Title: Secrets of You (Sunshine and Happiness: Book Four)
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 220 Pages
At a Glance: There was no magic solution and big hugs. No misunderstandings spanning years that were suddenly resolved. There were past mistakes and severed relationships, tears and guilt and regret. But there were also memories and happiness, new beginnings and changes for the best.
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: It’s never easy to find redemption.
Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love. It’s not something he will consider… until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.
Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?
While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.
Review: Let me start by saying that this book can be read as a standalone even though it’s the fourth in the series. I haven’t read any of the previous ones, and I had no problem following along. However, the characters of the other three books do make appearances here so if you already know them, you’ll like seeing them again and learning how they’re doing.
Secrets of you is a fitting title for this one. One of the characters is a very private and remote person. He’s been keeping things about his past a secret from everyone else, but as the book progresses he starts to trust and open up. He takes the first steps in getting closure for the things he did, and moving on.
River and Morgan’s relationship was exactly what each of them needed to make their life better and to move on from the past. Morgan had been flirting with River from the start, but River resisted because he didn’t think he was good enough for Morgan. Then, when they were alone in the house, with all their friends away on a cruise/honeymoon, they finally got together. It was not all smooth sailing, as River was carrying a lot of secrets, but they managed to work together and overcome the obstacles.
I think River’s decision to change, and the actual happening of it, happened a bit fast. I mean, it was good that he wanted to come to terms with his past and let go of the guilt that he carried for so long, but the change seemed abrupt. The moment he decided to change how he felt, it just happened. If it was only about changing something he did (like walk more or eat healthier), I could understand it happening from one day to the next. But his change had to do with the way he felt. Letting the guilt go is a decision he had to take in order to get his life back and have a future, but I don’t see how he could just decide it and then it was done. I don’t think it’s something he could do consciously. I believe it can happen, of course, but with a lot of work and time, especially since it was something he lived with for many years.
Something that bothered me is that River appeared as if he weighted his relationship with Morgan, and the one he had with Brendan, and decided which was better. That wasn’t the point of his inner thoughts, of course. The point was to show how different the two relationships were, and how Morgan loved him and showed him that, but the way it was depicted in the story bothered me. It was as if he decided to love Morgan because it was better for him, and not realising that he loved him simply because he was Morgan.
The two characters that intrigued me the most were Ennio and Logan. I don’t know if they already have a story, or if they’re going to get one in the future, but I really want to know more about them. About their past and about their future (if they have one). They could just have been secondary characters, but I hope that’s not the case. The little bits we learn about them, here, were very intriguing, and it would be great to learn their full story.
I really liked that there was not a perfect solution with the issues they had with their families. Their relationships with their family members were complicated, they would continue to be so, and that was something they accepted and decided they could live with. There was no magic solution and big hugs. No misunderstandings spanning years that were suddenly resolved. There were past mistakes and severed relationships, tears and guilt and regret. But there were also memories and happiness, new beginnings and changes for the best. There was sadness and there was love. And that’s just the way it was.
Secrets of You is a 3.5 stars book for me.
You can buy Secrets of You here: