Review: Stubborn as a Bull by D.L. King

Kat, a bartender at Artemis, is a free spirit. She likes hooking up with random hot girls whenever she wants. Getting serious is the last thing on her mind. But her best friend thinks it’s time for Kat to grow up and settle down, like her.

Lil, a local restaurateur, is new to the scene and becomes smitten. Lil’s stubborn, but Kat’s skittish. And, like a cat, the more she’s chased, the faster she runs away. Kat’s got too many plans to settle down now—like that hot butch or the stripper who comes in with her friends… But Lil’s stubborn: Stubborn as a bull.

This story was a little too brief for the content. It showed promise, but there wasn’t enough to develop it fully.

The main character development was good, and I liked Kat. I related to her, and liked the overall plot. The backstory, while brief, gave me enough to work with. I understood her flighty nature, and how inconvenient it was to have her path interrupted each night. I liked her personality, and where she was in life. It was clear she was at a stage where it was all about fun and adventure. I did find her slightly bitchy, and that annoyed me a little, but when she was being honest and friendly, I enjoyed her.

Unfortunately the plot development was weak, and there wasn’t enough to make the flow believable. I would have enjoyed more time invested in each character. I think they deserved at least another chapter to convince me that they would be good together. What I got was wrapped up too neatly, and almost an afterthought. An unsatisfying ending. I didn’t believe it.

I didn’t get enough of Lil to make up my mind about her. What I got I liked, but I needed more of her personality, and a longer encounter to truly feel connected with her. If as much time was spent with Lil as it was with Kat, I think this would have elevated the story.

The writing and editing was strong, and I had no problem with the outline. It just felt like it was still a work in progress, and not a complete story. I’d like to see more of this author’s work in a longer novella or novel.

Some may enjoy this as a short taste of a lesbian romance. If they’re not looking for something too complex and just want a cute read, this would be perfect. Unfortunately, I am on a quest for a more developed lesbian romance with completely fleshed out primary and secondary characters, with a high heat level. This was not that book for me.

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Interested in more info on the author and this story? See the Author Info and Excerpt below!

Author Bio

D. L. King has been writing and editing erotica for more than fifteen years. Her short stories appear in over 75 anthologies, including a half dozen Best Lesbian Erotica editions, most recently, Best Lesbian Erotica 2016, the twentieth anniversary edition of the series. She has edited thirteen anthologies, including The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Gold Medal. She lives in New York City, somewhere between the Coney Island Wonder Wheel and the Chrysler Building and is a fan of roasted chestnuts in the winter and cotton candy in the summer.

Twitter: d_l_king


“Strong, like Russian bull. Right. More like bullshit. Or more like ‘stubborn like a bull.’ Shit… I mean, really, what is it with her? I just don’t get it.” I lifted the hose out of the caddy and added more Diet Coke to Carla’s glass. It was the middle of the day—too late for lunch but too early for happy hour.
Carla took a drink and gave me a piercing look. “What are you talking about? Or should I say who are you talking about?”
“It’s that dyke, Lily, or Lil. Whatever. She’s always coming in here, bugging the crap out of me. Like just before you got here. She snuck up to the bar while I was changing out one of the kegs and said something like, ‘Hey little lady, want me to help you with that?’ I practically cracked my skull open on the top of the beer cooler. And then she grins and says that ‘Strong, like Russian bull’ thing and makes a muscle. She makes me crazy.”
“I don’t know who you’re talking about. What does she look like?”
“Yeah, you know her. She’s got short brown hair. Not boy-short, just short and kind of wavy. She’s maybe in her late thirties, but she looks like she’s in good shape—like she works out or maybe plays some kind of sport. She wears jeans and T-shirts, mostly. You know who I mean. Lil.”
“Kat, you just described half the women who come into this place. So, what else does she do to annoy you?”
I grabbed a glass of water and told Carla all about it. The way Lil always seemed to be there when I looked up, but how she never bought a drink. And the way she bullied customers at the bar when they started getting the least bit rowdy. She was costing me tips.
“And there was that time last week when this cute butch was hitting on me, and Lil shoved her way in front of the woman and asked something inane, like if I knew what time it was, or something. The girl just backed out of the way and decided to go hit on someone else, I guess…and she was cute, too. I don’t know, Carla, the bitch is out to get me, but I didn’t do anything to her. I swear. Hell, I don’t even know her.”
Carla started to grin.
“Geez Louise! Can’t you tell when someone’s flirting with you? Or has it really been that long?”
“Flirting? Well, she’s not my type,” I said. I gave Carla a wilting look and went back to doing the prep work for the evening. Flirting? Is that possible? If it was, it was like the way boys used to flirt with girls in third grade. I was seriously waiting for her to punch me in the arm—and then I’d have to smack the crap out of her.
I wiped down the bar after restocking, and then I began preparing the drink garnishes and gave Carla another refill.
“You know, Kat, I’ve known you for seven years now, and I still don’t know what your type is. Just who are you looking for?”
She put a ten on the bar, and I leaned over and gave her a kiss. “Maybe I’m not looking for anyone. Do I have to be?”
“I don’t know what I’m gonna do with you.” Carla shook her head on her way out. She opened the front door to bright, glaring sunlight and waved as she stepped outside. The door shut behind her, wrapping the place in twilight shadow again, the way a bar should be.

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