The Butch and the Beautiful

Kris Ripper. Riptide, $17.99 trade paper (226p) ISBN 978-1-62649-436-7

Ripper’s fun contemporary pairs up two opposites who most definitely attract each other. Jaq is a high school teacher who loves her community, sponsors her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, and wants to fall in love with a sensible low-risk woman. Hannah—whose baggage includes her messy divorce, her high-drama reputation, and her playgirl ways—is definitely not Ms. Right, but she’s got Jaq hooked. The two have amazing chemistry, but Jaq has preconceptions and trust issues, and Hannah is still emotionally tangled up with her ex. This leads to frustration and misunderstandings on both sides, and the two have to learn to communicate if they’re going to fit into each other’s lives. Ripper neatly incorporates plenty of queer friends for both women to round out the present-day setting of fictional La Vista, Calif., and perhaps provide some fodder for sequels. This is a sweet and spicy romance with a wonderful community component. (Aug.)