Happiness for Beginners

  • by Zahra Owens
  • Narrated by Michael Stellman
  • 1 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jesse harbored a crush on his TV series costar, Kaye, for more than eight years, but when the show was canceled and he realized those years of playing gay hadn't convinced Kaye to leave the straight and narrow, Jesse turned his back on acting for good. Ten years later, Kaye is back in Jesse's life, on Christmas Eve - and the eve of his third divorce. Jesse's not sure his heart can take another beating, but Kaye has a few tricks up his sleeve - and a few truths from his own heart - that might just convince Jesse that the gifts of love and happiness are not just for Christmas.
A novella from the Dreamspinner Press 2011 Advent Calendar package "I'll Be Home for Christmas".


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Just didn't work for me.

Would you try another book from Zahra Owens and/or Michael Stellman?

Yes I would. I have read Owens books before and enjoyed them, and I love Stellman's narration skills.

What was most disappointing about Zahra Owens’s story?


What does Michael Stellman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Energy and enthusiasm.

Did Happiness for Beginners inspire you to do anything?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

It has been a decade since Jesse saw his best friend and former costar Kaye. But the unrequited love Jesse feels for Kaye is still just as intense as it has been for the last eighteen years, since they first started playing the onscreen gay couple on a then hit television show. Neither man has had a successful relationship probably ever. Jesse is recently single from his long term boyfriend and Kaye is on divorce number three. And Jesse has to wonder why now? Why is Kaye on his doorstep after so many years? Will this Christmas be the one where he finally gets his wish?

I tried very hard to like this story. The narration was great, in fact, that is why the book is getting 3 stars instead of 2, Stellman knocked it out of the park as usual. My issue was majorly with Kaye. I kind of liked him at the start of the story but the more he talked and the more his story unfolded, I liked him less and less. Owens tried to save face for the character by the end, but it was just too little, too late for me. My heart broke for Jesse, I just felt like the way I interpreted the character of Kaye that Jesse was not getting the pick of the liter.

So, story wise and character wise this was a 2 star for me. There was some good writing in there; I just couldn’t even get a feel for Kaye. Narration was fantastic though.

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- Tams (TTC Books and more)

Good but short.

What did you love best about Happiness for Beginners?

This was sort of what like it would be like if the actors who played Brian and Justin from QAF ended up together years after the show ended since there were similarities between the show Jesse and Kaye were in and QAF. Even their names reminded me of Gale and Randy, one is a single syllable, uncommon (for a guy) name and the other has two syllables ending with the "ee" sound. Randy = Jesse, openly gay when the show was still on. Gale = Kaye, straight dude playing a promiscuous gay character.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

If have made it longer with scenes from when they first met and their interactions while filming the show. But this was originally part of the Advent Calendar so it was always meant to be short...

What about Michael Stellman’s performance did you like?

I like his voice. It's very pleasant to listen to and did a fairly good job narrating the story.

Any additional comments?

There were parts where the volume fluctuated a bit, becoming louder in some parts. It wasn't too big of a deal, but was a bit jarring when I had the volume turned up on my headphones.

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- JC

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-30-2014
  • Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC