Author Name & Publisher: Chris Scully (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 30, 2016 – 165 pgs
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.
When I read the blurb I was intrigued by Peter and Louie, especially that Peter was dating
Louie’s sister. My mind went racing with all sorts of possibilities. I dove right in and waited
to be captured by one or the other, and waited, and waited. This story was sweet to a point,
but so much drama caused by one individual and at himself, that at times, I found myself
rolling my eyes and wanted to scream at him for his lack of common sense.
I did like that it portrayed long standing Greek traditions, and that Peter was trying to
follow them and keep his parents happy, but there is a line or limit for any individual that it
crosses when you are not yourself. Louie made sure he never crossed into that arena, and
he was staying true to whom he was and would not be ashamed.
I enjoyed the theme of the book about “Are you happy?” and that you need to find your own
place of happy and make others happy while you lose yourself. Louie found his and would
not back down. He was himself and the goodness in him rubbed off on others. Secondary
characters of Joe and Adam were fabulous and only added to the “happiness” theme.
Demetra, well, that was one character that I did not like until the very end when she
realizes she cannot put her own happiness aside for others.
Overall, this was an average decent read. Nothing fabulous, but not bad story. This was a
matter of the heart without the hotness story.
This story, set in Toronto’s Greek community, is all about the drama. Peter and Louie both come from traditional Greek families and Peter has spent his adult life trying to please his parents.
I lowered the stars for this book because I didn’t really enjoy Peter’s closeted drama and his elaborate lies. It is difficult for me to love a main character when I struggle to even respect him. He lies to everyone about his sexuality, even his gay best friends. The desire to please his parents also seems to stunt his growth as an adult. He works for his family, doing exactly what his parents tell him to do. This isn’t a new adult story, but the complicated family drama certainly makes it feel new adult.
Like any new adult story, there is a huge focus on Peter establishing his independence and his own identity. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to get excited when his baby steps were happening a decade too late.
There are some really lovely relationship building scenes between Peter, Joe and Adam and between Peter and Louie. There is an incredible amount of angst here, but most of it involves Peter’s personal dramas rather than his relationship with Louie. There isn’t a whole lot of romance between the two leads.
I kept waiting to get emotionally involved in this story, but it just didn’t happen. I struggled with Peter and his family and I didn’t fully believe in the plot twists.
CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.
Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she found a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.
Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.