A figure from Dexter’s past has uprooted all the memories he has tried so desperately to bury… to forget. The terrible events of his past have been blown wide open once again, immersing him a pool of guilt deeper than he’s even experienced before. Dexter feels powerless. The future he foolishly allowed himself to conceive is falling apart around him and there’s nothing he can do about it. But there’s one thing he can control – one thing he’s an expert at… blocking everything out. Losing all control, Dexter copes the only way he knows how – he dives so far into the well of addiction, the only thing that matters anymore is where his next fix is coming from. Mission accomplished – there’s no one left. He’s successfully pushed everyone away. Nobody left to care about means no more guilt, right? You can’t hurt people who aren’t there… But has he really pushed Emily as far away as he thinks he has? She’s given up everything for him – her home, her friends… her whole life. And she doesn’t regret a single thing. But can she save him from drowning, or has he finally sunk too far?
(Not suitable for under 18’s due to language, sexual content and explicit drug use)
Review—Hold On Tight by Nicola Haken
“I never wanted to go through with it. At first I adamantly refused. I deserved to be punished for what I did. I wanted to be punished. I needed to be punished. But Aunt Sarah pleaded with me. Literally falling to her hands and knees, clutching at my clothes as she begged me not to leave her too. So in the end I kept my mouth shut and nodded along with the lied being tossed around. I’ve regretted it every day since. Maybe if I’d been rightly punished back then, I wouldn’t feel the need to do it myself.”
Dexter Michaels will always be an addict. And for the longest time he has carried a guilt that can’t be erased with just life. He is constantly looking for his next fix of sorts…he thought he could control it, and with Emily by his side it was easy…for a while. Now, they are back in the states dealing with the bane of his existence and forcing himself to face demons that he thought were long buried.
“Rubbing my nose to calm the slight sting, I instantly felt calmer. Not buzzed, or hyper – just…calm. You see? That’s why I only need a little. I’m not doing it to get off my face or forget all my problems – I’m just using it to help me keep on top of my emotions until all this s**t’s blown over. That’s what’s different this time. That’s why I’m in control.”
Except, he’s not. As time wears on, Dexter becomes more and more dependent on that next fix. How, where, when? He starts to spiral into the black nothingness of his past, using smack as a way to forget…even just for a little while. Now, the frequency in which he uses is starting to not only take over his life, but his family is suffering as well. What will happen when the people he loves most in the world realize how far he’s fallen?
“The talking, the counseling, the deep breathing bulls**t…it doesn’t work. Nothing can numb the agony ravaging my insides like one tiny little hit. I know you think I’m losing it again, just like I know Emily and Aunt Sarah would think the same if they knew. But you’re wrong. The last time I let the gear take control it was because I didn’t give a sh**. I didn’t care if I was nothing—if I had nothing. I didn’t care if I lost everything and everyone. In fact, part of me wanted to because I knew that’s what I deserved.”
Getting through to a loved one addicted to drugs is absolutely impossible. There is no rationalizing or expressing your feelings because they don’t care. They don’t care. Not about you or your feelings or what’s right; the only thing they are worried about is how they are going to score their next blow. Unfortunately, Emily and Sarah are stuck in this situation with Dexter. Every day they are losing him to his weakness, his guilt. It’s not until he realizes that he needs to change that it can actually happen…or he ends up dead.
This story really hit a hard knot with me. My heart stayed in my stomach with Dexter’s addiction and how he continued to spiral out of control all the while thinking he was the one controlling his addiction. His story hits so close to home for me, being a family member to an addict. It never goes away…and the fear is always there. The lack of trust that they are strong enough to make good choices. I loved this book. I loved the little twists and turns, the emotions and of course that one last jab in the gut to finish me off before the dreaded “to be continued…”
I look forward to the next story in the Take my Hand series…Haken does a fabulous job of putting you right in the middle of every bit of drama, heartache, trial and triumph. Let’s just hope the next book doesn’t rip my heart completely to shreds.
**4.5 Addicted Stars**
Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (six if you include the dogs!) She is the author of New Adult/Contemporary romance novels Inevitable, Saving Amy and the Take My Hand series. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book friends (or talking about them with real life friends!) she can usually be found carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties. Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…