Book: Strawberry Summer
Author: Melissa Brayden
Other Books by this Author: Waiting in the Wings, Soho Loft series, How Sweet It Is, Heart Block, First Position
Margaret Beringer didn’t have an easy adolescence. She hated her name, was less than popular in school, and was always cast aside as a “farm kid.” However, with the arrival of Courtney Carrington, Margaret’s youth sparked into color. Courtney was smart, beautiful, and put together—everything Margaret wasn’t. Who would have imagined that they’d fit together so perfectly?
But first loves can scar.
Margaret hasn’t seen Courtney in years and that’s for the best. But when Courtney loses her father and returns to Tanner Peak to take control of the family store, Margaret comes face-to-face with her past and the woman she’s tried desperately to forget. The fact that Courtney has grown up more beautiful than ever certainly doesn’t help matters.
Thank you to Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for the ARC of this title.
I love Melissa Brayden’s books, she’s definitely one of the best in her genre. She writes lesbian romance so well and though it’s often formulaic, Melissa Brayden definitely has a formula that works! Brayden’s books pull you in and refuse to let go until you’ve finished. This book departs from the typical formula a bit, but it certainly didn’t disappoint!
Strawberry Summer was told primarily through flashback, starting when the leads were in high school. This gave the start of the book a bit of a YA feel, but I enjoyed this aspect of the story. As someone who discovered her sexuality much later in life, it was endearing to watch Maggie and Courtney’s high school romance blossom. I loved the progression from summer to summer until we finally ended up in the present. This book had some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting, which gave it a different feel to previous novels by Brayden.
Maggie was mostly likeable and relatable, although I would say she’s not my favourite protagonist of a Brayden novel (I think that honour goes to Molly from How Sweet It Is). Courtney was dynamic and charismatic and she and Maggie had amazing chemisty. The unexpected surprise of this book for me would have to be the secondary characters. I felt Travis had the strongest character development from past to present, and he provided nice bits of comic relief form time to time. Maggie’s family was a bit eccentric and a lot fantastic. I loved her mom’s romance novels and her brother’s charm. Maggie’s coming out to her family was one of my favorite parts of this book.
Brayden’s books are always full of the warm fuzzies and her engaging stories and loveable characters make it impossible to stop reading, and this book was no different.
Strawberry Summer is available NOW! Order your copy today!