Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Lovers, Losers, and You
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Series: Sunshine and Happiness #2
Heroes: Owen King/Andrew Teagan
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 220 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 11, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: How can you lose one dream and still find another?
Owen King is a lonely history teacher who wants to be braver. So when Owen learns about the deceased brother he never met, he breaks free of his safety net and risks answers. Despite his loving, adopted family, Owen wonders if there are missing pieces inside of him. Visiting the seaside town of Ocean Vista, where his brother lived and died, will be no vacation.
Andrew Teagan wants to be a winner. After being dumped by his last boyfriend, Andrew is through letting others dictate his life. To prove that dreams are possible, he’s going after his ambitions full force. Having signed on for a cooking reality show, Andrew’s ready to make his small café into a sizzling success.
When Andrew aids Owen on the beach, what starts off as an act of kindness turns into a hot temptation. But can a sweet budding romance survive when the time comes for Owen to leave town? Both men must learn to trust each other if their love will conquer the miles between them.
Review: In book one, we met Andrew as a replacement in the house after Brendan died. He owns his own café, has a brother and a sister who live nearby and a mother who relies too heavily on him. He’s just gotten out of a relationship where his boyfriend begrudged him the time he spent at work and he’s recently been accepted to a reality-TV cooking show for a chance to win some money to help his café grow.
Owen is Brendan’s half-brother, but the two never got to meet. Cole was conversing with Owen via mail and finally managed to convince Owen to come meet the family that Brendan created with the guys from the house. He teaches at the private school he attended as a child, but is questioning his current contract as a morality clause has been suddenly tacked on. He is also a dedicated big brother to his special needs sister who still lives at home, near his school.
In a flurry of co-incidences, Owen and Andrew meet without knowing they share a connection through Cole first at the beach, later at a bar and finally at the house. They had a spark of attraction at first on the beach, shared a kiss at the bar and then finally admitted to wanting something more even though they know their time together may be very short.
Their relationship moves from simmering to sizzling very quickly as they realize just how easy it is to be with one another. They just click. They know the distance is going to be a problem but they resolve to work things out.
In the end, after an intense week together and several weeks of doing things at a distance, they have to decide where their priorities lie and what can they live without?
In contrast to book one, this book has almost no angst – at least not about the two men coming together. They move from “just met” to “can’t live without one another” rapidly, but also in a way that seems really organic and authentic.
There is a bit of drama surrounding Brendan’s family and Owen looking similar to Brendan. The cooking show adds some tension, but doesn’t overwhelm the plot. The morality clause ends up being almost a non-issue.
In the end, this is a story of two men falling in love over a week and agreeing to take a chance on that love. It was simple and sweet and sometimes sexy, but low on angst.
There are a lot of seeds being placed for future books: Morgan and River; Tomas and Marc – both couples I hope to see in future books- and we get to spend a bit more time with Ian and Cole being ridiculously cute and in love.
I always enjoy Skylar Cates’ writing style – it is smooth, crisp and effortless. Her characters are well-developed and three-dimensional. She has a way of making the reader feel deeply, it’s her forte, and she excels at that in this story.
Fans of the series and the author won’t be disappointed with this book, and I think it does well as a stand-alone, too.
I highly recommend this book, series and author. I give it 4.5 of 5 stars, subtracting only a bit because I’d have liked to have seen the couple together when not under the stress of the cooking show or under the tension of the impending board meeting.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*