cover image Sweat Equity

Sweat Equity

Aurora Rey. Bold Strokes, $19.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-63679-487-7

Rey (Roux for Two) stresses the importance of building something to last in this torrid home renovation romance. General contractor Maddie Barrow loves her small Vermont town, but it’s quiet; the most exciting thing that’s happened in months is her best friend, Clover, hiring a new cheesemaker, Sy, for her tiny dairy farm. Wanting to be close to the dairy, Sy bought the first house she could get, sight unseen, and now discovers that the place needs major work to be inhabitable, let alone comfortable. Anxious for Clover’s new hire to stick around, Maddie sets out to fix it all—until Sy’s budget strains at the cost. The easy solution: Maddie will teach Sy to do some of the work herself. Maddie tells herself she can totally be professional around this gorgeous, funny butch lesbian—just like Sy can totally keep her hands off the stunning redhead who happens to be her boss’s best friend. Right? Rey makes the chemistry between Maddie and Sy obvious and immediate, leading naturally to plenty of creative and exciting sex scenes, but tempers the hot-and-heavy goings-on with emotional intelligence that makes the relationship feel as sturdy as a load-bearing wall. Readers will never doubt that a happy ending is on its way, but they’ll love watching it come together. (Oct.)