Review: Strawberry Kisses by Charlie Novak

Connor and Patrick are just about the sweetest couple ever.  Patrick is a talented pastry chef who has just come out of the closet, but has almost no sexual experience, which means he is sweet and a little naive, but he’s more than willing to learn!  Connor is a loveable, out and proud dance teacher with a passion for pole dancing.  He and Patrick met while he was a waiter at Patrick’s restaurant, and they hit it off immediately.  They’ve been best friends for 3 years, but neither one of them will acknowledge that they are in love with each other. 

When Patrick finally takes the plunge and comes out to his family, they are thrilled for him, and because he’s been such close friends with Connor for so long, they assume the two are dating.  Rather than try to explain things, Patrick asks if Connor might consider posing as his boyfriend for the weekend of his parents’ anniversary.  It will be a 4 day trip down to Devon to visit with Patrick’s very loving, but slightly overwhelming family.  Once they are there, Connor is overwhelmed with how loving and welcoming Patrick’s family is toward him – making him long for a real relationship with Patrick even more.  They just need to get out of each other’s way to find their way to each other!

As with many of Charlie’s books, Strawberry Kisses is pretty low angst.  Connor and Patrick love each other so much, and once they realize it and acknowledge it, everything falls into place, without any manufactured angst or stress.  Strawberry Kisses is a lovely, sweet story with characters you love immediately.  I read this book the week of the US election of 2020, and it was SUCH a great escape from the overwhelming anxiety of the real world – I grabbed onto it like a lifeline!  The supporting cast in the story are great as well – especially Aaron and Josh, two of Patrick’s co-workers at the restaurant who have a volatile relationship… I’m hoping we get their story next!