Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ARC Review: Close to You (Sunshine and Happiness 3) by Skylar M. Cates

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.

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.

Dani's rating:

I've been waiting for Marc and Tomas's story. There's been an aura of mystery surrounding their relationship and past. Marc is unpredictable and angry, but we see glimpses of humor and kindness beneath the hard exterior.

This is not a standalone book. Marc and Tomas are important secondary characters in the first two books, and the previous MCs have a strong presence in Close to You. Andrew deals with a tragedy, Owen a rock by his side, and Cole and Ian are surprised in the best way possible.

It's one of the things I love most about this series: the way it weaves the men's lives into a tapestry of friendship and community.

Close to You is not just a Best Friends to Lovers story. It's an I've Loved You My Whole Life story, an I Will Never Feel Whole Without You story.

Marc and Tomas meet at age 13. Marc lives with his abusive father in squalor and often goes hungry. Tomas's wonderful dad has just passed away from cancer, but he has his mom and strict but loving Brazilian grandparents. Tomas is loved. Marc is not.

The book is told from a dual POV and alternates between the past (when Marc and Tomas are teens) and the present.

Seeing what Marc endured made me sick with rage and horror. I understood why Marc keeps people at a distance, why he's afraid to love or be loved.

Tomas and Marc don't have an easy time of it, but once Tomas moves out, Marc realizes he doesn't want to be without him. Marc's been going to therapy with Morgan and knows he has to let Tomas in or risk losing him forever.

This is such a sexy and intense story, brimming with angst, yes, but also comfort & healing.

Marc shies away from intimacy because letting people in terrifies him. But it's different with Tomas. BETTER with Tomas. It's trust and love and forever.

The HEA is everything. The story doesn't end abruptly. There's closure and forgiveness. There's the beach and JOY and kittens.

"So good ... Better than anybody else could ever be. Me and you together—we're ...." Marc's throat locks ....

"We're everything," Tomas finishes for him.

Get the book:


I was born with a reading list I will never finish. 
~Maud Casey

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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