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 those under 18 due to language, sexual content and explicit drug use)
Nicola Haken has undoubtedly taken my breath away with both Take My Hand (Taking Chances, #1) and Hold On Tight (Taking Chances, #2). I have fallen under her spell and am completely committed to finishing this series and any other books she releases!!! These books are raw and gritty. They’re incredibly real and oftentimes ugly. The struggles both Emily and Dexter endure make these books both beautiful and heartbreaking. I went through a roller coaster ride of emotions while facing some ugly truths about addiction and self worth. This book gives you a hard and fast reality check. It goes to show you just how easy someone can go from 0 to 10 and just how far one can be pushed before they wake up and say enough is enough. This is no usual love story though their romance is one you cling onto…tightly while hoping for the best. You won’t be sure of the outcome and I will say Nicola cleverly leaves this book in a similar fashion as Take My Hand…with your mouth open searching for the next page!
So what did I really think?
Let’s start with Emily shall we? She is undoubtedly one of the sweetest, most loving people, but she is also incredibly stubborn. She’s so wrapped up with Dexter and his problems that she fails to see her own shortcomings. She pushes everyone aside to tend to Dexter forgetting they may in fact need her as well. I understood her need to stand by her man and all, but she hid from everyone while trying to be the supportive and loving girlfriend. I didn’t actually feel the problem was that she did these things, in fact, I think it is actually what makes her human. My issue is that a lot of her issues were still unresolved. I know, I know, there will be a third book, but Emily just had a way about her that got to me. I loved how the author exposed Emily’s faults while still remaining committed to Dexter and his troubles.
Most people become so engulfed with their own lives, they often fail to recognize the problems others are experiencing. I think this is what I like about Nicola Haken’s writing. She’s raw and not afraid to speak truth. She isn’t afraid to push boundaries and is able to create a passionate and beautiful romance amid turmoil. Her characters are often incredibly flawed with real issues that affect not only them, but everyone in their lives.
Dexter, boy oh boy, did Dexter do a number on my head and my heart. I fell in love with him, but then he went and trampled all over my heart. Somehow he redeemed himself and I managed to fall in love all over again…FYI – I forgive you for the trampling, but I still worry about you. Dexter has an incredibly difficult and dark past. His life has been one tragic turn after another and his choices have led him to what can only be viewed as rock bottom. In Take My Hand, you learn a bit about Dexter’s troubled past and his struggles, but in Hold on Tight you actually experience these struggles first hand and let me tell you, it isn’t pretty. Things get ugly and the author does and excellent job bringing the reader into the world of addiction. This plays a heavy role in this book and I am still in awe of how I was able to envision every single detail as described. This makes me love Nicola Haken’s writing all the more. She took a very heavy, very difficult problem and made you walk through it from all sides…as Dexter, as Emily and even all the supporting characters and how they were affected. This is an incredible follow up to Take My Hand and I cannot wait for books three and four — Lean on Me (#3) and Never Let Go (#4). The story ended in a way that is going to drive you nuts and though I had my suspicions, the ending still got to me.
I highly recommend this book for my new adult/adult fiction/contemporary romance fans. This is an intense book and not recommended for readers under 18 due to language, explicit drug use, and sexual content.
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…
Other Books by Nicola Haken