Author: Chris Scully
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 30, 2016
Page Count: Novella
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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.
In high school, Louie had a huge crush on Peter, who was a football jock with plenty of girlfriends. Fifteen years later, Peter works in his family’s restaurant, lives at home, and wonders what happened to the boy who going to leave his close-knit family and neighborhood to see the world and become his own man. As he sees his best friends Adam and Joe (characters from “Inseparable” and When Adam Kissed Me) blissfully in love, he wonders if he’ll ever get the chance to be truly happy.
Peter and Louie find themselves spending time together as Louie’s sister, Demetra, cancels date after date, and Peter soon realizes there is a good reason why “Picky Pete” has never found a nice Greek girl to settle down with. The focus of the plot is on Peter and Louie’s growing relationship, but there are numerous tangents that felt like they dragged down the pace of the book such as
- Kelly, Demetra, Andre, conflict between Peter and his father with marketing ideas for the restaurant, Elaine and her husband’s marital problems, Peter possibly changing jobs, Peter’s mother’s hatred of Louie, etc.
You can feel the attraction between Peter and Louie, but it’s, as Peter says “… not just in a “I want to jump your bones” way, but a “I want to come home to you every night” way. And, while there is a HEA, I feel several characters had 180 degrees turn-arounds that seemed unrealistic. But at the heart of this story is a sweet romance about two people who get a second chance to be happy and who doesn’t like that?