Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Release Day Review: Happy by Chris Scully

HappyLGTitle ~ Happy

Author ~ Chris Scully

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Published ~ 30th March 2016

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Growing up Greek-Canadian, Peter Georgiou always knew his duty was to his family, for whom twenty-first century rules don’t apply. In his early thirties, Peter still lives at home, dates who his parents tell him to, and works at the family restaurant. But watching his two best friends find happiness in each other’s arms has made him worry over his destiny.
When Louie Papadakis returns home to nurse his broken heart and start a new life, he can’t believe his sister is dating his high school crush, Peter. There’s a sadness behind Peter’s eyes that draws him in, and a chemistry he wishes he could ignore. After his closeted ex broke his heart, Louie is afraid to fall in love again, especially with a man who's keeping secrets.
As Peter finds himself drawn to Louie in unexpected ways, old and new worlds collide. Then a family crisis forces Peter’s hand, and he must decide if he’s willing to sacrifice his happiness for family duty.

Freya’s Review

Everyone around Peter is coupling up. Even his best friend was attached and spending less and less time with him. Is Peter happy? That is a question his friend asks of him and one that keeps rolling around in Peter’s head. Peter knew what he longed for, but he also knew it would break his family. The family who wanted him to find a nice Greek girl, have a nice Greek wedding and produce lots of Greek babies.

To silence his critics, Peter and Demitra use each other to fend off their families. But, when Demitra’s brother, Louis, returns, things get complicated.

Louis was suffering from a broken heart, and missing his ex. Their breakup was because Louis refused to be a dirty little secret. The appearance of Louis made Peter question whether he could come out to his parents and to a community where being gay was seen as an affliction to be sneered at and the person outcast.

Happy is told from two points of view, Peter’s and Louis’s.

Peter is a character that I couldn’t help feeling for. He immediately got my protective instincts going. He loves his parents, but in their way, they are suffocating him, rather than letting him be his own man. Family is everything, but there is something about the, everything, that Peter can’t hold true to. Add in some family health issues, and Peter has one hell of a problem on his hands.

There are more than a few sparks between Peter and Louis. But since Louis embraced his sexuality, he refuses to be anyone’s secret. During the, should they, shouldn’t they? Would they, wouldn’t they, part of the story Peter knows what Louis deserves and due to his inner conflict there are periods of avoidance, which the author writes extremely well.

The pace of this novella is delightful - perfect for the story. The emotional tension, too, went straight to my heart. I was able to see both points of view and was unable to side with one or the other. Happy, thoroughly entertained me, and kept me engrossed.

What you will have to read all about is whether Peter puts family before Louis and his own happiness. Because, no matter what - when or whether a person comes out of the closet, or not, has to be their process and their choice.

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