Who We Are by Nicola Haken

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Who We Are: by Nicola Haken
Release Date: March 9th, 2017
Pages: 271 • Format: eARC
Published By: Self-Published
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.

He’s also a good actor.

Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.

At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerising stranger with the red hair and purple lips.

Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?

four-half-stars

 

 

I did not expect this amount of emotions

 

Nicola!!!! Goodness, warn us! Would you??

I was a wreck after reading this. No scratch that I was a hot ass mess while reading this, and up until I finish. I mean, it’s a HFN in the contents of a realistic fiction. This was my second Nicola Haken book, and I’m rethinking why I haven’t read anything else by her. I love British stories, the humor, love, tears and the feelings that I’m able to convey with these characters. Can I say I’m not an animal lover at all, but I loved Marvin Daye. Oh my goodness it left me in tears every interaction between Sebastian & Marvin. The humor was such a great aspect to this love story.

I like being able to relate to characters I read about. In any way, shape or form it’s nice to see some comparisons between fiction and real life. I think Nicola has the perfect antidote on writing realistic fiction. Her characters can be you, your family, spouse, and friends. Its the same reactions through all the tears, joys, love and laughs. I knew next to nothing about this book when I requested it. I saw the cover and a little of the blurb and wanted to read it. Did I expect the read it in one sitting? Absolutely not, but I did. I might not have the best words to describe the story, but I really thought it was a love story between two guys who were each hiding something about themselves to the world. Sebastian has seem to given up on love when we meet him. He’s sure of himself and being bi-sexual but none of the past partners or future to him were able to be okay with it. It has left him cynical and not really looking for love. Oliver hasn’t been himself in years, his love life sucks. His personal life doesn’t seem to be much better. Left custody of his younger brother at a young age himself hasn’t left Olli time to experiment with dating and love. Every little minute is left is dedicated to his brother Tyler who is at the age when he’s a little shit. Oliver’s only freedom is when he’s able to turn into Miss Tique, his drag persona who he evolves into, and lets all his inhibitions a loose while performing. A chance meeting between these two guys turns into something magical. The physical attraction is right their on the page and its not hard to see the love grow & blossom. I love both of these guys for all their faults & flaws. Both guys are hesitant to tell each other about the children in their lives. For different reasons they are scared to show each other their true selves.

I really didn’t expect this book to pack so many emotions. I couldn’t believe where it went with the plot, it was times in the story that I had to stop because the tears were following so heavy. I fell in love more and more with Olli & Seb. I think people will appreciate Haken’s canny sense of realism. I thought the pacing, the length and gradual increases of tone were perfect for the tone of the story. I think fans of the M/M Genre will be surprised by how great this is. I think you should give it a try, and great job Nicola. I so look forward to more of your work. A definite recommend from me!

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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 😉

Counting Daisies by Nicola Haken

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Counting daisiesCounting Daisies by Nicola Haken 
Series: The Counting Series, Book One
Release Date: July 24, 2016
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By:
Purchase Link:
Amazon

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.

four-stars


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 😉