A Lucy Review: Happy for You (Love and Family #3) by Anyta Sunday

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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.

It is no secret that I am a huge Anyta Sunday fan, so I greatly anticipate any new book coming out.  This one, part of the Made for You series, had me dithering because I have a low tolerance for people who walk away, especially at a much needed time, for less than stellar reasons.  I wasn’t sure how Mort was going to redeem himself.  And then I read it and he did.  The writing and the dialogue – fresh, witty and never patronizing – worked so well. 

Except there were other things that bugged me here.   I have to say straight away that the person responsible for Mort’s disappearance not only didn’t say anything in his defense when he returned but also didn’t grovel at all or apologize nearly enough for me.  Mort and the Rochester family deserved that.  I am definitely not a fan of Dolores, the Rochester’s mother.  She is selfish, homophobic and truly not grateful appearing for everything that is done for her, particularly by Felix  I can add in that Roch, also, is oblivious to how much Felix pours into the family to keep it going.

The fact that Mort left the family without a word right when they needed him the most – Mom’s kidney transplant – puts him in bad graces with not only Roch and Felix but young sisters, Tiffany, April and May. A year later he’s back, trying to get back the family he has so desperately missed but it’s not as easy as he hoped it might be.  I was very glad to see that because those siblings were Hurt, with a capital H, when Mort disappeared.

“I sent you emails.”

“Christmas and birthday. Each one felt like a slap.”

He knows he messed up.  “I’d given up my best friend and his family over a few painful words.”  Yes, Mort, you did.

The Rochesters have been Mort’s family for years.  He has no blood family left,  “Just an achingly empty house that continues to smell like a dad who never cared.”  He’s back now and trying to earn back both their trust and his place in their family. It’s difficult because he hurt them so badly.

Mort has been in love with his best friend, Roch, for years while at the same time younger brother, Felix, has been in love with Mort.  He can’t do anything about it because he always  would wonder – was he second place, the consolation prize when Mort couldn’t have Roch?  Even as Mort says he is over Roch, it doesn’t always seem that way. 

“Roch loves hot sauce.  Habit, sorry.” 

Roch.  Habit.”

“He’s not over him.  He’ll never be over him…”

Poor Felix.  He is so open about his feelings for Mort and it is so painful for him.  “Impossible feelings that have no place to grow amidst Mort and Roch’s epic friendship.  Feelings their shared smiles and secrets have trampled.” The vulnerability is there all the time.   And the worst insecurity is hard to get over because the one Mort has been in unrequited love with is Felix’s own brother.  Who questions motive as well.  “Roch slinks up, frowning at me.  “Do you really?  Genuine concern shades his voice.  “Or is this the next best thing if you couldn’t have me?”

Felix himself is a gem. He is open, caring, kind and generous to a fault.  And he’s funny. “You’re like, experienced.  And I’m, all like, Elmo Goes to a Gay Bar.” His penchant for bowties, copied by his young twin sisters, is awesome and unique.  I love how much they adore him and they even act like children, not mini-adults!  I hated that so often he took blame for things. “Specifically, neither of us mentions my failures at putting myself out there.”  He actually did and Mort spoiled it for him.  Get a clue, Mort!

There is a conversation between Roch and Mort that made me wonder, WTF? Why is this happening?  Mort does, however, really try to make things right with his chosen family and you can see how much effort he is putting into getting all of them to forgive him.  This would have been much easier had the person actually at fault let any of them know what happened.

This is a pretty angst-free story with characters I truly enjoyed, save one. While not my favorite of the series, it is a great addition to it.  We also get to see Pax Paolo, from Shrewd Angel, who is lovely.  We also get a little bit of Ben and Jack from Made For You, a favorite of mine. It has witty dialogue and while the unrequited bit stings, nothing is dragged out forever.  Just baggage and issues that need to be addressed. 

Cover Art: works for the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Anyta Sunday
ASIN B07WZ83416
Edition Language English

Check Out the New Book Release Blitz for Made For You (Love & Family #2) by Anyta Sunday

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Made For You by Anyta Sunday

Series: Love & Family #2

Publisher:  Anyta Sunday (self-published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

May 1st 2019

Subgenre: Contemporary gay romance, friends-to-lovers, age gap (May-December)

Links: https://www.anytasunday.com/projects/made-for-you/

https://amzn.to/2XIAB0a

Book synopsis:

Ben wants to find a new home.

Twenty-four-year-old Ben McCormick is the primary caregiver for his brother Milo after their parent’s death. A year into the job, he’s totally got the hang of it. Mostly. Sort of. Not at all?

Defeated and thoroughly chastised for his lack in parenting skills at teacher-parent night, Ben slumps away with the resolve to finally get his life sorted: be a better role model, and sell their parents’ house for a fresh start.

But first, he needs to spruce up his house to hit the market. He’s no DIY king, but Milo’s hot-as-hell woodwork teacher is…

Jack wants an old home to fix.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jack Pecker is waiting for the home of his dreams to come on the market in the summer. What better way to wait the interim months than working on a small renovation gig?

Only trouble is, the gig is for the McCormick brothers. And working in close quarters to red-haired Ben McCormick won’t be easy. Not with the attraction that simmers between them. Attraction Ben makes no effort to hide.

But Jack’s professional. Dating a parent is highly discouraged at Kresley Intermediate, and he’d never cross the lines…

Ben and Jack. Two guys searching for a home – a home that might just be where their hearts lead them.

