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Like the Taste of Summer
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Like the Taste of Summer (Hot Summer Days)

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  843 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Free novelette written for the M/M Romance group's "Hot Summer Days" event.

Genres/Tags: Gay M/M / Contemporary / Romance / First Love / Coming Out / Young Adult Characters / College / 1980's / First Time
Approx. Word Count: 15,224
ebook, Online Fiction, 46 pages
Published July 11th 2011 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads
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A love story from the 80’s, told in retrospect.

The Romance


Writing style


(view spoiler)


I meant to say sorry again but he reached out a hand and put a finger on my lips. I could feel him trembling, just a little. Nothing compared to how shaky I was, down inside. I had grief and hope and fear and bone-deep want all mixed up together.

For a free short story this was completely satisfying. Great storyline, lovable characters and absolutely believable!
This is only my second Kaje Harper read but I'm definitely adding my name to the fan club list!!
Highly recommended!
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 Pittsbu
This is my second Kaje Harper (the first one was Into Deep Waters) and I can safely say I'm officially a fan. The woman knows how to write. And I love the bittersweet yet hopeful, fairytale quality of her stories.
I have no idea why I miss this during the "Hot Summer Days" event. Probably because there were too many titles to count *lol*. Better late than never, because this is simply ONE OF THE BEST stories from the event.

The beginning is so thoughtful, how sometimes we forget to appreciate our loved ones because of the small details on your day-to-day life. Then when Jack first met Sean all those decades ago, it was a shot full of adrenaline. Continued with the wonderful days of the two boys learning a
**** 4 summer tastestars ****

Beautiful! Just beautiful! Young first love persevered!

Highly recommended!


A short story in the collection"Don't Read in the Closet, Volume Two"from the MM Romance Group Hot Summer Event 2011.

ClickHEREfor the story online orHEREto downloadthe whole collection for your reading device.

Picture and prompt:

(view spoiler)
I won't bother reviewing this because there are already many great reviews. This is a good coming-of-age MM romance. It's just a short story but it feels like a book. I cried at the end because the HEA was so good and so well deserved.
Cole Riann
Review posted at Brief Encounters Reviews, as part of the celebration of Canadian Authors. Here's the interview with Kaje Harper for BER.

You know, more than any other story from last year's Hot Summer Days event put on by the GoodReads M/M Romance Group, I've heard amazing things about this one. I've always wanted to read it, but you know how things go, certain stories, no matter how wonderful they may be, end up getting pushed back to read shiny, newer books or stories. I was so happy that Kaje
A very beautiful story of Jack and Sean, a couple who met each other in a small college town in Iowa. Jack, originally from Pittsburgh, went to college as a virgin. He dated a girl before, but it didn't really work out. In a violent incident, he met Sean. Sean was not a student. He was a mechanic, and part of the 'Townies', a group of locals who didn't go to college as Jack and his friends did. The Townies and the college boys hated each other. Yet, Jack and Sean found themselves attracted to ea ...more
Like everything Kaje Harper writes this is a beautiful book. I adored how it began, with Jack remembers first falling in love with Sean. I like the reminder that falling in love is sometimes the easy bit, maintaining it over the years can be tricky though. That reminder to look at what's close to home and remember.

Of course the story itself is lovely. Jack and Sean don't have it easy getting the relationship off the ground, but they do and it's sweet and lovely and all those things Kaje Harper d

This book blew my mind! I am right now a blabbering idiot, smiling ear to ear, with warm fluffy fuzzies on top! Goddamn! This is my first *gasp* book by Kaje Harper. *ducks to avoid rotten veggies*
Not only am I late to the party, I arrived the next damn day after the clean up was done and everyone was sober. Pathetic! But, there is hope for me yet people!

First, never did I ever think a 46 page book would make it to my "not enough stars to rate this" sh
The opening paragraph of this story is quite possibly one of the most eloquent and beautiful I have ever had the pleasure to experience. With those words alone, I was THERE, connected and moved to tears, and that is such an amazing gift. Like Jack, I was lost in the memories... caught up in the journey through the past and finding myself full circle, moved to tears once more as I felt yet again the depth of emotion expressed in those opening thoughts and impressions, all the more powerful

Sigh... This was a lovely coming-of-age story.

Kaje Harper can really write a love story in 46 pages!!!

"Sometimes when you live with one man for more than half your life, you stop really seeing him.
Not stop loving him. That center-of-my-heart, need-him-to-breathe kind of love doesn't go away.
But really paying attention gets submerged in the stupid details of day to day life."

"Until Sean looks up at me. And he smiles at me, just like he did the day we finally got it right.
And I remember...

Aug 22, 2013 Lori added it
Shelves: iowa, dnf

A billion and a half stars for the writer herself!

