A Stella Review: Happy by Chris Scully


RATING  4,5 out of 5 stars

HappyGrowing 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.

Are you happy?”

It was a simple question. Should have been a simple answer. So why was it still rattling around in Peter’s head an hour after Adam had asked it? And why did his insides squirm uncomfortably every time he thought about it? Of course he was happy. Wasn’t he?

He rinsed his hands under the bathroom faucet and chanced a final glance in the mirror. The man staring back at him certainly didn’t look happy.

I remember when the author first posted (maybe a couple of years ago, I’m not sure) the idea for this story. I was soon curious about it and my enthusiasm when I saw it finally published was huge. I read the Inseparable series some time ago and Until September last month. I can say Chris Scully is one of my favorite authors. I like her style a lot and her books are always a pleasure to read.

Happy is the story of Peter, a thirty-something guy in the closet, oppressed by his Greek parents who expect him to marry a nice Greek girl and make his own family. Two years ago he quit his job after his dad had an heart attack and started helping his parents’ restaurant. Now in a relationship with Demetra, of course recommended by his mum, he can’t take this life anymore, especially now that his two best friends, Adam and Joe,  had finally found happiness in each others arms.

Moving to Vancouver after college was the only way to not embarrass his family with his sexuality but now Louie has come back home, Toronto, and he is recovering from a bad relationship with a deep in the closet guy. He needs to mend his broken heart but it’s hard to be home again after so many years away. He’s feeling lonely and with no friends to hang with. Then he meets Peter, his sister’s new boyfriend. Peter and Louie basically grew up together same greek neighborhood, same school. Peter was the hottest boy and of course Louie has a huge crush on him. Fifteen years later a lot of things have changed but some are still the same.

Peter seems to not be ready to come out of his closet and Louie can’t settle for anything less than a full disclosure. Can they be happy together?

I loved this book a lot, it was light and deep at the same time, easy to read and all the characters were enjoyable and real. I liked watching Peter and Louie become first friends then start to feel more, even if the attraction is clear since their first meeting. Although nothing really happens between the MCs till over the 70% of the story, I appreciated the slow burn, because Peter is still in the closet and Louie is not ready for a new relationship yet.

Finally I want to thank the author for giving me  a little more about Adam and Joe from the Inseparable series, I liked this couple so much years ago and to meet and follow them to a truly HEA was perfect.

I’m conflicted about the cover art by Bree Archer. I like it but it’s not really a winner and forgettable. I would have preferred something different.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 165 pages
Expected publication: March 30th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634771397 (ISBN13: 9781634771399)
Edition LanguageEnglish