Review: Strawberrry Moon - Spencer Spears

Strawberry Moon by Spencer Spears
Book 4 of Maple Springs
Categories: M/M, contemporary, abuse, enemies-to-lovers, out-for-you, hurt/comfort

Rating: 5 stars

I am so glad I read this book! I bought the previous book in the series, Sugar Season, based on a recommendation and liked it a lot. So naturally I picked up Strawberry Moon and… wow. I seriously loved it. It's been awhile since I've been blown away by a book! Lots of drama and feels without getting overly angsty; wonderful characters that felt unique and fresh, and their attraction felt completely natural even though they're opposites who rub each other the wrong way.

Strawberry Moon is about Trevor and Josh who are completely opposites in every way, except two: they are both damaged thanks to parents/childhoods that were cruel to them, and they both loved Josh’s grandma and found acceptance at her cabin. The book is written in first person view with alternating viewpoints, so we hear first hand what each of them think and feel. Although there were times (especially in the beginning) where the inner dialogues for both characters were annoyingly self-absorbed, the author’s ability to portray a character’s self-awareness realistically was brilliant and redeemed them each and every time; in fact, it felt like a breath of fresh air to read some of the scenes where Josh and Trevor gained some personal insights. There were no “backstory framed as unrealistic, inner self-analysis”, and no unnecessary “telling”, just beautifully, heartfelt “showing” and “feeling”.

Both Trevor and Josh have badly damaged self-esteems, and sometimes their actions bordered on too extreme to be believable. But the author's gift for writing realistic characters with authentic inner dialogue and portraying experiences turned their choices into heartbreaking empathy sessions for me. I felt with the characters, rooted for them, cried along with them, and wanted to hug them tight (or slap them silly *eye roll*), and I found my disbelief suspended many times where a similar situation would have taken me out of the story if it were any other book.

I don't usually like talky, ditsy characters (in fiction or IRL) but Josh, OMG Josh. The guy got under my skin in the best way possible. He was the perfect guy for the serious, damaged Trevor (who I loved so much).

Another things I loved about the book (besides all the obvious things like a great story and wonderful characters) was that the author made me feel smart and appreciated as a reader. There are many unusual and/or interesting words peppered throughout the book, and it felt like the author trusted me to get it—no using only language meant for fourth graders (which tends to be the norm). It elevated the story in an unexpected and classy way, and has turned this book into a solid reread for me. Thank you!

Strawberry Moon was one of my favorite reads this year, and has cemented Spencer Spears as a one-click author in my books. Now I'm going to buy the first 2 books of the series immediately, can't wait to read them all!

Book Blurb:


Trevor: It was supposed to be a one-night stand.

Josh isn’t even my type. I mean, physically, sure, with those hopeful green eyes and hips that fit perfectly in my hands, he's insanely sexy. But the guy talks too much, tries too hard, flirts way too shamelessly. From the moment I met Josh, I knew he'd drive me crazy.

I didn't think it mattered for one night. I suck at relationships, so I stopped trying long ago. I didn't expect to ever see Josh again. And I definitely didn’t expect him to turn out to be sweeter, kinder, and genuinely a better person than a guy like me deserves. I should know better than to want someone like him.

It was supposed to be a one-night stand. So why the hell can’t I let him go?

Josh: It freaking figures.

The night I finally have some meaningless fun—and, incidentally, the hottest hook-up of my life—I manage to pick the one guy in the bar who I’m gonna have to see for the rest of the summer. How was I supposed to know that Trevor had a competing claim on my grandma’s cabin? Or that he’s the only person who can help me get it ready to sell by the end of the season?

It would be so much easier if I could hate him. Trevor’s got that whole tall, dark, and mysterious thing down—emphasis on mysterious. He’s aloof to the point of arrogance and deals with emotions about as well as a tree-trunk. He swears he’s no good for me, but the more time I spend with him, the more I know he's wrong.

It freaking figures. So what the hell am I supposed to do now?

Strawberry Moon is Book 4 in the Maple Springs series. While each book focuses on different characters and can be read on its own, they've even more fun to read together. Strawberry Moon is an 85,000 word m/m romance with enemies-to-lovers, out-for-you, and hurt/comfort themes. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed HEA.

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See my review on Amazon and Goodreads


Nevaeh Wright

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