Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Belle vs. The BDOC: A Bend or Break Novella by Amy Jo cousins

The Belle vs. the BDOC (Bend or Break #0.5)
* * * 1/2

Love is a battlefield. 

Shelby Summerfield is a Southern belle at a northern college in 1993, which is a challenge to begin with. And yes, Florence Truong, the object of Shelby's lust and the only other woman on campus not wearing flannel, does catch her in what looks like a compromising position with a straight boy at pub trivia night.

But Shelby is a gold star lesbian and Florence's dapper fashion sense makes her weak in the knees, so her rejection stings hard. To exact her revenge, Shelby cheats a little when putting together her own trivia dream team, because nobody strategizes to win like a Southern girl on a mission. And if trivia can't settle their rivalry, then maybe the annual campus-wide game of assassin will do the trick.

Shelby's gonna come out on top of Florence—in bed or out, one way or another. Bless her heart. And her silk pocket squares.

Warning: Contains obscene pub trivia team names, paint guns, a Southern belle with an exquisite grasp of battlefield tactics, and one dapper dyke who's misjudged her. 

Source: e-galley received from author in exchange for an honest review


It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Amy Jo Cousins and, in particular, her Bend or Break series.   She writes human characters that I love because of their imperfections, not in spite of them and her writing covers the vast spectrum of genders and orientations.  When I found that she had written a f/f novella that takes place in the Bend or Break Universe I was ecstatic. 

Shelby Summerfield is the kind of girl that grabs your attention immediately.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t attract the right kind of attention from Florence, the hottest lesbian on campus.  Shelby’s master plan to get Florence to look at her romantically is thwarted by a male friend’s unwanted advances.  So what does Shelby do?  She sets up a ruthless plan B to show Florence that Shelby is a girl worth looking at twice. 

I enjoyed both Shelby and Florence’s characters but it was the vibrant Shelby that kept me fixated.  She’s comfortable in her skin, confident in her style and she WILL get what she wants, whether that’s an A+ on a test or if it’s the hottest girl at Carlisle College.   Her all-out war to win Florence over is both focused, complicated and hilarious.   

This is a feel good love story that is both fun and manages to touch on the important topic of gender stereotypes.  If you are looking for a short love story or looking to cut your teeth on the world of f/f romance, I can’t recommend this story enough.


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