Review of Opposites Attract: Butch/Femme Romances by Aurora Rey, Meghan O’Brien and Angie Williams
This is a compilation of three novellas by these BSB authors under the common theme of butch/femme romances. I jumped at the chance to read something by Meghan O’Brien after so long since her last book, to sample the work of Angie Williams (who incidentally, is Ms. O’Brien’s wife) and to read Aurora Rey who normally writes butch/femme romances.
Follow Her Lead by Aurora Rey is the story of successful venture capitalist Jude Benoit, named the majesty of a Mardi Gras parade, who hires private dancer Gabriella Viard to teach her to dance for the ball. In the process, Gabriella will teach Jude more than dance moves…
Aurora Rey specialises in butch/femme romances so it’s no wonder she’s featured in this compilation. The character development in this story was very good, Jude as a successful businesswoman but socially awkward butch and Gabriella as the feminine but strong femme. Ms. Rey describes the sensuality of the dance as a way for Jude to set her inhibitions free and to build chemistry between the mains. This is a partial homage to Pretty Woman though sans the prostitution aspects. 4 stars.
In Just as You Are by Angie Williams, Dylan Fleming’s ex-girlfriend left scars that are difficult to overcome and auto mechanic Carrie Grice might be the one who can help her. That is if they can go past a terrible first date…
This is the first story I read by Ms. Williams. I’ve heard her in an interview talking about butch stereotypes and praising the value of the “emotionally vulnerable” butch. This story challenges those stereotypes alongside the ones that portray femmes as delicate damsels in distress. While this story worked for me, I see the potential for mixed reviews. Specially considering that Dylan is a wounded soul who has a lot of baggage to unpack and sometimes acts with disregard of Carrie’s feelings.
Lesfic doesn’t normally feature much of the “not over my ex” trope which makes sense as it’s not very compatible with romance (unless it’s combined with the “second chance” trope). However, it is a big part of real-life situations and I was glad to see it described here. Somehow, the author made it work in this story as she built their relationship slowly. Dylan wears her heart on her sleeve and I appreciated the emotional vulnerability in her and the strength in Carrie to accompany her in her journey to recovery. I have to say that I wasn’t a fan of the epilogue as it felt a bit contrived. 3.5 stars.
An Epiphany in Flannel by Meghan O’Brien is a small-town romance between a butch trucker and a femme waitress whose life is controlled by her alcoholic and religious mother. If you have read this author before, you know that she’s one of the best erotica writers in lesfic. Having said that, she can write dramatic romance very well too. This novella is more of the latter, but there are a couple of steamy sex scenes because… this was written by O’Brien after all. However, if you are looking for erotica, you might be disappointed. This was my favourite of the compilation but I would have liked to have a bit more plot development as a lot happened in the last few chapters and the story seemed rushed despite of its potential. 4.5 stars.
Overall, a good compilation for fans of Opposites Attract romances. 4 stars.