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Like the Taste of Summer (Don't Read in the Closet Events)

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  958 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
Dear Author,
I realize I'm late to the party, but it took me a bit to find just the perfect photo! This:

The first time is so beautiful, if the one you're with cares enough to make it that way. These two are so young: barely out of high-school, but college is all about finding out who you really are.

Photo Description: The place is secluded; leaves filter the sun. The men are
ebook, 46 pages
Published July 11th 2011 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads
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(showing 1-30 of 1,468)
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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.

Sep 14, 2013 Justin rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Justin by: Nico Jaye
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
Sep 18, 2015 Meep rated it it was amazing

I loved the feel of the current relationship; easy familiarity, warm habit but still a strong bond, a sense of fun and a lot of love.

Then there's the getting together. Young love and believably awkward fumblings as they find themsleves and explore each other. It's sweet and feels real. A setting of rivalry and coming out to hostility.

I'd have liked to know how Jack's parents reacted but get the feeling it was mostly indifference.

What stands out is the bravery, the being there and stand
Aug 16, 2011 Ami rated it it was amazing
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
Britta ★ Nachteule ★

***Read as part of the free Don't Read in the Closet: Volume Two anthology. Story #13***

Wow! Was this really just a short?

Kaje Harper managed to write a wonderful, romantic, and completely satisfying love story in these few pages.

Definetly one of my favorites! Highly recommended.
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.
**** 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)
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
Nov 19, 2014 MandyM rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance, freefic
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.
Sep 14, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
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
Jul 14, 2011 Arthur rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 22, 2014 Vallie rated it it was amazing

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
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.
Feb 15, 2015 Elsbeth rated it really liked it

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...

Jul 19, 2011 CAS rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 18, 2011 Vio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awesome, romantic
What a fantastic story, so, so, wonderful. Beautifully written and a romantic gem.
Aug 22, 2013 Lori added it
Shelves: iowa, dnf

A billion and a half stars for the writer herself!

Sep 30, 2013 Marc rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gangbangselect
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
Nov 20, 2011 Bubbles Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions rated it really liked it
Shelves: free, m-m
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.

Lila Hunter
Rate:5 out of 5 stars

Genre:YA, Historical (1980's)
Publication day:July 11, 2011
Length: 225 pages
Publisher:MM Romance Group
Dear Author,

I realize I'm late to the party, but it took me a bit to find just the perfect photo! This:

The first time is so beautiful, if the one you're with cares enough to make it that way. These two are so young: barely out of high-school, but college is all about finding out who you really are.

Photo Description: The place is secluded; leaves filter the sun. The men are s
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!!!!!
Oct 10, 2015 LexyLovesBooks rated it really liked it
This could be my favourite Kaje book... So sweet and free!
Heather C
Nov 20, 2011 Heather C rated it it was amazing
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!!
Jul 31, 2011 Yvonne rated it it was amazing
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!
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
Sep 28, 2011 L-D rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 11, 2015 Kinga rated it it was amazing
Shelves: boyxboy, romance
I'm crying because this was oddly heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.

Sweet. Romantic. Amazingly touching. Beautifully written.
Wish it was a full novel.
Arch Bala
Jan 06, 2015 Arch Bala rated it really liked it
Loved this short story! :)
Sweet ending. I was a bit teary eyed when Sean was outed and when they were struggling when they started living together.

And gosh, that ending :'(

This one's another gem from Kaje Harper who gave us Into Deep Waters - another beautifully written story! And both are free!!!!
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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.” 21 likes
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