Sep 23 2017 12:03pm

Avon Gale Excerpt: The Love Song of Sawyer Bell

Avon Gale

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.

Get a sneak peek at Avon Gale's The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (available September 25, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Vix smiled, remembering those days of hurried handjobs in the van, the time she’d sucked Jeff off while he was driving. They’d almost run into a semi, and that was the last time she’d done that.

“You guys are still friends, though.”

“Oh, sure,” Vix agreed. “He was someone who got me. I told him about the bisexual thing, and he was fine with it. Of course, he was fine with me ‘experimenting.’” She shook her head. “Like I said, guys seem to think bisexual women exist so they can watch them with other girls and then fuck them after.”

“The male gaze,” Sawyer said wisely, nodding. “I had a friend at Juilliard who was into reading women’s studies books . . . what are you doing?”

Vix had stopped and pulled out her phone. “Sorry, I like ‘The Male Gaze’ as a song title.”

“Oh.” Sawyer didn’t say anything else, letting Vix type the message to herself, send it, and pocket her phone again.

“So, yeah, that’s basically it. We were fighting all the time, and it was causing a lot of stress and tension with the rest of the band. One day I realized that I could have a relationship with Jeff or I could have my band, and it wasn’t hard to pick one. We broke up ‘officially’”—she made air quotes—“when we were going to record our first actual album. Things were weird at first, and I can’t say we didn’t give each other the silent treatment and act like children about it, but we had a heart-to-heart one night and got over it.” She smiled. “Since then, things have been great. We’re lucky, though. That kind of thing can seriously ruin a band. I’ve seen it happen a thousand times in this industry, and I haven’t been in that long. Comparatively.”

“Well, I think it’s great you guys can still be friends,” Sawyer said. “I sort of want to hit Patrick over the head with his viola. Like, he couldn’t have told me he was into Olive the cellist and broken up with me? Ugh.”

“Olive the cellist?” Vix raised her eyebrows. “Was she hot?”

“Mmm.” Sawyer held her hand out and flipped it back and forth a few times. “So-so. Maybe a six. They didn’t last, either. They had this epic fight in orchestra rehearsal before the semester ended.” She grinned. “It was great.”

“You’re evil.” Vix admired that. “I like it.”

Sawyer laughed. “I don’t know about that, and like I said, it wouldn’t have bothered me as much if he’d been honest with me.”

“Maybe he was cheating on her with someone who played a bigger string instrument,” Vix suggested. “A stand-up bass or something.”

Sawyer’s laugh was loud and long. “Oh my God, that’s funny! And probably true. He left me for a cellist, and he left her for a stand-up bassist . . . can you put that in a song?”

“I’ll do my best,” Vix said dryly. She reached out and took Sawyer’s hand, giving it a quick squeeze. “I’m glad you told me. I don’t mind talking about this stuff, but if we add lesbian sex to our late-night repertoire, the guys will definitely get their male gaze in on that action. Well, except Connor.”

“How would that work in a van?” Sawyer asked. Then she went six shades of red, dropped Vix’s hand, and clasped hers on her mouth.

“I meant talk about lesbian sex, but if you want a demonstration . . .” Wait, maybe she shouldn’t have said that. Except Vix was all for the idea of showing Sawyer that sex could be a lot better than it’d been with Patrick the Pitiful Viola . . . violaist? Whatever you called someone who played the viola.

Sawyer was still staring at her, her pretty hazel eyes wide. Vix moved in and gently took her wrists, tugging Sawyer’s hands away from her mouth. “You can say no. I won’t be offended.” Disappointed, definitely.

“I . . .” Sawyer swallowed, hard. They were holding hands, and her fingers tightened around Vix’s. “I don’t want to cause any problems.”

“It won’t,” Vix assured, though maybe she shouldn’t have been so quick to say that. Hadn’t she just told Sawyer how it hadn’t worked with Jeff? “I might not be great at relationships, but supposedly I give great head and am good with my fingers.” She moved in closer, and Sawyer didn’t back away. “You want references? Send Temple Keats a Facebook message and ask her.”

“I’ve seen you play the guitar,” Sawyer said, her voice low and a little unsteady. “I don’t doubt you’re good with your fingers.”

“Well, here, we don’t have—I mean, we’re going to get back in the van and no, sex isn’t a good idea when driving, but we’ve got a hotel stop between DC and St. Louis, so.” Vix disentangled one of her hands and reached up, tugging Sawyer’s head down. “Think about it and let me know. No pressure.”

She kissed Sawyer softly, taking her time. Sawyer was still as a statue for a moment, but she made a hungry sound against Vix’s mouth and suddenly the kiss wasn’t quite so soft. She kissed back the same way she played the violin, and the thought of getting Sawyer in bed was making heat curl low in Vix’s stomach. One hand still held tight in Sawyer’s, the other slid down around Sawyer’s waist and pulled her closer. This would be much easier if they were lying down.

She sucked lightly on Sawyer’s bottom lip and bit gently. She could feel Sawyer’s breasts pressed against her, and Vix let go of Sawyer's hand to trail her fingersdown Sawyer’s neck and over her collarbones, down her arm.

Sawyer moved away a little, breathing quick and eyes wide. “So that kiss was better than ninety percent of the sex I had with Patrick.”

Vix’s heart was racing, and her head was a little fuzzy with Sawyer’s scent, the thought of taking her hair out of that ponytail and seeing it get sweaty and messy while Sawyer writhed beneath her. “Only ninety? Really?”

“There were a few times he got me off, but I was thinking about Scarlett Johansson. We’d just watched The Avengers.”

“I’m not dressing up like a superhero,” Vix said. They were still pressed together, in an embrace that was halfway between friendship and something else. Something that might make this more of a problem than Vix had promised it would be, if they took things any further.

“You don’t need to,” said Sawyer, face open and honest, and Vix wondered what the hell she’d done.

Copyright © 2017 by Avon Gale.
Learn more about or order a copy of The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale by visting the publisher's website.


Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

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