Publisher/Date: CreateSpace, Dec. 2013
*cues Vivian Green’s Emotional Rollercoaster as background music*
Who can resist heartfelt apologies, declarations of undying love, and spine-tingling sex? Certainly not Sherry “Cherry” Milton, star of Renee Cronin’s TASTES LIKE CHERRY.
Her ex-fiancé, Anya Prye, is pulling out all the stops to win her back.
But six months ago, Cherry was blindsided by Anya’s admission that things were moving too fast – four months before they were scheduled to be married. After two years, she knew their relationship was headed to for better or worse, and the worst happened: Anya became the stud she had to get over.
Fast forward to present day, and 27-year-old Cherry is almost whole. Yet with one one out of the blue phone call comes Anya confessing her mistake in leaving Cherry. She’s back in Boston determined to assuage the pain left by her abrupt departure, and will do anything to have Cherry as her wife.
Told in the lovers’ alternating voices, this is where Tastes Like Cherry becomes a merry-go-round of emotion. I’ll say this: some women might be flattered by an ex stealing her heart again, especially if the torch was never really extinguished between them. She’s the one who never faded completely from that woman’s heart, continuing to be at home in those crevices and cracks. For Cherry, even with anger still brimming, Anya is that woman.
And Anya knows what she lost. Cherry is a catch. The criminal justice professor woos and works Cherry’s body like no one else, as proven by the stirring encounters Cronin writes with sensuous strokes. But Anya suffers from the “water runs dry” syndrome, and Cherry has to decide whether love can truly be rekindled with someone who broke your spirit in a million pieces.
And it’s not as if Cherry doesn’t have other options or distractions. There’s a co-worker whom she finds adorable, and a night out with homegirls gives her the chance to meet a couple of promising new love interests. Her work as a clinician gives her life meaning. And her friends provide her laughs and opportunities to dance all night, one of Cherry’s favorite hobbies.
Just like Cherry, though, I got caught up in Anya’s admissions of guilt. Every love scene had me rooting for a happy ever after, and every tear they shed made me second guess whether these two can make it last.
I really enjoyed both Cherry and Anya as realistic characters in a typical romantic quandry. While some subplots weren’t tied up enough for me, Cronin has a fresh voice as a writer, and when her sequel to Tastes Like Cherry arrives, I’ll want to see where Cherry and Anya go from here.
Reviewed March 2014