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:
Dreamspinner Amazon ARe

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.

Simple Things by Kade Boehme

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.

Simple thingsSimple Things by Kade Boehme
Release Date: March 14, 2016
Pages: 108 • Format: eARC
Published By: Kade Boehme
Purchase Link:
Amazon 

Carter Darling’s life has been a whirlwind since his mother was elected to senate when he was a teen. From private school to joining the military, he tried to make his own path while making as few ripples as possible. But an injury forced him to figure out new goals for his life. After his parents are involved a sex scandal, he decides to go back home to Tennessee to get some distance and out of the madness.

He didn’t figure on Jeremy Beck returning at the same time.

Jeremy’s finally past the rich boy angst that made for some dramatic teenage years, but he hasn’t earned back much respect from his parents playing in an indie band. Now, his band’s on hiatus and Jeremy’s looking for space from his unhealthy non-relationship with a band-mate so returning home to figure out his next step seemed like the way to go.

Their initial reunion is awkward, Carter still hurt by their last meeting and Jeremy trying to convince himself Carter’s still just his sister’s closeted little friend. But when they open up to one another again and decide a staycation fling will be a nice distraction, they may get more than they bargain for.

For two guys who’ve had so much drama in their lives, it’s surprising to find that sometimes love is found in the simple things, simple times. Who knew?

four-half-stars

This was my first read from Kade Boehme and I was not disappointed. I was looking for a book that would give me the feelings I love when reading romance and Simple Things delivered.

Told from dual POV’s we meet Carter Darling as he is packing up and leaving his current living situation and life that has become way too public. Carter is the son of a senator and his parents have been engaging in activities that have put his family in the public eye which Carter finds contradictory to his life. You see, Carter isn’t out as the proud gay son of Senator Darling, nope, Carter is the good boy whose military career was cut short, got into boxing as a way to rehab an injury and now going to college and yet… Yet, his parents apparently couldn’t keep it in their pants and now there is damage control to be done and Carter… is… done. He wants to get away from it all and decides to take a semester off and go back home, back to where things could be simple.

Ahhh the simple life. Let’s say we will explore that quite a bit in this book and I love it.

I have a thing for unrequited love stories. Probably because I was the queen of them as a young girl and my first unrequited love in the 6th grade is now my husband of 15 years. So, yeah. I love the idea that you can get the one you used to crush on so hard and end up happy.

Now, Jeremy. Goodness dude you just about killed me. I mean, one of the first things you say when we meet you is calling Carter the endearment of, Red. As a ginger myself and a girl with that same nickname AND a sucker for endearments, you had me wrapped around your tattooed fingers in a snap. Yup, I dug you dude and then I got into your POV and, sigh.

I loved the back story of Jeremy and Carter and it was told so well. We learn that Carter wasn’t just the pesky friend to Jeremy’s younger sister Sarah but that he held a place in Jeremy’s heart, Jeremy himself wasn’t even fully aware of. Carter, oh my fellow ginger, your hero worship of Jeremy and your crush hit me in the gut. I have a love/hate relationship for how you held yourself, your sexuality and your relationships in check because of your parents but I can’t hate on it too much, it led you back to Jeremy and all the things you do.

Okay, I have to get this out because it was unexpected… the sex in this is hot. It’s hella hot and hella dirty and can someone give a girl a fan, a drink and maybe some more? Good lord. I love it when sex gets messy, gets dirty and not just the talk though the talk is dirty too. (I am totally singing Christina Aguilera right now…) This just felt, I don’t know raw and real and isn’t that how sex is supposed to be?

Anyway, let me get off that now. NOT like that, get your mind out of the gutter or just come down to the gutter and join me because thinking of certain dudes in their naked glory floating in a pool and what happens around the pool, just took me way down to the gutter of perpetual smut.

Back to the romance because the romance was so freaking sweet. I simply adored the relationship growth between Jeremy and Carter and how family dynamics plays into their romance. The men, they just gave me all the right feels at all the perfect times and I was in love.

Simple Things is not such a simple a story. There are layers to be pulled back with Jeremy and Carter with new subjects to deal with but as we see each one, they are dealt with respectfully and beautifully. This book, it was more than I expected and I now know that Kade Boehme is a wonderful story teller of romance, of relationships and of the human spirit. Oh and again, he writes some dirty AF sex.

 

About Kade Boehme

Kade Boehme is a southern boy without the charm, but all the sass. Currently residing in New York City, he lives off of ramen noodles and too much booze. He is the epitomy of dorkdom, only watching TV when Rachel Maddow or one of his sports teams is on. Most of his free time is spent dancing, arguing politics or with his nose in a book. He is also a hardcore Britney Spears fangirl and has an addiction to glitter.

It was after writing a short story about boys who loved each other for a less than reputable adult website that he found his true calling, and hopefully a bit more class. He hopes to write about all the romance that he personally finds himself allergic to but that others can fall in love with. He maintains that life is real and the stories should be, as well.