Review: Secrets of You (Sunshine and Happiness #4) by Skylar M. Cates

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.

This series is a favorite of mine. I like that it is named Sunshine and Happiness because for the majority of the books, it’s quite the opposite but when life is dark, all you want is to bask in the contented light.

My heart hurt for River when we met him in Here for You. When we get more of River and meet Morgan in Lovers, Losers and You, I said… “I really hope that my dear sweet, yet sexy Morgan realizes who saved him… the man who smells of leather and oranges… the man on the motorcycle who is brooding over Brendan’s death and OMG! They better get a damn book because I need it. It has to be those two, HAS TO BE!” And that brings us to the present and me finally getting River’s book – WITH MORGAN - and waiting with bated breath to see how this all works out.

I won’t lie, I came into this book with high hopes. River has been this brooding and mysterious character who we know is mourning the loss of Brendan and the relationship no one knew even existed. I’ve had this book for some time but I had to be sure my angst whore was ready… My heart a mess before I even opened the book and then, I did.


This book did not disappoint at all. It had everything and more than I could have hope for with two men who yeah, have secrets but are looking to lay them all on the table for love.

Goodness. Let’s see if rambling Red can review this with a bit of sense?

Told from the dual POV (thank Jeebus) of River and Morgan we begin the story as Morgan is moving into what I now call the Ocean Vista house of gay love and relationships because really, it’s true and it’s magical. Morgan has had a crush on River since he met him and little does our lithe design studying boy know, River has been crushing right back. But everyone is warning Morgan off his crush, worried that River will hurt Morgan with his dark and brooding ways so Morgan tries to play it cool. Try, being the operative word.

Of course we have everyone from the first three books in this one and the housemates are gearing up to attend Cole and Ian’s wedding on a cruise ship. Their honeymoon is also on the cruise ship and they have invited the boys to come along and celebrate. Marc and Tomas have planned to go and then Owen and Andrew decide last minute as well which leaves… Morgan and River alone, in the house, for a total of 14 days. Yeah, there is no way something could happen between two housemates with off the charts hot chemistry that burned my fingers through my Nook. Nothing. At. All. *grins*

I absolutely adore being in River’s head. It’s just about as angsty, anti-heroic and stupidly swoony as I thought it would be. I loved getting to see Morgan through his eyes and how much he wanted to have a relationship with him but was terrified. I hated seeing how hurt he was by Brendan’s actions with their secret relationship and how he thinks he is cursed to lose everyone he loves. River is troubled by his past and the possibility of it hurting Morgan weighed on my heart. River is such a good man, he truly is and he deserves someone who sees through all his bullshit, over his walls and straight to the heart of the oh so sexy mechanic.

And then there is Morgan, who I now will call my yoga buddy because I too have put on Prince to get down on my mat for some freaking cosmic centering. We know from the previous books that Morgan has been assaulted and that he was rescued by someone smelling of orange and leather. We know that it’s totally River but Morgan doesn’t have a clue. I loved that he was so open with River and really gave all of himself to the budding romance between them, even when River tried to deny it was happening. These two are such an amazing couple and that first kiss was gorgeous. Ugh. They just about killed me with the UST and turned me into a puddle when they finally gave in.

There is a sort of third wheel in this romance and it comes in the form of a ghost; Brendan. He’s present because he was a housemate, a friend, Owen’s brother and a fuck buddy to River but he is also competition to Morgan, or so he believes. It was heartbreaking to watch Morgan go through the emotions about Brendan and not have the courage or really feel the right to ask River what he needed to know. I am one of those readers who doesn’t mind miscommunication in her romance because it can lead to some big emotional scenes of revelation and let me tell you, this one is goo worthy.

Can I wrap these two up in the biggest hug? I mean, I love them. They are fun when they flirt, they are adorable when they’re being domestic, hot AF when they’re in bed or anywhere else and they are amazing when they both let down their walls to be honest about their feelings.

Getting River’s past was bittersweet. I have been wondering what he was hiding and the angst of his deal with Brendan was only the beginning. He’s not had the best of things but I loved the character growth and maturity we see in him with this book. The first half was so much fun with the boys getting to a comfortable point with one another and the second half was an emotional journey that had me unable to stop reading to see how they would work this out. I will just say both River and Morgan came through with respect and understanding and it was gorgeous to see it all come to fruition.

I like that though this was angsty, but not as much as I originally expected, the author added in moments of humor that fit this couple well. How they tell their housemates and friends they are together made me chuckle and the end was perfect and fitting for Morgan and River.

I am curious about a character that we met while picking out the Charity River would give the insurance money from Brendan’s accident to and whom Marc knows. Will he be a new housemate? Will he get a story? Also, will Logan ever reach out to Ennio because that just about broke my heart as well.

Sigh. Okay. I think I have rambled enough.

Secrets of You is by far my favorite in the series and if you can’t tell, I loved the hell out of it! I liked River so much when I first met him and knew he deserved to find a love that would last a lifetime and I couldn’t be happier that it’s Morgan.

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