard. “You have to count the animals, remember?” she said emphatically, though she hadn’t played in years. “Every cow on your side of the road counts for one point. Dogs are two points. A horse is worth five points and a white horse is the most valuable at ten points. If there’s a graveyard on your side of the road and I see it, all your animals die and you start again.”

“There are too many rules,” Katie protested, furiously counting the cows in the far-off pasture. She got to seventeen and lay exhausted against the passenger seat. “Am I winning? Did I win?”

“The game’s not over until we reach our destination”, Syd said. “The GPS says we have two more hours to go. You won’t win until we pass the Welcome to Dothan sign.”

“What if there isn’t a Welcome to Dotham sign?” Katie asked skeptically.

Syd shook her head. “There’s always a welcome sign. This is the South, remember? We’re polite.”

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1-64247-386-5

Publisher: Bella Books


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