Giveaway + Blog Tour: Secrets of You (Sunshine and Happiness #4) by Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates is here today to promote her fourth Sunshine and Happiness novel. She's talking about revealing a questionable past. She's also hosting a giveaway. See below for details!

Questionable Behavior

How much do you care about your lover’s past? Do you need to know their entire sexual history? Do you need to know the ugly parts of their childhood? Or are you content to begin fresh and not ask?
Skylar, here. I’m contemplating questionable pasts for my new release Secrets of You. From the title, it’s pretty clear the main character in my new book has some baggage. The question is when to tell his secrets and when to hold back.

For me, the question of when to reveal the past depends on why the character is silent about it. Is the hero hurting? Or does he think discussing his past makes him weak?

A character who does not dwell on a painful past to have a more positive future might be making a healthy choice, whereas a character not speaking of the past because it lives on inside of him might be making unhealthy choices.

River, from Secrets of You, has been avoiding his past. Finally confronting his ghosts is cathartic for him. It’s an uneasy journey for him. He wants to evolve and move forward to his future. But at the start of the novel, he simply can’t do it.

To be the hero, there is always a price to pay. And to love a hero, there is another price, isn’t there?

Maybe that is part of why I like this trope of the hero with the mysterious past. The characters have to work for and earn their HEA.

For example, Morgan needs to decide how patient to be with River during various points of the novel. This is a difficult road for him. Should he demand answers? Trust in love?

River is struggling, but in some ways Morgan has the harder part of the relationship. Here is a small excerpt of Morgan quizzing River about his past. Although he doesn’t get much in terms of concrete information, Morgan does begin to process and analyze the information that he does get.


“I’m a rare bird: a true Floridian. My dad moved here from New York and met my mom here. She left us, ironically, to go to New York City and find herself. She’s an actress slash waitress. But she’s done some off-Broadway.”

“I didn’t think you had contact with her.”

Morgan placed his coffee mug down on the table. “Only at holidays. We exchange cards and talk on the phone a few times a year. She always invites me to visit, but when the dates get close, she finds some reason to cancel on me. It isn’t much of a relationship. My dad, for all his limitations, is here for me.” He flushed, realizing he was telling River his fucking life story. “Sorry, I, um, talk way too much too soon.”

River smiled a bit sadly. “It’s fine. I don’t talk nearly enough about those things.”

Morgan cocked his head. “Your parents alive?”

River took so long to answer, Morgan almost told him to forget it.

“My mom is. I don’t see her much, like you with your mom.”

Morgan sensed the reasons might be different. His mother was too busy with her exciting life and her big plans to include her son in them. River looked like he missed his mother right then, so she must have been a mother worth missing.

“That’s the great thing about living here with the guys, right?” Morgan changed the subject. “They make it like family.”

“Yeah, especially Cole. He was obsessed with family dinners. He had to tie me up and drag me to the table at first, but I eventually got used to them.”

“Tie you up? I thought I’m the only housemate allowed to do that.” Morgan winked.

River leaned over the table until his face neared Morgan’s. He kissed Morgan hard, his tongue tasting sweet as cereal. “That can be arranged.”

Part of the fun of the novel was the slow revelation of River’s past. For Morgan, it is worth the struggle. We all have secrets. We all have flaws that might never change. But through love, I believe we can learn how to move forward (despite these flaws).

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.




Author Bio:

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.



*Brand New * Newsletter! Freebies! DSP Coupons! Bonus Scenes! :

Question: How much would you want to know about your partner’s past? What would you be willing to let go?

One lucky commenter will get a choice of any e-book from Skylar's backlist. Entries close March 11th at Midnight EST. A winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If no response is received within 24 hrs another winner will be chosen, so please leave your contact info e.g. email, twitter handle, Goodreads profile link.

Good luck!


  1. I would want to know things that were important to my partner. Things that could be useful to making our relationship successful. Everyone has a past & it's what makes that person who they are so I can let whatever go that needs to. As long as it goes both ways.

  2. Everyone has a past. I would only want to know the things that might impact our relationship. Otherwise, the past can stay there.

  3. That's a tricky question. Theoretically, I would want to know only what he would feel like telling me, but I recognise there can be things which may influence the relationship, or have left a stong imprint on his personality and that I would like to know.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful book. Take a chance on love and win I hope.
    debby236 at gmail dot com