Melissa Brayden is at the top of my favourite lesbian books authors (see full list here: https://lezreviewbooks.com/my-top-tens/). Her books have romance, angst, hot scenes, wit and funny dialogues. All these elements balanced in well conceived plot and subplots. The reader can safely expect a very enjoyable reading experience.
Having said this, I might have set the bar too high and now I expect to be wowed by every single book like I was with, for example, ‘Kiss the girl’. It wasn’t the case with ‘Strawberry summer’, hence, my 4 star rating. Don’t get me wrong, all the elements of Ms. Brayden’s style are present, the main characters chemistry, the hot scenes, the banter, the witty dialogues, the lovable secondary characters but just maybe not in Ms. Brayden’s usual eloquence.
The book is divided roughly in two parts, it starts with Courtney and Maggie meeting as teenagers and follow their romance through college years up to their breakup. The second part takes us to the present time, the characters in their mid twenties, when Courtney comes back to Maggie’s hometown. If they’d get their happily ever after is for the reader to discover. Here is my issue with the plot: it seems divided into two distinctive and separated parts and doesn’t seem to flow seamlessly. Present and past aren’t integrated as a whole. The reader gets a brief introduction of the present in a short preface and then is taken to the past for 65% of the book. In my opinion, the past section dragged for too long to maintain the conflict tension and resolution. However, don’t let my comments put you off, despite my criticism, I found this book a very enjoyable read anyway.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.