Twenty-four year old Dexter Michaels has arrived in the UK for a fresh start - leaving everything and everyone he knows behind in the states. Determined to put right some of the wrongs he’ll never be able to forgive himself for making and make his Aunt Sarah – the only person left who still believes in him - proud, he lands in London with the intention of working hard, getting his degree and keeping himself to himself. He can’t destroy anybody else that way…
His heart and his body have other ideas however when he finds himself sitting next to nineteen year old Emily Barton in his Psychology class. Moving down south to find her own New Life, Emily is shy, smart and beautiful – everything Dexter knows he should stay away from… everything he knows would be too easy for him to break. But she makes him feel things he’d forgotten even existed. She makes him laugh, smile, care… forget. Without her trying, and without him realizing, Emily has wound her way into the one place he swore to keep locked away forever – his heart. But can she stay there when she discovers the dark past he’s so determined to keep hidden from her? Or will he destroy her too, just like he always expected?
(Not recommended for younger readers due to language, drug/alcohol abuse and sexual content)
Review—Take My Hand by Nicola Haken
Seeing things from different POV always grabs my attention. I’m going to approach this review a little differently because this story truly needs to be told from both sides…that’s what makes it so good.
“I don’t want to be loved and healed and cared for. I don’t deserve it. And she wouldn’t deserve to have to try.” –Dexter
“I’m nineteen years old and I want to start living. I want to see things and do thing that I’ve only ever been able to dream about.” –Emily
The classic American bad-boy and the shy, naïve British girl. I love it. Dexter Michaels is anything but nice and he’s the first to admit it. He classifies women with candy…I’ll let you decide how they would break down (or you could just pick up the book—so worth it): Marshmallows, M&M’s, and Tootsie Pops. Yep! And you can guess which type of “candy” he tries to steer clear of too…until Emily walks into his bar. Shy, beautiful, and obviously very uncomfortable, but something about her just calls to him. Does he want that? Absolutely not. Can he stay away? Nope. Emily just might be the girl that finally breaks the candy mold…
“That was probably the longest conversation Emily and I had ever shared. In fact that was probably the longest conversation I’d shared with anyone since I moved here. It felt…refreshing. Emily interested me. I think she may be the first person beside Jared who’s not given up trying to talk to me even when I couldn’t have acted less interest in becoming acquainted with them. She’s sweet and timid and too darn cute. I also suspect that she’s never been told how special she is. It’s clear by the way she carries herself – the nervous smile, the way she looks to the floor when anyone first speaks to her, the way she twists the same fiery-red curl round her finger when she’s around lots of people…” –Dexter
Finding a middle ground with these two isn’t easy. Both carry a painful past that neither wants to share; but as they begin to trust in one another, those layers break away, leaving a gooey center with more feeling than just words alone. Emily can’t fathom how she can feel so much with Dex when she’s never felt anything (anywhere) with anyone before. With the help of her best friend, Rachel, Em is on her way to a new start, complete with a list of tasks to tinker off. I seriously wish I had a BFF like Rachel. She’s one amazing and loving girl, with the most badass exterior. And the accents—oh! The accents! I LOVE THEM! Okay, back on topic…Dexter.
Dex is walking on new territory with Em. Not sure how to handle what he’s feeling, his natural inclination is to run. Unfortunately, she isn’t going anywhere; not that he wants her to. Patience is key with their friendship…until that too wears thin, causing a shift that changes both Dex and Em in ways they weren’t quite prepared for.
“As a more intense look of bewilderment invaded her eyes I found myself praying to a god I don’t even believe in to give me a sign that I could do this. That I could have her, take care of her, love her…without destroying her.” –Dexter
Guilt, fear, grief and flat-out selfishness finally come forward as Dex struggles to keep Emily close enough to fall, but not too close that he can’t get away…what he never counted on was that she had fallen a long time ago, along with him and there was no turning back now. No matter what happens, Emily is his and he is hers. All he has to do is trust her enough to stick around but after what he’s done, he’s not sure love will be enough…
“And so I spent the rest of the night I prayed would never happen, drinking myself into a pit of unresponsiveness. By the end of it…the excruciating pain detonating inside my chest, was just a dull, throbbing ache. I’ve lost her. I’ve lost both of them.” –Dexter
WOW! Didn’t see that coming did you? Me neither and my heart broke…on a level I hope never to experience. Haken did a beautiful job with this story, but I have to admit, I’m a little pissed that I am left hanging! Seriously, I knew something like this would happen…all the best stories have that one extra little gut-punch before the screen goes black! The struggles both Emily and Dexter go through are absolutely believable and I found myself cheering them on in one instant and seriously swearing under my breath the next. I love Jared and Rachel (cannot wait to see what’s been going on with them) and what happens in the next installment, Hold on Tight…because I am holding…impatiently…until January.
**4.25 Accented Stars**
Top Ten things that make me laugh J
- 1. Jimmy Carr. I’m not sure those of you from across the pond will be familiar with him but to me, here in the UK, he’s a comedy LEGEND!
- 2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S – I must’ve seen every episode fifty+ times but it still gives me the serious belly giggles.
- 3. People falling/tripping/stumbling over. Oh come on, you know you find it hilarious too!
- 4. Remembering the day my husband slipped down the stairs and broke his big toe. I’m not as callous as I sound (well maybe a little) – it really is a ‘you had to be there’ moment J
- 5. Tangled by Emma Chase. I don’t think I’ve EVER laughed so hard reading a book. I adored Drew Evans J
- 6. My best friend and sister in law, Keeley. I only have to look at her and I start laughing. Not because she’s hideous, but because she has the same possibly warped, definitely crazy sense of humour as me!
- 7. What did one hat say to the other? You stay here, I’m going on ahead…
- 8. People who say reading is for losers… because seriously, that has to be a joke, right?!
- 9. Talking animals (before you call the psyche ward I’m talking about the pretend ones in movies and commercials!)
- 10. My kids. They come out with the most hilarious things on a daily basis (in between episodes of trying to send me insane)
Release Day: October 7th, 2013
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLES