1. Get a better job
2. Learn more skills
3. Get money for restaurant
4. Don’t fall in love with Josh
1. Finesse menu
2. Stop being angry at Josh
3. Swear less (Ben’s idea)
4. Stop wanting to kiss Josh
5. Get Michelin stars
6. Stop being in love with Josh
1. Start new job
2. Try not to burn out
3. Don’t fall in love with Aaron
4. Seriously. Don’t. It will only end badly…
1. Survive the summer
2. Get a new job?
3. Don’t get involved with Aaron again
4. Don’t think about kissing him
5. Don’t think about his smile
6. Don’t think about how much you still love him
Summer Kisses is a 78,000-word contemporary MM romance featuring two chefs with a complicated history, clashing egos, cheese toasties, and two summers that will change everything. It is part of the Kiss Me series and can be read as a standalone.
Content Warning: This novel contains mentions of drug use and issues of alcohol abuse.
Ten minutes later we staggered out of the shop, weighed down with several bags.
“Shall we go back?” Josh asked.
“You just want to try your new grape drink,” I said with a wry smile.
“There’s nothing wrong with grape.” Josh nudged me playfully as we walked along Goose Gate. “You keep saying I whine about mushrooms, but I’ve never heard someone bitch so much about a drink flavour.”
I shrugged and grinned. “Do as I say, not as I do.”
“I can if you want, but I’m taking the dumpling stuff with me.”
“Remind me why I like you again?”
“I didn’t think you did.”
“That’s true. I don’t,” Josh said. His smile was so wide it made my chest ache, a storm of emotions threatening to overtake me. Why had we resisted this for all those years?
We dragged everything back to the flat, and I left Josh to unpack while I made a quick trip to the Tesco Express around the corner to grab some chicken. When I got back, Josh slid the orange-flavoured Charmander drink across to me.
“Where do we start?” he asked.
“First,” I said, cracking the tab and taking a long sip. It was sweet and not quite what I’d been expecting, but in a good way. “We need music.”
I grabbed my phone, hooking it up to the old Bluetooth speaker that perched on the edge of one of the shelves. I grinned, putting my playlist on shuffle, and waiting to see Josh’s reaction when the first song came on. I’d always had eclectic musical taste, from death metal to chart-topping pop, but I thought most people associated me more with the former.
Josh stared at me as the familiar beat line of “Shake It Off” kicked in, his mouth falling open. “Seriously? Taylor Swift?”
I shrugged, taking another sip of my drink. “Don’t diss Taylor. She’s awesome.”
“You know,” he said, leaning in to give me a kiss, “every time I think I’ve got you figured out, you surprise me.”
Since discovering Charlie Novak, her books are an auto-read for me. Funny, snarky, sexy with interesting characters who aren’t cookie cutter style.
This is book 2 (easily a stand alone) and I did really enjoy it. We met Josh and Aaron is book 1- they are chefs where Patrick is a pastry chef. Seeing the friendship between Aaron and Patrick even more was a delight.
The book goes back in time to when Josh and Aaron first met and wanna be chefs in London. Their flame burned bright and fast and came to a crashing halt one night. That was when all of Aaron’s secrets came to light.
They didn’t see each other for a while and are faced with each other again in a new restaurant. Cooking together. Over the span of several years, we see the animosity between them. But really, they just wanted each other.
Aaron was a total jerk during those years. Josh pretty much saved his life by walking away and Aaron treated him like crap. Yanno, until THAT NIGHT.
They can’t keep their hands off of each other now. But they never really talked about what all went down before. Instead, they just had more sex. And honestly, I almost think there was too much sex in the book. That’s saying something for me. I would have liked to see them mature more together, grow together. Which they do, but so.much.sex.
This story was a little different from previous with the alcohol abuse and drug use. Although that part of the story was told well and compassionately. And mixing angst with snark is one of my favorite things. But I needed more. They went from boiling hot to ice cold to boiling hot again. No gradual rise in temperature.
I still highly recommend. I love books set in restaurants that really show the reality of working back of the house. And I REALLY want Ben’s story…
4 pieces of eye candy
Charlie lives in England with her husband and a dachshund named Biscuit. She spends most of her days wrangling other people’s words in her day job and then trying to force her own onto the page in the evening.
She loves cute stories with a healthy dollop of fluff, plenty of delicious sex, and happily ever afters — because the world needs more of them. Charlie also believes that loves comes in all shapes and sizes.
Charlie has very little spare time, but what she does have she fills with cooking, pole-dancing, reading and ice-hockey. She also thinks that everyone should have at least one favourite dinosaur…
Connect with Charlie:
Facebook Group, Charlie’s Angels https://www.facebook.com/groups/charlienovaksangels/