Erryn reviews Charlie Sunshine (Close Proximity Book 2) by Lily Morton. Published April 21, 2020, 252 pages. The audiobook was released January 14, 2022, is 7 hrs and 54 mins and is narrated by Joel Leslie.
Why I read it: I’m loving this series.
Sometimes love is a lot closer to home than you think.
Charlie Burroughs can’t keep a man. All he wants is a good relationship like the ones he sees his friends having, but none of the men he picks ever work out. Despite him trying to be the perfect boyfriend, the men are either threatened by his looks or his epilepsy or a combination of the two. It’s lucky that he has his best friend, Misha, to turn to. The two of them are closer than peas in a pod and fiercely loyal to each other. He can’t imagine his life without Misha in it.
Misha Lebedinsky is the complete opposite of his best friend. Being the support system for his mum and twin sisters leaves Misha with neither the time nor the inclination for a relationship. Quick and frequent hookups are his favorite means of communication, and any other pesky emotional needs he has are met by Charlie, whom he’s devoted to. He lives a life of happy compartmentalization with no intention of ever changing.
All of this changes when the two best friends move in together. Being in close proximity means that they suddenly start to see each other in a very different light. But Charlie struggles when his drive to be the perfect partner clashes with the fact that he’s in love with a man who knows every little thing about him. And even if he can get past that, can a relationship ever work with a man who’d need a dictionary to tell him what love means?
From best-selling author Lily Morton comes a love story about a sunny librarian who has relationship written all over him and a cynical banker who doesn’t even have it in his blurb.
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First of all, this book is classic Lily Morton. Just the right combination of low angst, high snark, and all love. The book begins with best friends Charlie and Misha moving in together. From the beginning, it’s an odd pairing. Charlie works for a council library and barely scrapes by. Misha is a high-powered executive in finance who can afford some pretty nice digs. If I’d been Charlie, I’d have been intimidated. And I think he was – wondering why Misha would install bookcases for him even though this arrangement is supposed to be temporary. And pondering Misha’s willingness to buy an orange (yes, orange) sofa just to please him. But they’ve been friends forever, so it just works.
Misha’s relationship-phobic. He’s got a busy life and doesn’t have time for boyfriends. Charlie is always seeking the one and has chosen some real wankers along the way. The current one is particularly irritating. When Charlie’s epilepsy makes an appearance, the guy is useless. But not Misha. Misha is always supportive. Always caring. And worried that Charlie’s health seems to be deteriorating and the damn man won’t do anything about it.
Now, this book has a whole cast of characters who made me laugh – Charlie’s co-worker being one. I also laughed so hard I nearly cried during the book club scene. OMG.
But what permeated the book was love. Two men who care so deeply about each other that it’s inevitable love follows. Or was always there. And they need time away from each other to see just how important each man is to the other. To realize what they have transcends friendship and moves into romantic love. (Although having friendship as a foundation of any relationship is brilliant as far as I’m concerned.)
Another lovely book. Made all the better with Joel Leslie’s dazzling narration – he and Ms. Morton are made in snark heaven and this book is one of their snark babies. More to come, and I’m off to book three in the series. I’ve loved the first two, so I have high hopes.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she got her Kindle.
She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams, and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing because how else would she get to spend her time with hot, funny men?
And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.