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Sunshine and Happiness: Book Three

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.

©2016 Skylar M. Cates (P)2016 Skylar M. Cates

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Tammy M
  • Tammy M
  • 25-01-17

The soul is full of passion and pain.

What made the experience of listening to Close to You the most enjoyable?

Finally getting Tomas and Marc's story. Been waiting 3 books for this!

What other book might you compare Close to You to and why?

The other 2 books in the series. It centers around the same group of friends and while they each have their own issues, their lives are forever intwined, and it's interesting to see how things play out.

Have you listened to any of Tristan James’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

LOVE Tristan James. This is just as good as any of his, he always does an amazing job bringing characters to life.

If you could rename Close to You, what would you call it?

Don't like this question.

Any additional comments?

Let me start with my only hiccup with this story, the time jumps. Perhaps it flowed better in the written version, but there were no pre-cursors in the audio so at times, I was quite confused if I was listening to teenage Marc and Tomas, or present day Marc and Tomas.

Other than that, thoroughly enjoyed this story. If you've been listening since book 1 then you are very familiar with these guys. And I, for one, was not so patiently waiting to get their backstory. Friends since they were in grade school, Marc and Tomas have been through it all together. They fell in love pretty much at first sight, but as teenagers, didn't fully understand their feelings, what to do with them, how to react and such. Now they are grown ass men but the same issues that have kept them apart still linger.

I liked the way Cates approached Marc's anxiety not only over being loved, but being in love. Deep seeded abuse by his father still festers in his soul and prohibits him acting on his feelings for Tomas fully. This book goes back and forth between the past and the present, showing the reader what these two young men dealt with growing up and how that past still stifles their future. Let me just say, when Marc finally comes to a point where he can love himself enough to love Tomas, it's an extremely passionate thing.

If you've followed the series of course you'll want to read/listen to this one as well, and while I always recommend reading a series from the start, you could probably dive right into this one and not be completely lost. Definitely worth a listen, in my opinion.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Morgan A Skye
  • 29-12-16

Fantastic narration for a fantastic story

This is an amazing series. Though, technically, each is a stand alone, the MCs in the other books all lived together at one point and are all interwoven in the other’s lives, so they pop in and out and having read the previous books will only add to your overall enjoyment of this book – plus they’re all so beautiful.

We’ve met Tomas and Marc – two friends who are clearly avoiding the elephant in the room – that is – why aren’t they lovers?

Finally, we find out their backstory. It’s not a pretty one. This is definitely a book where you need your big-girl-panties, because it’s filled with angst and pain and separation.

But, it’s beautifully written and Skylar Cates gives us an amazingly sweet Epilogue (my favorite!) to sort-of balance things out a little.

The bulk of the story is written in both first person present tense as well as in a series of flashbacks. So, fair warning, those aren’t always a favorite way to read a story. For me, the flashbacks worked, but I wasn’t a big fan of the present tense.

That being said, it was still a gripping and beautiful book about two men finally finding the courage to overcome the past to find love and hope, today.

4.5 of 5 stars


Mmmmm Tristan James. Man I love this guys voice! He's so, so easy to listen to. I have to say I wish there'd been more done with Tomas' accent, but he did a nice job differentiating all the different characters (there are a LOT of them!). (Tristan does a great job with the other Hispanic accents!) Tristan is great with pacing and at telling the story in a way that makes sense, with the right inflections and emphasis placed on the right words and phrases. I think this is a great way to enjoy this story and recommend it to fans of the author, the narrator and the series.
4.5 of 5 stars

1 person found this helpful