The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky
by Summer Heacock
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: MIRA (July 25, 2017)
In thirty-four days, it will have been exactly two years to the day since I’ve had sex.
Having sex wasn’t exactly high on Kat Carmichael’s priority list while her successful bakery was taking off, especially since things hadn’t been working very well in that department. And the last time she and her boyfriend, Ryan, even attempted the act, they found it to be physically impossible—resulting in pain and disappointment for Kat instead of sunshine and orgasms.
With just over a month until their four-year anniversary, Kat calls for a break in her relationship with Ryan, encouraging him to see other people while she throws herself into physical therapy. Yet even with the well-intentioned (but wildly inappropriate) attempts at help from her best friends, Kat quickly discovers that a solo mission may not be the best approach.
Fortunately, physical therapist Ben Cleary, the shop’s best (looking) customer, volunteers to help out—strictly as a friend, of course. But as the line between love and friendship begins to blur, Kat stands to lose much more than a functioning set of lady bits if she can’t figure out what to hang on to… and what to let go.
“The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky is the Cupcake Wars meets The Bloggess. Readers who love hilarious, bawdy humor with a heaping dose of swoon will adore Summer Heacock’s special debut!” -Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and The Simplicity of Cider
“Reading The Awkward Path To Getting Lucky is like hanging out with your smartest, funniest, most thoughtful and all-around favorite girlfriend. If you’re the kind of intelligent, complicated woman who Leans In at work but watches The Bachelor at home, who does yoga Saturday morning and drinks margaritas Saturday night, who can stand on her own but still wants to be swept off her feet, then this is the comfort read for you.” -Gemma Burgess, author of the Brooklyn Girls series
“Lighthearted and entertaining, Summer Heacock’s debut, The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky, is full of voice and a cast of characters that are side-splitting funny. Between the shenanigans and drool-worthy cupcake descriptions is a modern day exploration of one woman’s quest for happily ever after. — Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away with Me and The Choices We Make
I don’t know what caused my vaginismus, but I do know I haven’t made it any sort of priority to fix the situation over the last two years. It’s breaking my heart. Ryan deserves better than someone who hoards her dumplings. It’s only now, standing here with my friends and our hands full of sex toys, that I realize I miss that early stuff in a relationship. Well, not just the early stuff, I suppose. The good stuff. I want to want to give away my dumplings.
Slapping her piping bag onto the table, Liz snaps, “Okay, fine. No, we didn’t say vagina. We said special, okay?” … I consider this. “That’s actually kind of genius. I’d grow up thinking my business was like, the key to the universe or something. I wouldn’t let just any man near my special, ya know? I like that. My special.”
My vagina can’t handle another two years on the shelf, okay? It’s not a fine wine. It will not get better with age, stored in a dark cellar. It needs to be uncorked right the fuck now.
“I’ll give you a few minutes to get changed.” In a flash of red locks, she’s out the door, and I’m left wondering how long a few minutes is. Is this like a leisurely time when I can undress at a mellow pace, or more like eating in prison, when I’ve got about sixty seconds to get done what needs to get done before the door bursts back open and the riots break out?
I’m stunned. My face is set in an unflattering trout-like expression, and I can’t seem to form words anymore.
I was stunned when I realized this cleverly written and highly amusing book was the author’s debut work. Stunned, gasping, then sputtering to form cogent thought, as The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky was a remarkable output, whether it was her first or hundred and first. The premise was unique and relevant while the storyline was cleverly entertaining, well-crafted, and delightfully engaging. The primary and secondary characters were not your garden variety – they were all kinds of quirky, endearing, beguiling, and peculiar. I adored them. Ms. Heacock cleverly imbued her characters with color descriptions and insightful details and tasty little tidbits that were comically amusing yet also insightful and keenly observant. I eagerly and greedily wanted to absorb all her words. I giggled-snorted and smirked my way through this cleverly devised tale.
Kat suddenly came to the realization that despite being in a long-term relationship, she was rapidly approaching the two-year mark in a sexual dry spell due to a real-life lady-bits condition known as vaginismus, which was a problem I was thankfully unfamiliar with. Kat was a driven, selfish, Type-A control freak with lots of self-inflicted and ridiculous rules. She was hard-working and skilled at her craft yet outside of her bakery, she lived in the land of denial, was socially awkward, verbally inappropriate, inattentive to other’s feelings, and generally had limited awareness of much beyond her own nose until the light bulb popped and she finally realized she was “an emotional cadaver.” As the layers of the onion were peeled we learn that as a child, Kat was often left with her fanatically religious aunt who had warped her perception of love, sex, relationships, and femininity. Once she realized the freakishness of allowing her problem to go unresolved for so long, Kat set about devising a plan to get her vajayjay in ship shape with a breathtaking timeline of one month, although a confluence of events and work opportunities threatened to derail her plans. While there were times I wanted to give Kat a good pinch, I remained engaged with this story from beginning to end.
About Summer Heacock
Summer Heacock is an author of contemporary women’s fiction and prances through life like a Disney cartoon that says the “F” word a lot. She lives in a teeny Indiana town, where she’s a stay-at-home-mom to two scampy tots, wife to an amazingly understanding husband, herder of a rescue critter menagerie and collector of life-size celebrity cardboard cutouts. When not writing or hoarding jellybeans, she’s a member of the Midwest Writers planning committee and a cohost of PubTalkTV. She can be found at www.Fizzygrrl.com and on Twitter as @Fizzygrrl. The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky is her debut novel.
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