~ – ~ – ~

Set in New Zealand, Made For You (Love & Family #2) is an MM gay romance featuring two guys at very different places in their lives – but both finding out they are looking for the same thing.

Can be read as a standalone.

Tropes: friends-to-lovers, slow burn, age gap, found family

Genre: New Adult, light-hearted contemporary gay romance

Teasers for Release Blitz:

Teaser 1 – Ben:

Where the hell is Block C?

I stall in the middle of a quiet quad, my stomach knotting, and unknotting, and knotting again. I’m already five minutes late, and I have no clue where I’m going. Like, I recognize half the buildings from when I went to Kresley Intermediate. The layout’s the same, but Block C? I didn’t even know there was a Block C.

Jesus, and it’s quiet. Have I got the wrong evening? Or have all the other parents arrived on time like responsible adults?

I breathe in a salty sea breeze and wish I were one of the seagulls circling overhead, that I could better find the block I’m meant to be in.

Mrs. Devon’s going to kick my ass. Unless she’s softened with age?

Maybe she’ll cut me some slack when I explain my car stalled up the hill and I had to drive in neutral—and terror—all the way here.

I can only hope.

What was my best bet? The longer block of brightly painted buildings? Or the shorter, taller block?

Looked like more lights were on in the taller block.

A path winds around a semi-cordoned off grassy-stretch, but I dash over the boggy grass. I’ll take every saved minute I can—

My foot skids through a slick patch, and I’m whipped onto my ass with a wet, heavy slap. I brace my hands against the cold ground, weeds and sludge slurping between my fingers.

With a shaky laugh, I push myself to my feet.

Some days sure are tests of fortitude.

“Shortcuts never end well.”

I whirl around. A dozen yards away, a male figure is casually leaning over a ramp leading to the craft rooms. The setting sun behind the building makes it difficult to see much.

I wipe the globs of mud from my good jeans. “You don’t say.”

Teaser 2 – Jack:

I study Ben McCormick. He must be a decade older than Milo, at least, and I’d guess a dozen years younger than myself. He’s tall, almost my height, but carries the leanness of a guy in his twenties. His muddy clothes stick to him, showing off an enviable frame. His hair is possibly the brightest ginger I’ve seen in my life, but the shock of color is tempered by dark eyes. Eyes that fasten to my jaw, weighted with emotion.

He shivers in the chilling night. The cold bites through my dry clothes. Can only imagine he must be freezing in his damp ones.

“Milo is a good kid.” There’s more to bring up, but first things first. “I’m out a set of jumper cables. I’ll taxi you home if you like?”

Ben sighs. “Thank fuck I didn’t have to beg.” He throws me a look as he snaps down the bonnet. “You had me on my toes a minute there.” He sidles past me, and I get a lungful of his clean scent.

I take a quick step back.

He retrieves a six-pack of Fanta from the back seat of his car and I lead him to the truck. “Where to?”

“Wainuiomata.”

Wainui?” That was a good hour from here.

A small—very small—spark hits his eyes. “I’m shitting with you. I’m in Berhampore, five minutes over the hill.”

He jumps into the truck. His fingers are trembling as he plants the soda between us and belts up—and I’m not convinced it’s all to do with the cold.

Teaser 3:

When I return, Milo has turned around, finally facing Ben. “I don’t want you to sell the house.”

“Look, it won’t happen immediately. But it will happen.”

“It’s not fair.”

“Not got the memo yet, bucko? Life isn’t fair.”

They stare at each other. I don’t want to break their moment, but a twig snaps underfoot.

Milo spots me and his body jerks with surprise. “Mr. Woodpecker?”

I cut Ben a look, and he pauses to smirk before turning his chin toward Milo. I think he might tell him to cut that shit out.

“Mr. Woodpecker holds your Fanta ransom.”

Or not.

I’m close to putting an end to this stand-off and barking orders. If Milo were my kid, I’d have his ass in bed by now, no media for a fortnight.

Not my kid. Not my kid.

Ben reads my face and his expression shutters. “Fuck. We’re pissing off your teacher. How much will it take to get you down?”

He pulls a wallet from his back pocket.

“Fifty,” Milo hollers.

“Five.”

“Forty.”

This is not actually happening. Ben’s parenting is unorthodox at best.

“Ten.”

“Thirty-five, and not a dollar less.”

“Fifteen, and you shower before bed.”

Milo leans over the edge and reins in his shout. “Do I have to do my hair?”

Ben looks like he’s about to give into a frustrated laugh. The poor guy is damp and muddy and miserable, and Milo needs to quit it.

I catch Milo’s gaze and hold it. It might not be my place, but I have to do something for Ben. My voice is steady and commanding. “Get your butt down here, boy. Or I’ll have you cleaning the class bins all week.”

“Fine. Fifteen bucks. I’ll do my hair.” He lowers a ladder and I brace the shitty thing as he climbs down.

Ben crowds close behind me, a block of warmth at my back. He lets out a breathy ‘thank fuck’ at my nape that feels a lot like brushing up against an electric line that definitely shouldn’t be crossed.

About Anyta Sunday:

A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.

Connect with Anyta:

Author website: http://www.anytasunday.com/

Author newsletter signup: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anytasundaybooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anytasunday

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anytasunday