Title: Happy for You (Love and Family #3)
Author: Anyta Sunday
Release Date:September 10th 2019
Page Count: 281
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.
~ – ~ – ~
Set in New Zealand, Happy For You (Love & Family #3) is an MM gay romance featuring two guys pitted together in a blue 1988 station wagon — and there’s no doubt about it, Mort is going to drive Felix crazy.
Can be read as a standalone.
Tropes: brother’s best friend, second chances, family drama, friends-to-lovers, slow burn, found family
Genre: New Adult, light-hearted contemporary gay romance
Trigger warnings: Depression and generalized anxiety (of a side character)
I really liked this! It was a typical Anyta Sunday book but at the same time it kinda…wasn’t, if that makes any sense.
I liked the always present, but never overwhelming, angst that stemmed from Mort’s leaving his chosen family during the hardest time with seemingly no explanation a year ago.
What made it different than most of her work is that the characters are much less oblivious here. On the contrary, Felix is very open about his feelings, it’s common knowledge that he’s been crushing very hard on Mort, and they ‘re even joking with each other about Felix trying to get over him. I loved these scenes.
Another thing I found interesting is that there wasn’t a big mystery regarding Mort’s leaving in the first place. Everything is revealed from the word go, the characters just have to work on their relationships to make amends.
The “best friend’s little brother” trope is done to perfection here. I loved that while Mort was trying to find his way back to a family he (supposedly) let down, and re-establish his relationship with his best friend, he always put Felix first, even when Felix couldn’t see it.
Lots of feels, tons of UST, very strong sense of family, banter and a little (but enough) steam are some of the things that made this a winner for me.
There were a couple things that baffled me a little bit, though. I found the very important subplot with the mom underdeveloped. ?t’s not that her reasons were unrealistic, it’s just that the whole thing was easily brushed aside once Mort came back, and none of her kids (except Felix) called her on it. It should have been a huge thing given their history.
I also think that the book would have benefited from a couple more chapters. There was so much history among all these characters. I would have been able to connect more with them and the story itself had there been a “a year ago” chapter or even some flashbacks. Some times I felt I was thrown in the middle of a story.
These are really minor quibbles, though, considering how much I enjoyed the book and how invested I was in the story. Overall, I believe this was a great addition to the series.