This is a wonderful, sweet and romantic tale of first love, will all the complications that can arrise for to boys who fall in love. Like in many short stories, several events have to be skipped to keep the focus where the author wants it. While this had the effect of always thinking I missed something and being unable to connect with the characters in some stories, Kaje Harper manages to leave everthing that is important to understand the romantic connection between the two boys and feel the em ...more
Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions
I really liked this story. Liked the characters but didn’t like the way it was told. The way it is told in a flashback kept me from really connecting with the characters. I never like the flash back style and never can get into the story as much as I do with other narrations so it was probably me but I never forgot I was reading a book. Usually with a good story I will forget I am reading it and just connect with it and see it but with this although I liked it I always felt distant from it.

Kaje Harper is nothing short of a magician!!
To write such a wonderful, heart gripping, beautiful story with such amazing characters that gets so deep in your heart in less than 50 pages is a miracle!
Kate manage to do in 46 pages what others thrive to do and can't in a lot more.

A must!!!!!
Heather C
Loved This!

This was a really sweet coming-of-age flashback story about two young lovers living in prejudiced Iowa in the early 1980s. The epilogue totally made me cry happy tears to go along with the HEA! Yay!!

...and it's free! Read it!!
This is a beautifully written story that takes you right to a certain place, 1980's Iowa & that time between youth & adulthood. This story of first love & lasting love has a lot of heart. Wonderful!
What a fantastic story, so, so, wonderful. Beautifully written and a romantic gem.
There are really no words to say how much I loved this book, so I never wrote a review. But I wanted somewhere to tell this story and here is as good a place as any.

My two best girlfriends are not fiction readers. One because she studies constantly and doesn't want to and one because she works all the time and only has time for a magazine article in the evenings if she feels like reading. But they were both curious about my constant chatter about m/m romances and said they were interested in che
I really loved this short story inspired by a photo of two young men in an embrace. Sean is a townie and Jack is a University student. Not only do townies and students not mix, but in corn-fed Iowa being gay is punishable by a beat-down. Sean and Jack's secret love is sweet and romantic, but their ultimate stand to stay together despite the cost is what really makes this story special.

Don't Read in the Closet is a collection of short stories published for free for members of the M/M Romance Gro

Sweet. Romantic. Amazingly touching. Beautifully written.
Wish it was a full novel.
Jul 22, 2011 Sadonna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: free, mm
I cannot say just how much I loved this story. So moving - so romantic - so real. Brilliant interpretation of a picture and request that went far beyond expectations. The beautiful relationship portrayed in the story was perfect. I hardly ever give 5 stars - especially to short pieces, but this was that good.
Jane (PS)
This is a forced outing, coming out and 'gay' realisation story of young men in love (one at college, one in town). I really enjoyed it - had tears in my eyes a couple of times even though it isn't sad at all :) Great emotions packed into a simple premise of young love in a 'backwater' town.
Edina Rose
Established, LT relationship.
We see how everything started (guys are 19 yr ) and 20+ years later, present time (guys in their 40s).
They are cute and foolish. They are in love. "sighs"

I loved this beautifully written short story. It's a sweet look at the beginning of a couple's long-term relationship in early 1980s Iowa. This free story is well worth reading. Recommended.
Trisha Harrington
I adored this story so much. I could have read a full length novel about these two, but the short was really satisfying. Definitely one I will read again some day.
Amy ♥s to Read
What a sweet story! Young love, coming of age in the 80s, overcoming hatred and bigotry to find your happily ever after. Beautifully written!
Justin South
A beautiful story, a magnificent tapestry, tenderly written. I felt being part of each scene, even at the breakfast table. Thank you, Kaje.
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I live in Minnesota (where the two seasons are snow removal and road-repair, and the mosquito is the state bird, and where sometimes in winter it is so beautiful you can't breathe for gazing at it). I have been writing for longer than I care to admit, and currently am focused on writing m/m romance. I have an interview from Sept 2012 on Reviews by Jessewave for those who are interested.

My first p
More about Kaje Harper...

Other Books in the Series

Hot Summer Days (1 - 10 of 112 books)
  • Open Tackle
  • Unscheduled Maintenance
  • Wanting Jack
  • The Elements of Love
  • Wild Blue Yonder
  • Masochism 101
  • Dog Days of Summer
  • Wanting (Wanting, #1)
  • Breaking Waves
  • Bridges (Bridges, #1)
Life Lessons (Life Lessons, #1) The Rebuilding Year Breaking Cover (Life Lessons, #2) Home Work (Life Lessons, #3) Into Deep Waters (Love is Always Write)

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“Sometimes when you live with one man for more than half your life, you stop really seeing him. Not stop loving him. That center-of-my-heart kind of love doesn't go away. But really paying attention gets submerged in the stupid details of day to day life.” 18 likes
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