Jaq Cummings is a high school teacher who really wants a committed relationship—as long as it doesn’t keep her out late on school nights or interrupt Sunday mass with her dad. She is absolutely not about to fall for the hot-mess divorcée she hooks up with even if said hot mess pushes all her buttons. Jaq’s white knight days are over.
But one hookup with Hannah becomes two, then coffee, then more incredibly hot sex. And unlike most of Jaq’s exes, Hannah’s not looking for someone to come on strong. In fact, Hannah comes on plenty strong enough for both of them. But she’s just out of a disastrous marriage, she’s in the process of moving across the state, and Jaq can’t take a chance on yet another relationship where she defaults to being a caregiver instead of a partner.
Just when Jaq decides her relationship with Hannah is far too precarious, a crisis with a student reminds her of her priorities and makes it clear that sometimes, you have to take big risks to get what you really want.
Release date: August 22nd
*I got an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
I’m enjoying discovering Kris Ripper, a new to me author, with zir series Queers of La Vista. This one is the second installment of that series, though it can be read as a stand-alone with no trouble. I’ll admit I liked the first one in the series, Gays of Our Lives, a bit better than this one, but I still enjoyed The Butch and the Beautiful quite a lot.
Just as the blurb says, Jaq is a high-school teacher that wants a relationship, but that’s the last thing she expects to find when she hooks up with Hannah at her ex’s wedding. She files that encounter as “just sex” the first time they meet, and keeps doing that, while falling for her along the way.
I loved Jaq: her character, her loyalty to her friends and family and her dedication to her students. She was an amazing character, and I loved that the book was told from her POV. I liked how the author made her fall into the dynamics of a relationship without her noticing; it felt as if she was waiting for the other shoe to drop. This was conveyed to the reader with her thoughts, but also with her conversations with her friends – there was a conversation in particular with Zane that I adored.
I won’t say much about Hannah, I liked her as a contrast to Jaq, and as her romantic interest, but for me, this was all about Jaq. And yes, I’m picking sides, but I’m allowed 🙂 I liked the relationship, though; the way they eased into it, when none of them thought that’s what they were looking for in each other.
Let’s go back to Jaq. I loved her relationship with her students; the way she cared for them and pushed them to be better, and I adored the GSA meetings. Now, I wouldn’t mind reading Merin’s story, do you think making puppy eyes at Kris Ripper will work? I adored her as a teacher, and she actually made me think of the teachers I remember most fondly from high-school, the ones that helped shape me into the person I am today. That totally made the book for me.
So I think that while it’s safe to say I liked the romance in Gays of Our Lives better, Jaq won this for me and I won’t forget her story anytime soon. Also, along with Merin’s story, is there any chance of getting Zane’s? *All the puppy eyes in the world*