Title: Secrets of You
Series: Sunshine and Happiness: Book Four
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Narrator: Michael Stellman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 7 hours and 36 minutes
At a Glance: Michael Stellman’s voice work is solid, and the characters are individual and distinct. The way Stellman resolves the tension, both the emotional and sexual, is very good.
Reviewed By: Mike
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: Book four in the Sunshine and Happiness series returns its focus to River, the dark heart of the series. In book one, River has just begun coming out of his shell when his lover is cruelly killed in a pointless accident that sends River into a long journey of being present but not fully participating in his life, or in the lives of his friends. River has gotten a settlement from the helmet manufacturer, but still can’t reconcile the sense that something was not quite right between him and his dead lover.
Morgan, the son of a gruff, single father who owns a macho oriented business of tree trimming, is trying to reconcile his gayness and a past gay bashing/attempted rape where he was rescued by a mysterious figure. Morgan, who was never shy about any aspect of his personality, is suddenly second-guessing his every move because, in his head, his father’s stern voice keeps suggesting that his attack was his own fault for acting the way he does all the time.
Morgan feels a deep attraction to River, and River, despite his desire to never love again, can’t resist the younger, sometimes ebullient Morgan. When their roommates escape for a long cruise, following the wedding of two of their friends, Morgan and River find that even a multi-room house is not big enough to keep them apart.
Michael Stellman joins the series with this installment, and he gives another perspective on the group and couple dynamics. The voice work is solid, and the characters are individual and distinct. The way Stellman resolves the tension, both the emotional and sexual, is very good. Stellman also recognizes that the subplot ties into the main and gives it equal attention. There are few voice actors who do that. Many rush past the subplot to get to the “good stuff”. It is always nice to hear someone take the time with the whole book that a narration deserves.
Because these books each focus on a different coupling, you don’t have to read them all to enjoy the work, but it would b a good idea if you did. Knowing how these characters fit together and their shared history only makes the books that much more pleasurable to read and listen to.
Buy this book if you like Cates or if you are a fan of this series. You will enjoy the presentation by Michael Stellaman.
You can buy Secrets of You here:
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