When Evie Koenig runs into the back of the U-Haul in front of her on her way to work, she can’t help thinking that her luck is only getting worse. Especially when she sees the angry face of the sexy butch lesbian who was driving that U-Haul. As adversarial as the encounter is, she chalks it up to life slapping her upside the head. Again. After all, she’ll never see the sexy Scout Martinez again.
Scout can’t believe the start to her new life in Austin. Not only was she rear-ended by the most annoying purple-haired femme in the world, but the woman managed to break one of her grandmother’s heirloom teacups in the back of the truck.
As brash and lush as Evie Koenig is, Scout has no time for flighty pin-up women who drive old crappy cars, and are so sassy they’re ridiculous. There’s no room in her life for someone like Evie, so it’s a good thing she’ll never see her or her purple hair again.
Until she keeps running into her. When she realizes just how entwined her life already is with the delectable, dishy woman, Scout vows to keep her distance. For some reason, though, that’s proving easier to say than to do. The question is whether Scout can open herself up to the possibilities that Evie brings, and whether she can do it before it’s too late.
Littleton writes her characters with a deceptive simplicity that hides layered depths. Scout at first seems like a typical butch, large and in charge. A retired basketball player, she’s used to using her size and celebrity to intimidate as she maneuvers around the obstacles between her and what she wants. She’s had a bad two years, with a diagnosis of cancer, chemotherapy racking her once superfit body, and a horrific breakup with her girlfriend in the middle of her recovery. All she wants to do is isolate herself and focus on her post-basketball life as a businesswoman and investor. She definitely doesn’t want to open herself up to being hurt again, and her anger and caustic wit are her shields against becoming vulnerable in any way.
Evie has had her own bad luck in the past year. Her husband, now ex, stole her life savings when his business started tanking, the business Evie had also co-signed a lot of loans for. Now unable to finish her business degree, Evie has been reduced to several jobs just to try to cover her own expenses. Her rent is going up, she’s just totaled the only car she could afford, and now her ex is suing her for breach of contract. Add in her teenage crush who seems to hate her, oh and is now her new boss, and she’s wondering what the heck she ever did to life that it would treat her this way. The biggest problem is that Scout’s angry banter makes Evie even hotter for her, but for some reason, Scout won’t give in to their obvious attraction.
The Writing Style
Littleton writes with a contemporary style riddled with today’s slang and idioms. Each character is written in first person, with the point of view alternating by chapter, which gives readers an inside look at what each character is thinking. One thing she does well is that each character has a distinct inner voice, so it isn’t difficult to determine who’s head you’re in. The pacing was good, with the chemistry between Scout and Evie immediate but ignored, while the tension between the two ramps up incrementally until we’re on the edge of our seats waiting for it to snap. And when it does, wow. This book made me keep turning pages, wanting more and more, not just of the energy between the two main characters, but more of their lives, more of how they address their business ventures, and more of how they deal with the people in their lives who’ve tried to take advantage of them.
O. M. G. The sexual tension in this book is off the charts. It’s also edgy – Scout has a forceful, dominant energy, and Evie just wants her to take control and make her submit. This has got to be the sweetest hot sex I’ve read in a long time. Or is that the hottest sweet sex? Anyway. Yes, please. More.
I also like how the readers learn more about their lives as the book goes on, learning about the characters as they learn about each other. The adversarial start is overwhelmed by the instant chemistry, which is what keeps them close enough to each other to start learning about who they are underneath those initial impressions.
There is an argument here that the book includes a lot of biphobia, and on some levels that’s valid. Scout is initially extremely anti-bisexual, and the things she says and thinks include a lot of the stereotypical attitudes against bisexuals and getting involved with them. If you’re able to hang on past that initial presentation, Littleton shows that Scout is using that as an excuse to avoid vulnerability based on a bad experience with one person. Evie also takes Scout to task for it and the throw down is everything you’ve ever wanted to throw in the face of someone spouting this bigoted vitriol.
This book is satisfying on several levels. It’s a sweet, contemporary romance. It’s a scorching, edgy, erotic romp. It’s two journeys towards self-realization, as well as healing, as two people fall in love. It’s definitely on my reread list.
Excerpt from Scout and the Lavender Girl by KC Littleton
“So, have you always been a bi, or was that just a phase in college?” I snap, sounding meaner than I meant to.
Now she’s laughing at me.
“Gosh, always, I suppose,” she says, shrugging as she purses her full lips. “I mean, ever since I kissed the preacher’s son… and then his daughter. I was what, five, maybe? So… almost thirty years?” She says the “thirty” into her palm like she’s trying to hide her real age. I would not have guessed she was out of her twenties, but I turned forty-one last month, so I might not be the best judge.
“And, since we’re making assumptions,” she says, jutting her fist under her chin while sarcastically slow-blinking her wide, honeyed eyes at me. “Lesbian, obviously. Cis, probably. Sole wearer of the strap-on, undoubtedly.”
My lip twitches, but only because she’s ridiculous. Not because I used to be a god with a strap-on.
“How’d I do? Am I close?” she asks, leaning over the console with a twinkle in her eye. “Bet you like it when they call you Big Daddy.”
I’m not sure why I do it–maybe it’s the subtle kd lang reference–but I give her a short nod.
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Love in Austin
Scout and the Lavender Girl – Book 1
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Publisher: KC Littleton
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