Summer Kisses by Charlie Novak (A Kiss Me Novel) 5 Stars!

Not usually one who loves a book that jumps through time, it only makes sense to see it in Summer Kisses when you focus on the relationship between Josh and Aaron.  The time apart enhances their relationship and themselves...

From the author:
Two chefs. Two summers. One shot at a second chance.

Aaron’s Plan
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

Josh’s Plan
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

Content Warning: This novel contains mentions of drug use and issues of alcohol abuse.

My Review:
If you've ever read another Charlie Novak novel, you may need to check the cover a few times in the first part of the book to make sure you are reading from the same author... Charlie acknowledges that Josh and Aaron's story is different from everything in their backlist, so I went in knowing that I might struggle to find the foothold in the story - perseverance pays off in a big way when the lovers to enemies to lovers orbit finally stops spinning!  It's a romance so you aren't getting a spoiler by knowing that they find their HEA - just know that substance abuse and the arrogance needed to succeed in the restaurant world are woven beautifully into this love story to expose a real and often difficult barrier to a good relationship...  Summer Kisses is not a fluffy story, but the grit endears me to the characters and makes me sad that they end at the epilogue... I can't wait to see them again in a future installment of the Kiss Me series! 

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