Strawberries for Dessert

Strawberries for Dessert - Marie Sexton 4.5 stars

I adored this story. It's probably the best in the series. I loved the unique way it was told in first person from Jonathan but also in emails from Cole to Jared. It was different and gave me the ability to get to know Jonathan but also Cole without having too many POV shifts. It was a nice change.

I loved Jonathan from the start. He's kind of stuck up, serious and boring to some but he has determination and knows what he wants and how to get there. I didn't like Cole in the beginning. Actually, I hated him. He was dramatic, careless, arrogant and pretty annoying. That probably has to do with the fact he eyefucks a bartender right in from of Jon (while they are on a date and takes the guy's card) and doesn't see what was so wrong with that. Then there were a few other things but over time I started to like Cole. I grew to understand him and to love him as well. He's self-conscious, caring and has so many insecurities that'd you never know because he hides it behind his flamboyancy. It's actually quite sad. He can't let his guard down or he'll start to feel for Jon more than what there is and potentially get hurt. Jon, at first, wasn't comfortable with how Cole acted but then he started to overlook that and care for Cole. He wasn't ashamed of his love for Cole. Hesitant and maybe timid and confused but I think that had more to do with Cole being hot and cold than what he was feeling.

I was actually shocked that I liked this book. It's slow moving but not so slow that it's boring. It's slow paced so we could get to know Cole and Jon and the relationship they formed. It's very sweet, cute and sometimes sad. But adorable over all. I think I smiled more than anything during this story because some of the things these two did were funny, sweet and cute. When it came to a point where their relationship started to get rocky, it wasn't sprung on you to the point where you're questioning why it happened, you understand why and you get it. At least I did. Jon was a little dumb when it came to Cole at the end and what he needed to do. Although, he figured it out in time and made the story perfect with his bemusement.

The secondary characters were fun. There was no one overly mean or harsh. No one to threaten their relationship status (except the bartender) or anything. Mostly supporters in this story which made it a nice read. Jon's dad, George, had no idea what to make of Cole which made it fun. Julia, Jon's neighbor, slapped some sense into Jon when needed and that made me like her. She was very feisty.

My only problem with the story was Cole. Aside from the fact I hated him in the beginning I felt he was a hypocrite at times. He got pissed that Jon couldn't accept him the way he was but then criticized and harped on Jon for who he was. I felt like it was unfair at times.

In the end, this story was a lot more than I expected. I really loved it and I know I'll be rereading it sooner rather than later. Cole and Jon are such opposites they make it work. They give and take and they come to a solution when needed. It was an adorably sweet read that had me laughing and crying (the ending was perfect). I hope there's more to come of these two (aside from their wedding) because this one left us with a little cliffhanger hope of something more and I want to see it come true!

And thanks to Heather C for making me finally read this in exchange for her to finish a book she wasn't liking! XP