This book is the second in the Sunshine and Happiness series and the review contains spoilers for the first book.
Owen has been in the same place for a long time. He is a teacher at the school that he attended as a student and he plays it safe. When Owen, who was adopted, learns that he not only had a brother he never knew about, but that his brother has died, he goes outside of his comfort zone to meet his brother’s friends. In addition to this, Owen is fighting a morality clause that has been added to his teaching contract and a change of scenery is exactly what he needs.
Andrew went after his dream and now owns a café. His business ambitions may have cost him his last relationship as his ex wasn’t supportive of his endeavors. Andrew is now looking to expand the business and offer some monetary support to his mother and siblings and signs on to be a contestant in a cooking reality show. A chance meeting at the beach has Owen and Andrew meeting and the sparks fly immediately. The men then run into each other again and again and a sweet romance develops. Both men are falling in love and want to make their new relationship work, but their lives remain firmly rooted in different states.
Lovers, Losers, and You continues the Sunshine and Happiness series. The main storyline is between characters only introduced in the first book, but there are many overlapping connections and it would be best to read it following Here For You.
One of the areas that I liked about this book was the character development for both Owen and Andrew. There was depth to their characters offered and we got to know them over the course of the book. There was also continuity between the first book in the series as it tied into the story here. Owen is coming to terms with finding out he had a brother and then grieving for someone he never got the chance to meet.
When Owen and Andrew meet, they click instantly and their relationship is simple and tender and soothing. There is plenty of heat between them, but there is also a level of nervousness and fumbling. There is not much drama to their relationship and any angst comes from the world around them; Andrew’s alcoholic stepfather, his siblings, and his judgmental mother; Owen’s birth mother; and issues with his job.
I enjoyed the first book in this series and was interested to see how all of the characters would be fairing after Brendan’s death. I did not enjoy this book as much as the first for several reasons. The writing here for the most part read as choppy to me, which was not the case in the previous book. We do get to see all of the housemates again, but still there is not a lot of further development on their stories. Marc and Tomas have been teased out throughout two books now and we only got a bit more insight into their story at the end of the book. River is still basically off page and spoken of more than he is seen. It became somewhat frustrating that the characters and their stories were referred to so much but there was no forward motion for them.
The men spend a lot of time with their families and the many issues surrounding them and for me it was too much time. The reality show also took up a good portion of the first part of the story. Most of the story was predictable for me, including a good portion of the dialogue, and it became too predictable. And the conclusion of the issue at Owen’s school, I had a harder time buying how that all was resolved. I didn’t connect as well with this book, but there could definitely be an audience out there for this type of story. I would still recommend the series as a whole and I will still be looking forward to finally hearing the stories of the many secondary characters that have been introduced.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.