Like the Taste of Summer

Like the Taste of Summer - Kaje Harper Really well developed and well written m/m short story that had me crying at the subtly moving epilogue. It's pretty amazing that a ~45 page story could pull me in as a reader to such an extent that I was tearing up by the ending.

This story is bookended with a prologue and epilogue in "real time" by the first person POV narrator, Jack. The bulk of this story is a flashback/reminiscence that takes place in small town Iowa in the early 1980s and tells the story of Jack and Sean. Jack is a Pittsburgh native who finds himself in Iowa after he receives a full scholarship to the university in that state. Sean is a "townie" - that is, he's grown up there in the small town - and works as a mechanic there.

This is such a short story that I don't want to go into too much detail about any of the plot points and would rather just urge you to give it a try. It's only ~45 pages, and it reads very quickly. The story, generally, follows them in their discovery of each other and the complexities and difficulties involved in being gay in a small Midwestern town in the 1980s.

I can't emphasize enough how much I think this one merits a read, even if you're not into short stories or m/m or the 1980s or Iowa or college-aged protagonists or blue space aliens landing in Area 51 (j/k - just threw that last one in there to see if you were still paying attention :D). While there are sexytimes as part of their mutual discovery of physical love, it's not explicit and quite emotionally and tastefully done. The true draw of this story is the emotional pull you can feel coming from these characters, even if technically it's only written from first person POV narrator Jack's perspective.

Like the Taste of Summer is a really sweet story and makes me want to seek out more of this author's work. You can download this story free as part of the m/m short story anthology Don't Read in the Closet: Volume Two, published by the GoodReads M/M Group - just click on the green "download ebook" button below the publishing information.

Happy reading!