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A Happier Hour Paperback – August 2, 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 457 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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"One of the best Addiction books of all time." Book Authority

Readers are calling A Happier Hour:

"Courageous, honest and deeply inspiring."
"WOW! A MUST read!"
"Eye opening, motivating, and REAL!"
"I read (devoured) this book in a day."
"Phenomenal. I loved every page."
"I couldn't put it down."
"Read it and then pass it on to your friends, sisters and daughters."

From the Inside Flap

Excerpt. © Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

A blaze of sunlight snuck its way through a gap in the blinds, drilling directly into my eyelids, punishing me. Desperately, I held them closed. The pain arrived a split-second later; loud and brimming with intent, like a diva making her dramatic entrance. My skull felt like it was cracking from the inside, and every breath caused my body to tremble and ache. Even my hair hurt. Every strand of it throbbed in agony, sending a thumping SOS to my brain. 

Slowly, carefully, I opened one eye. The pain intensified. I was still in last night's outfit, and judging by the way my eyelashes were stuck together, last night's makeup as well. What the hell. 

I was so thirsty, I felt like I could drink all the water in all the oceans of the world. Thankfully, Dominic had placed a glass of water on my bedside table, although I knew I didn't deserve it. I gulped it greedily and was immediately hit with a wave of nausea. 

I fell out of bed and scrambled through my handbag, as I'd done a thousand times before, desperately hoping I hadn't lost anything. In the pale morning light, I found my keys, my purse, my... Oh God. My phone was missing. I tried to piece together the night before. Did Dom simply put it somewhere for safekeeping? I scoured the apartment with bleary eyes. No such luck.

Taking a deep, shaky breath, I tip-toed back to our bedroom. I really didn't want to wake him, especially not with this news. A conversation we'd had a few weeks earlier played in my head, taunting me. "You need to put a security code on your phone," he lectured, "so that it's locked, if you ever lose it." Only, I hadn't quite gotten around to it yet. 

I carefully climbed back into bed and tapped his shoulder. 

"Call your parents," he sighed, after I told him the situation. "See if it's at the hotel." 

I left him in bed, hoping he wasn't too mad. In the kitchen, I grabbed his phone and switched it on. My family were scheduled on an early morning flight to Bali, and I felt increasingly stressed out, hoping I wouldn't miss them before they left their hotel. 

His phone flashed to life with a loud beep, signalling one voicemail message. I held my breath as it connected. 

A few seconds later, I heard my Step-Dad's voice, "Hey Bec, we found your phone. We'll leave it with reception when we check out, okay. We'll see you in a couple of weeks. Love you."

I let out a huge sigh of relief, causing my body to shudder again. I poured myself another glass of water and attempted to drink the whole thing. My body accepted three-quarters of it before calling a strike.

I crept back into the bedroom. Maybe if Dom had gone back to sleep, he'd forget all about this.  

"Well?" he asked.

"Yep, they found it," I whispered, crawling back into bed. "So I guess I'll drive out there later today." 

He sighed again and climbed out of bed. I waited for him to say something, but he didn't. Instead, he headed for the shower, leaving me alone with my thoughts. The place I was most afraid to be. 

I frantically tried to remember the events of the night before. My parents, sister, and her family, had managed to arrange an early check-in at a hotel near the airport. We'd originally planned to meet them there for dinner and drinks, but impatient to join the festivities, I asked my boss if I could leave at lunchtime, and scooted out the door. I sent Dom a text message, letting him know I was heading over earlier than planned, and he agreed to meet us there later. As always, my family popped the champagne the second I arrived. 

And that's where my memory gets hazy. I vaguely remember Dom sending a text message to let me know he was still stuck at work, and "please don't drink too much." A blur of time passing. Two more bottles? Maybe three? Then Dom arriving and encouraging us to order dinner, urging me to "please eat something." But no doubt the damage was already done. 

It was only now, in the cold light of morning, that I realised how ridiculous the whole scene must have looked. Dom and I had been living together for six months, and in love for a year. By all accounts, we were still in the honeymoon phase. Only, his patience with my drinking antics was wearing dangerously thin, and I knew it. 

He returned from the shower and dressed in silence. He obviously wasn't ready to talk to me, so I figured it best to wait a while. Probably best to wash off the smell of alcohol first.

In the shower, I was still trembling. What kind of woman can't remember how she got home, and loses her phone, past the age of twenty-five? A big, old lush, that's who. Under the steaming hot water, I closed my eyes and held my breath, attempting to wash the hateful thoughts from my mind. It was no use. I wanted to collapse onto the shower floor and sob, but my body ached too much. Why the hell did I keep doing this to myself? 

When I finally got out of the shower, Dom was gone.  

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5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite recovery memoir
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and entertaining. A must read for anyone struggling to give up the booze and the desire to drink.
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