Counting Daisies by Nicola Haken

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Counting daisiesCounting Daisies by Nicola Haken 
Series: The Counting Series, Book One
Release Date: July 24, 2016
Pages: • Format: eARC
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Dylan Roberts and Cameron O’Neil were good kids. Growing up together, they shared everything. By the age of fourteen they were more than best friends – they were in love. They dreamt of their future, of success, marriage…happiness. They were going to grow old by each other’s side.

But… “Kids are stupid.”

When tragic circumstances forced them apart, Dylan discovered that life wasn’t the fairytale he dreamed of; it was dark, difficult, saturated with pain and shame. Life wasn’t meant to be enjoyed, merely survived, but even that became a challenge.

Damaged, worthless, and disgusting, he saw no point to his pitiful existence…

Until he came face to face with the boy he used to love.

Successful, honourable, and happy, Cameron had achieved the future they planned. He was good, positive, popular…everything Dylan would never be. What would happen if Dylan let him back into his world? Would he destroy Cameron too? Would his poison push him away like everyone else?

“Everybody leaves.”

“They leave or they die.”

But what if…what if Cameron didn’t?

Counting Daisies is book one in The Counting Series, but can be read as a standalone novel.


So this was my first read by this author. I have Broken and started it, but put it down because I got sidetracked. I love the realistic portrayal of someone who is a drug addict. I’ve read a few books, but this one was hands down the most authentic. Counting Daisies resonated in my heart, because I’m someone who knows what Cameron feels like. Only it was a parent and not a lover. I can hands down 100% tell you, I’d never be with a drug addict. I don’t have the strength or the resolve to do it. The romance fades in the background to me. I didn’t connect with them on that level. Some part of me wishes that they relationship didn’t work. I would love to see them go their separate ways as far as being in love. Anyone who knows anything about addiction knows it isn’t wise to be in relationship for the first year of recovery.

My heart went out to Cameron, because he had this idea of his first love, and what he got in return was a junkie. Dylan’s voice in the story was eerily familiar in my years of growing up with an addict of a mother. He talks about Heroin as if it’s his life force. Nothing is more important then the drug. No one will ever be able to give him the same euphoria as Heroin. I’d like to think this story as a second chance at life for Dylan. I think Haken wrote with such sincerity that at moments I found myself crying. It’s a scene where Cameron asks Dylan, “Why wasn’t he enough?”. At that moment, I had an emotional break down. It was like being 9 years old again, at a therapy session and me asking my mom that. Dylan’s answer was so spot on.

Cameron did the basic thing when you love an addict. You believe that you can fix them. You believe that you can help them on your own. In his mind Dylan’s love for him was so bigger, that at any day he would recognize that Heroin wasn’t important. Well being letdown is probably the top most feeling that you get when you love an addict. He was right to have his anger, sadness, and despair. This is the life of an addict. I don’t believe in ever being sober. I think most addicts live day to day with hope that they are stronger for the next. Recovery is a daily thing. I liked Paul. Oh my goodness he was so realistically spoken. Very blunt and honest, as well as Derek. I think the author did a good job with the subject. The romance side didn’t really work. The relationship seemed one-sided, and how will I ever know if Dylan actually loved Cameron.

I look forward to more from this author. This was a really good story, with addiction being the forefront of it all, and the people it takes down with you. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

About Nicola Haken

I live in not-so-sunny Rochdale, England (true northern girl!), and when I’m not playing with my imaginary friends I can usually be found being a slave to my four adorable (sometimes!) children (five if you include the dog, six if you include the hubby!) or binge watching Netflix.

All in all I’m just an ordinary gal with an addiction to reading about hot book guys, writing about hot book guys, tattoos, and Pepsi Max! Oh, and if my kids ever ask… I moonlight as the Pink Power Ranger 😉

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