From the Blurb:
Mort wants his de facto family back. . . .He knows he doesn’t deserve them. Not yet, anyway. Not without making up for leaving them in their time of need. But it’s not easy to make amends. Mort must show how much he wants the Rochester family back in his life. When his best friend’s younger brother, Felix, has his license suspended, Mort jumps at the chance to play chauffeur and to win back the family he desperately wants to call his own. Repairing his broken relationships—with all five Rochester siblings—becomes Mort’s personal mission. Especially with Felix. Felix, who used to follow him everywhere. Felix, who idolized him. Felix, whom Mort has not stopped thinking about . . .
Felix is just trying to keep it together. . . .With a perma-smile as his armor, he’s determined to make his family happy. Determined to be a positive role model to his three younger sisters, while their mum struggles with depression after her kidney transplant. Unfortunately, no amount of smiling can save his license when he gets pulled over for the umpteenth time, and he still needs to get his sisters to school, soccer, and dance classes. The solution to his problem emerges in the return of their prodigal neighbor, Mort. Mort, who left their lives without a word. Mort, who was in love with Felix’s older brother. Mort, who is the last guy Felix wants charging back into their lives. . . .
Mort and Felix. Two guys bound by a rocky past— —a past they must come to terms with to find true happiness in the here and now.
Slow burn! I love this theme and Anyta Sunday is one of the authors that manages to do it right!
This time we have a kind of forbidden romance. Mort is Felix's older brother's (Roch) best friend and on top of that Mort and Roch maybe kind of have a history that goes beyond friendship - it doesn't reach relationship though - and Mort used to have feelings for him. Complicated and awkward? Just a little bit....
Growing up Mort was an honorary member of the Rochester family, always spending as much time as possible with them and finding with them the home he longed for and that his father couldn't give him. Felix took to Mort easily and formed an attachment to him that later on became a crush. However, he was resigned to his role as the kid who always followed Mort around and got to see him mooning over Roch.
I liked the sense of family in this story, it's hard to miss it with five siblings being so present in the plot and a sixth one trying to make amends. We got to see Mort fighting to win back his place in the Rochester family and rebuilding his connection with each member separately. It's obvious that he cares about all of them very much and that at one point he had very strong connections with all of them.
Felix struggles with his feeling for Mort when it seems like they are returned because he's affraid of being a consolation prize and winning second best in Mort's heart since he couldn't have Roch, who is getting married to a woman. It was heartbreaking to see Felix feeling let down and resigned as he witnesses Mort and Roch re-buildning their friendship. That's the main source of anxiety in Felix and Mort's potential future.
The story was in line to what we're used to from this author, so it's no surprise that I liked it. Recommended for fans of this author and those who love slow burn romances.
*An ARC of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. *
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