Charlie Sunshine is the second in the Close Proximity trilogy and I probably didn’t do it any favors by skipping it and reading the infinitely better story After Felix next. It just plain suffers by comparison.
Several things worked against this I think. The author immediately linked books one and three together by the characters and couples themselves. Felix works in Zeb Evans’ employment agency and turns into a great friend of Jesse Reed, Zeb’s boyfriend. The quartet of men was a natural flow of wit, drama, and romance.
But Misha and Charlie? They are associated with the others but mentioned only briefly prior so where the reader felt a real connection to the couples in books one and three, Charlie Sunshine is already flat on the ground, or a bit behind.
Why that last? Unfortunately I think it has to do with the characters themselves. Charlie is almost too perfect. He’s an adorable , highly intelligent librarian who’s runway gorgeous. People walk into poles because they’re looking at him. That’s not exactly relatable. The author needed do something to make him fallible. The answer? Charlie has epilepsy.
This element is well done and well researched. Morton folded this aspect of the story into Charlie’s character realistically. How it effects Charlie and his life is believable. I think it did make me feel that I understood Charlie more. But I felt that I wish I had more of Charlie’s life pre accident so the fact that he had epilepsy now wasn’t just something to make him and the disease, idk , a way of inserting a vulnerability instead of letting readers see a character function beautifully within his diagnosis.
Let me know how you all feel about this. I’m curious.
Misha , the hedge fund banker, is the best friend who suddenly realizes the man he loves is right beside him. It’s a great trope and I’m not sure why again I didn’t get 100 percent into this romance and couple.
There’s the usual lack of understanding, lack of communication until there isn’t.
The characters around them are superb. Charlie’s family especially are tremendous, both dads and mother. So too are Misha’s family of a terrific mom and twin sisters. Plus his cousin Felix.
Morton’s ability to write characters that grab at your heart are scattered throughout this story, I’m just not sure the biggest is Charlie for me. Or Misha. They are good but I’m not sure they are great.
The end is very satisfying, you’ll be happy for the couple. It’s a great place to end for them.
I’m highly recommending the Close Proximity trilogy. Charlie Sunshine is a good way to fill in your knowledge of this group between the first and fantastic last novels.
Close Proximity series:
✓ Best Man #1
✓ Charlie Sunshine #2
✓ After Felix #3
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 hook-ups are his favourite means of communication and any other pesky emotional needs he has are met by Charlie, who 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 bestselling 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.