Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Happy for You by Anyta Sunday Blog Tour

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.

~ - ~ - ~

Set in New Zealand, Happy For You (Love & Family #3) is an MM gay romance featuring two guys pitted together in a blue 1988 station wagon — and there’s no doubt about it, Mort is going to drive Felix crazy.
Can be read as a standalone.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Felix eyes me sleepily. “That’s one wild frown.”

I readjust my cap. “Tailored just for you.”

His cheeks dimple. “What’s the matter?”

“Are you in the mood to talk?”

Felix pushes himself upright, leaving a smear of condensation on the glass. “About what?”


He squints, hesitant. “Define everything.”

“How’s your mum doing?”

A whimper-laugh drizzles out of him. “I’d rather talk about the sorry state of my love life.”

“How sorry are we talking?”

He stares at me blankly. “You first.”

I laugh. “Remember when I dragged you for coffee at Zealandia Café and we bumped into my colleague Jack and—”

“And Ben McCormick. Trust me, a week is not long enough to erase the embarrassment of almost toppling into them.”

“Jack’s the guy I’ve been flirting with at work.”

Felix gives me a standard cardboard smile. Those smiles are pissing me off. His days are littered with them.

I fight back a growl. “I’m fairly sure he’s a lost cause.”

“Considering he wedged his hand into Ben’s back pocket, I’d say he is.” Felix stares at passing cars. “Are you gutted?”

“He’s a decent guy. Hot and charming but mostly just a distraction.”

Felix whips his head toward me. “From what?”

I give him a pointed look.

“From missing us,” he murmurs.

Yeah. From that tiny ache that’s ripping me open.

“Do you miss us all equally?” Felix claps his mouth shut. “Forget it. That’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. No matter how untrue, they’ll swear they don’t have one.”

I peer at him through the rearview mirror. “I missed you all equally.”

“You’ll make a good parent.” He drops back in his seat, and catches my eye, mouth twisted toward a smile. A real one this time.

I want more of his smiles. I want Felix to see what we could have together. Want to graduate from “chauffeur” to Guy He Has Fun With.

Felix clears his throat and clicks his seatbelt open. “I should get inside.”

“Tiffany has an hour left.” I eye the arcade. “We can use it.”

Felix hums. “Yeah, okay. We’re out of parchment paper and detergent. The Warehouse is still open. We can swing by.”

Parchment paper and detergent? That’s how he wants to spend a free hour? Felix doesn’t know how much he needs me. “Out of the car, sunshine.”


“Hop out, or I’m coming around and making a show of opening your door.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a sweet, slow, and angsty family romance. With his mother unwell, Felix and his brother’s best friend, Mort, find themselves attempting to juggle parenting responsibilities while dodging the attraction that flares between them. This is as much a domestic drama as it is a romance. It’s a slow slice of life read with characters who feel both recogniseable and relatable.

The main conflict between Felix and Mort is Mort’s previous relationship with Felix’s older brother. I like that it’s a believable problem – but it is awkward and there are few squirmy moments. While Felix is the main character, he tends to fade into the background as he attempts to support his more colourful siblings. I want to know Felix better, but he doesn’t quite know himself and his self-doubt is crippling at times. I like that Mort actually sees Felix, but much of the story arc is about Felix needing to realise his own value.

This isn’t my favourite of the Love and Family books, probably because of the slightly problematic relationships at the centre of the story. Mort’s transfer of affections from Roch to Felix is complicated and almost feels convenient. Roch’s own feelings are equally messy. At times it is difficult to know how much of the attention Mort gives Felix is because he cares about him – or because he wants to be part of the family again. The story feels realistic, but it’s a messy realism that doesn’t sit easily in a romance novel. The family parts of this book work better for me than the romance elements and I really liked Felix’s mum’s journey.

3 Slow-burn Stars

Spoiler-Free Review.

Happy for You is the third installment in the Love & Family series, but it can be read independently as a standalone with little to no confusion. Slow-burn. Second chance. Family. Forbidden love with your best friend's baby brother/brother's best friend, with an angsty twist tossed in.

If you've read a single book by Anyta Sunday, you've come to realize she is the queen of slow-burn, and she goes far beyond with Happy for You.

As someone who needs a solid story to keep me engaged, when the romance is front and center, I always feel like it's hiding the fact that there isn't much beneath the surface. Sunday created a rich world where the romance was secondary to their character development and story evolution. However, this will be the first time that I wished the romance was a bit more of a focal point, because I never became engaged in their relationship due to how crawlingly slow the slow-burn was in this installment.

To avoid spoilers (something I've been attempting to do better in my reviews), I'll just say there are several facets to the drama, some of it I wasn't too invested in. Not that I didn't find it true to life, but I wasn't as entertained by it as I wished I had been. Maybe it was too realistic, where it becomes more doldrums of life? I'm not sure. I simply had a difficult time getting hooked, where I usually can't wait to see what happens next, when this time I wasn't invested enough to care what the ending would bring, and I feel bad stating that. With the pacing and content, the novel read longer than its page count.

Dual point-of-view, Felix and Mort. Felix has always been in love with his brother's best friend, but one night, Mort just up and leaves and doesn't come back for over a year, leaving him with a broken heart when he needed a friend the most. There is a ton going on in his life on the family front, leaving the guy to take care of his sisters. Felix is quirky and awkward, but endearingly lovable, where I was rooting for him the entire time.

Mort was harder to like for me, because I was such a Felix fan. Unrequited love, where Mort still has a thing for his best friend, who just so happens to be Felix's brother. He abandoned Felix when he needed support the most. As the story unravels, with angst and drama popping out of the woodwork, the slow-burn crawl was realistic yet didn't manage to capture and hold my attention.

Drama and miscommunication and unnecessary angst, I just had a difficult time, because it felt as if Mort wanted to be a part of the Rochester family, and being with Felix was the way to do that, not necessarily that he was madly, deeply in love with Felix.

I need to point out, there were a few portions of dialogue that were confusing, where I was pulled from the story and had to puzzle who said what. A few times, I wasn't entirely sure who said what after trying to reason it out, so I just rolled with it. This was a first for me from this author.

Highly recommend to fans of Anyta Sunday and those who are seeking slow-burn MM romance, where a sense of family is the focal point.

Also Available in the Love and Family Series

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our Made for You post.

Heart-stopping slow burn.

Anyta is a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. She loves to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of her 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.

Anyta writes a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy. Her books have been translated into German, Italian and French.

Connect with Anyta

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Happy for You (Love and Family #3) by Anyta Sunday to read and review for this tour.

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