Close to You by Skylar M. Cates

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

CloseToYouLGClose to You by Skylar M. Cates
Series: Sunshine and Happiness
Release Date: March 28, 2016
Pages: 248 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
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Sunshine and Happiness: Book Three

It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.Sunshine and Happiness: Book Three

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

four-half-stars 

I had ridiculously high hopes going into this book. Tomas and Marc with their tumultuous relationship or lack thereof has been talked about through books one and two. We know these two are in love but won’t let it happen. We’ve seen the downfall of their friendship and of Tomas moving out to take care of his grandfather and how it has wrecked both men. We know they have been friends since middle school… but we didn’t know the whole story… until now.

Told in the dual (TF for that!) POV of Tomas and Marc, we begin with a middle of the night call for help. Tomas needs Marc and Marc will never say no to Tomas, unless it has to do with his heart. So he rushes off to help find his grandfather who has left home in the middle of the night and ease the anxiety and pain that his best friend is going through.

I want to be with you. Why can’t you be with me? I fell when we were only kids. With all my heart and soul.

Immediately we get into the back story of these two; how they met and when they first see one another and I was so happy for that. We been told how long they have been friends but I was desperate to see it and going back tens of years with Tomas and Marc was not disappointing at all.

Marc, you have always intrigued me from the first time I met you in Here For You. Your rough childhood had been mentioned but when we get the first glimpse of it, I was a bit of a mess. I am so sorry you dealt with that but then I think all things happen for a reason and it all led you to Tomas, even when you wanted it not to.

Tomas, you sir wear your heart on your sleeve and it has always bled for Marc. Knowing that you would give all if he would just let you love him, even from the first two books, tore my heart out. Seeing you as a young man, stole my heart and my respect. Speaking up to be Marc’s partner was so sweet, even though you had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

…but once, they loved each other. Love in the way best friends only can – fully and completely, without borders.

Marc and Tomas are an amazing couple who have been through so much together and even more when they were so horribly parted. I love that we get a back and forth time jump of them so we know where it all went wrong, how the boys were hurt and how it shaped them into them men they are today. I had a love/hate issue for the back stories because they were bittersweet but so damn worth it. Getting the bits of their past up to the reunion and how it became a reunion? Ugh. I get why Marc did what he did to try and protect himself when he sees Tomas after all those years apart and I LOVE what he did when he finally decided to put it all on the line to get the man he has always loved.

I have one small gripe with the story and that is the tense it’s told in; third person present tense. For me, knowing HOW MUCH these two want to be together and HOW MUCH we know this from the first two books it bummed me out that the tense made it feel more mechanical when all I wanted was the feelings. Though it bugged me, it wasn’t enough of an issue for me to stop reading because I couldn’t stop reading this story, no matter what.

Close to You, was a gorgeous story of first love, of true love told in only the way it could be for Marc and Tomas, with everything – heart, body and soul. This story will take you on a ride of emotional angst that will have you begging to be hurt by these two over and over again because everything in this book is worth it.

 

 

About Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Lovers, Losers and You (Sunshine and Happiness #2) by Skylar M. Cates

LoversLosersAndYouLGLovers, Losers and You by Skylar M. Cates
Series: Sunshine and Happiness
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Pages: 220 • Format: eBook
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon ARe

How can you lose one dream and still find another?

Owen King is a lonely history teacher who wants to be braver. So when Owen learns about the deceased brother he never met, he breaks free of his safety net and risks answers. Despite his loving, adopted family, Owen wonders if there are missing pieces inside of him. Visiting the seaside town of Ocean Vista, where his brother lived and died, will be no vacation.

Andrew Teagan wants to be a winner. After being dumped by his last boyfriend, Andrew is through letting others dictate his life. To prove that dreams are possible, he’s going after his ambitions full force. Having signed on for a cooking reality show, Andrew’s ready to make his small café into a sizzling success.

When Andrew aids Owen on the beach, what starts off as an act of kindness turns into a hot temptation. But can a sweet budding romance survive when the time comes for Owen to leave town? Both men must learn to trust each other if their love will conquer the miles between them.

four-stars

We met Owen in book one as the brother of the housemate who passed away, Brendan. Owen never had the chance to meet his brother but through letters from Cole, Brendan’s house mate and friend he learns bits and pieces. When a morality clause shows up in Owen’s life and makes him question his employment, he takes a strip to the small Florida beach town of Ocean Vista to finally take Cole up on his offer to visit and learn more about Brendan.

Here in Florida he could find out a few things about his brother. He loved his family, but a part of him wondered about who he was. Most of all, he could sort out what to do about St. James Academy and their new contract while he was away.

We met Andrew in book one as well, being the handsome but relationship troubled owner of the local cafe where Cole liked to get his coffee and deny his attraction to Ian. Andrew is now the housemate replacement for Cole, now that Cole has moved out to live with his boyfriend, Ian. The housemates are still in turmoil and grieving over the loss of Brendan and the new editions of Andrew and Sandy. But that can’t get Andrew down, because has an opportunity to compete in  a reality show, Café Battles that will not only get his small business, The Busy Day Café, recognition but win a small chunk of change that can change his life.

When a chance encounter on the beach brings Owen and Andrew together, things start getting good.

I liked that Andrew didn’t recognize Owen how the rest of the house did when they first meet him, as the second coming of Brendan. I felt awful for Owen as the “family” asked and compared him to the dead brother her never knew, though I got it – they wanted a piece of their friend back – but it felt disrespectful at the same time. I was thankful that Andrew saw Owen and took him for the man standing in front of him, not as the ghost of Brendan.

“I just came by at the right moment.”

“Kindness is more than chance.”

Owen’s self-discovery through finding Andrew was lovely to read and Andrew’s view on the world with Owen by his side was breathtaking. These two were amazing together and I loved watching them fall quickly in love. I ached for them with the decisions they had to make and I cheered with each victory that arrived because of it.

What I also love about this and what I love about series where each book features a different couple YET implores upon side characters to strengthen the series, was more of Ian and Cole and more of Marc and Tomas.

*whistles*

Marc and Tomas are going to hurt my poor romantic heart and hurt it so damn good. Oh and um, I am behind with reading so I really hope that my dear sweet, yet sexy Morgan realizes who saved him… the man who smells of leather and oranges… the man on the motorcycle who is brooding over Brendan’s death and OMG! They better get a damn book because I need it. It has to be those two, HAS TO BE!

… how lucky it was that he’d run into him again, almost as if their paths had been destined to entwine once more.

Back to Owen and Andrew. The men were sexy and sweeter than Andrew’s brownie centered cookies. There was not a thing I disliked about the growth of their relationship or the intimacy they developed so fierce and quick. I adored them and how strongly they felt about their family and I fell in love with them as they fell in love with each other.

Lovers, Losers and You was a sweet as pie romance with a side of sexy and an amazing gaggle of friends who need me to read their stories. It’s a story about life leading you toward your destiny and leaning on that one person for the strength to grab it by the lapels and run with it.

About Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.