Strawberries for Dessert by Marie Sexton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What happens if a flaming, flamboyantly out gay man meets an uptight, half-closeted accountant? Sparks fly, of course. At first it's sparks from two diametrally opposite characters clashing, but soon its from an entirely different sort of friction.
Jon and Cole are opposites if there ever where. Set up on a blind date together by Cole's former casual lover, Jared from "Promises", their first meeting is a diaster. Jon is constantly on the phone with work, annoying Cole so much he walks out. Luckily, Cole found Jon interesting enough to leave his phone number and give him a second chance. Slowly, very carefully, their "it's-just-sex" arrangement moves along and changes into something far more serious. When they finally both realize it's love they feel, it's almost too late.
This was another wonderful book by Marie Sexton. Although it's loosely connected to her "Coda, Colorado"-Series, it can be read as a standalone.
The characters were wonderful. I loved Cole, the very picture of what Jon's father calls rightly a fruitcake, so affectionate and gay cliché, yet hiding his vulnerable, loveable self behind his attitude. And I also loved Jon, who's self-centered and obsessed with climbing the company ladder, and needed Cole's pushing to quit vegetating and start living. They were very real and very believable together. The emotions are so vivid and understandable, they seem to shine through the pages.
Jon, the 1st person narrator, was given an unique voice by hints of colloquial language in the narrative. The author managed to make him sound genuine, like a real person; at times the story didn't feel read but more like listened to, as if Jon told it in person over a glass of his beloved Chianti. And Cole's mannerisms, wich at times rubbed off on Jon, were sometimes hilarious.
Well, some obstacles are quite conveniently solved, and the last few sentences could have been just as easily left out, but this didn't lessen the experience of this story. Simply great, enthralling, wonderful. Highly recommended.
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