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Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Series Book 4) Kindle Edition
|Length: 244 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Book 4 of 7 in Coda Series|
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- File Size : 936 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 244 pages
- Publisher : Dreamspinner Press; 1st edition (August 6, 2010)
- Publication Date : August 6, 2010
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B003YMMI60
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Page Numbers Source ISBN : 1615815503
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #835,141 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Well, one character. I still think Jonathan Kechter is sort of a jerk. Cole Davenport, on the other hand, is glorious. It’s a pretty pared-down story – “straight-acting” career-driven accountant meets flamboyant amateur chef for a disastrous blind date. Neither is the other’s type, and yet…
What makes this simple romantic story arc work is the two men – learning about them, digging into their hearts, understanding why they are the way they are. Jon is almost as emotionally stunted as a straight guy (forgive the cliché), but nonetheless has intimations of his father’s emotional “ghosts” and Cole’s complicated emotional defenses. Cole, whose intuition is sharp as a knife, nonetheless is expert at convincing himself that he doesn’t want what he wants; or doesn’t deserve it, somehow. Jon still feels the pain of his ten-year-old breakup with his college boyfriend. So he sacrifices his personal life to his job and never complains. Cole simply doesn’t know what it’s like to be loved – really loved – by anyone. So he spends his money and keeps moving.
As I always say, romances are like landscapes – they’re all essentially the same thing; it’s the skill of the artist that makes them unique and beautiful. Marie Sexton is really good at this, and tugged at every heartstring in just the right way.
In this story, Jonathan, Zach's ex, and Cole, Jared's "friend with benefits" get together on a blind date which is a total disaster. Even so, they manage to overcome obstacles; this book is the story of their 18 month journey to become a couple.
The book is written from Jonathan's first person POV but we come to learn what Cole is thinking and feeling from a series of emails that he writes to Jared. It's a very effective device and works better than the alternating POV of Zach and Angelo that was used in A to Z and The Letter Z--primarily because I didn't have to suffer through the irritating first person dialect that Marie used to write Angelo's parts. (I really, really like Angelo but I hate the way he comes off sounding like an ignorant hick. But I digress...)
Cole and Jonathan have very small parts in the other books (although Cole does have one significant scene in The Letter Z that I went back and re-read while I was reading Strawberries for Dessert). In the previous books, Jonathan didn't come off as particularly likeable (he dumped Zach) and for the first 50% of this book I wanted to wring his neck. Cole, on the other hand, I liked from the start although my heart ached for the "poor little rich boy" who lived his life like a cliche, mostly because he didn't know any other way to live.
Like I said, I have enjoyed all four books and although none are perfect, I think Strawberries for Dessert is the best so far. Promises was marred by an over-the-top action scene near the end that I thought was unnecessary; A to Z and The Letter Z had the Angelo dialog (noted above) which was annoying but not a dealbreaker. In Strawberries for Dessert, I suppose the endless discussions of food and wine might bother some people--but since I enjoy food and wine, it didn't bother me! I almost wish Marie included some of Cole's recipes...I'd love to know how to make Sauteed Pasta with Lobster. Yum! I also enjoyed Cole's emails and the endless variations he had to refer to Matt: "your big angry cop," "that big bad cop you live with," etc. It was very funny and a nice touch of humor when things got a little too angsty.
All in all, a terrific book. Definitely recommended. Even though this is Marie's fourth book and uses previously introduced characters, I think this could easily be read as a standalone. In fact, if you read this one first and then go back and read the others, you'll be able to see how much her writing and storytelling has improved over the course of the series.
Five stars and a spot on my "I'll read this one again," shelf.
Cole is a flamboyant effeminate acting gay man. Jon is an uptight accountant who works long hours and travels a lot. Jon's gayness is not obvious to others. Jared, a friend of Cole's, suggests the two meet - a blind date.
Most of the story is their relationship. I enjoyed it. I liked their differences. Jon was having problems with Cole's effeminate actions in front of others. I loved how it was discussed and resolved. I also liked events relating to Jon's dad. I liked the thoughts and actions when Jon's employer wanted him to relocate.
This is told in first person by Jon which is not a favorite for me because Coles' point of view is missing. But I liked the way the author used emails from Cole to Jared to provide Cole's thoughts. That was smartly done, but it was only a few times. I wanted more of it.
One of my pet peeves is a character breaking up with another because he fears being hurt in the future. The couple's break up had some of this, but I was surprised that it didn't bother me much (but a little). Cole had such unusual emotional issues and problems that his weird actions kind of worked.
There were many short sex scenes - toward the sensitive caring loving side - two men together including rear door activity.
Narrative mode: first person Jon. Kindle count story length: 5462 (625 KB). Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: 12. Setting: current day mostly Phoenix, Arizona. Copyright: 2010. Genre: gay male romance