Hi there! Today I’m sharing a Throwback Thursday review for a sweet M/M contemporary romance from Anyta Sunday. HAPPY FOR YOU is the third book in her Love and Family series. This book features two friends reconnecting, and maybe finding the love they always harbored, but never confessed. Check out my review for TABOO FOR YOU and MADE FOR YOU if you like these Kiwi love stories.
About the book:
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.
Mort grew up in a house devoid of love. His father despised him from birth, after his mother died in childbirth. With such an austere childhood, it was a miracle Mort found a family to embrace him–that would be the Rochesters, the ordinarily boisterous and loving family of five kids and a mom who treated him as their own. Mort was best friends with Michael (Roch) the eldest, and harbored a very long tendresse for his best mate, but knew it would always be unrequited. Life got kooky when Roch’s mom took very ill, needing a kidney transplant to save her life, and unexpectedly asking Mort to go away and leave their family behind before she had surgery.
Mort respected her wishes and left, teaching outside of Wellington and away from his beloved Rochesters for a year. A year of pining for the only family he’d truly loved. Even while his own bitter father died, and missing with his whole heart both Roch and his younger brother, Felix. But a year was the most he could stay away and now he’s home and wanting to mend fences. At first the Rochester clan is standoffish, and Felix himself is very hurt–he’d harbored the world’s biggest crush on Mort for years, and that was unfortunately why their mom asked Mort to leave; she was afraid that Felix and Mort might develop a relationship, and this would go against her conservative ideas–and her vow to stay close the God if he would save her with a transplant.
It’s a lot of bittersweet, honestly, but at 28 years old Mort is a man grown, as is Felix who’s 25, and neither of them are willing to let the other walk away again. Is friendship all they can have? Would going farther upset the tenuous rapprochement that they have currently? Felix fears his mum will ostracize him if he follows his heart’s desire for Mort, but some firm talk does sort out the biggest of the messes, here. Plus, Felix has a reasonable fear that Mort will always love Roch more than him, and that continually has him pushing the brakes on both friendship and more. I loved the goofy family, and the outlandish characters they are. Mort is so loving to all his Rochesters, but he’s especially sweet to Felix, who feels he’ll always be second-best to his dashing elder brother. Also, he’s a little afraid to come out in general, as he’s never had a date with a man, and Mort is the only one he’d ever dreamed of in those darkest of fantasies.
Mort wants his family back, but he also wants more with Felix. It takes both of them a while to recognize the need and vulnerabilities of the other, but they are both committed to fixing their mistakes and building a family–together and on their own. There are some sweet firsts, as Felix is a very inexperienced man, on top of never being with another man before. He dated girls a little, but not much. His love for Mort is a poorly kept secret in the family, but its such an exuberant and joyous connection when he finally screws his courage up to be a partner to Mort, accepting the love Mort has been dangling out for him to grasp for several months.
We get a couple mentions of our beloved characters from the previous books–Mort now works at Kresley Intermediate with Jack and Luke from the two previous books, but apart from some coincidental contact (Felix was one of Ben’s blind dates gone bad) this is truly a standalone story. I highly recommend these feel-good romances, and enjoyed reading this one more than once.
About Anyta Sunday: (in her own words…)
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, GFY/OFY, 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.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!