Title: Close to You (Sunshine and Happiness #3)
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 28th 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 248 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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.
Dude, we finally got Tomas and Marc’s story! I have been wondering what occurred between them since book one. I’m so happy that their story lived up to the anticipation of waiting for it.
The love that these men have for each other is swoon worthy. I found myself putting my iPad down, taking a deep breath, then highlighting quotes before being able to continue reading. Great stuff that every romance junkie like myself appreciates, I tell you.
*The care that was taken to tell us their complete story. Their story had to be told from the beginning, and I appreciated how thought out it was and not rushed.
*The main characters. Great development of both men.
*The story is narrated from both POVs giving the readers an insight into what both men were feeling and their decision making.
*The intensity of their love and devotion for each other. Sigh.♥
*And their HEA. I was so happy for them to be finally together the way they were destined to.
My only criticism would be the way the flashbacks were handled. For Tomas and Marc’s love story to be told correctly, we had to be taken back to their childhood. There were quite a few flashbacks- which I don’t like- but understood why they were needed. I just wish that there had been some indication given when were going back to the past. We’d be in the present, turn the page and I’d be thinking we’re still in the present, but we’d been taken back to the past. My brain would have to readjust and remember where the past had been left off last time. I found it a little distracting and disruptive to the story flow. I think this criticism is all about personal preference, though.
As far as this being book 3 in the series- can it be read as a standalone? Definitely no. All these characters are intertwined and with each book, we are being set up for the next protagonists. Which by the way- I can’t freakin’ wait for River’s book!!! And Morgan better be his love interest!!!
All in all, this is another winner for Skylar M. Cates. She did a splendid job with this friends to lovers, second chance story. This was simply a beautiful. 4.5 Stars.