- Book Title: Counting Daisies
- Book Series: standalone
- Author: Nicola Haken
- Publisher: SelfPub (July 24, 2016)
- Book Length: 376 pages
- Genre: Contemporary, Romance, GLBTQ
- Reviewed by: Erin
- Rating: 4.5 Star
I am a big, big fan of Nicola Haken. Her Souls of the Knight series is in my top 10. Next came Broken, which I absolutely loved. And now Counting Daisies. It is so obvious the time and research she puts into what her characters are going through. Addiction can’t be something that is easy to write and have it be REAL. But she does. She really, really does.
Cameron and Dylan were childhood best friends, doing everything together, including becoming teenage lovers. Until Dylan’s grandmother dies unexpectedly and he is immediately shipped off as a ward of the government.
Flash forward. Cameron is a successful chef and restaurateur. He is happy, loves his life, has a great best friend and family who loves him. But Dylan was always in the back of his mind. Dylan’s life took a complete opposite turn. A homeless heroin addict, he watches Cameron from afar until he finally makes himself known.
The journey Cameron and Dylan take together is so heartbreaking. Cameron wants love to conquer all. But addiction is stronger than love. The story telling is brutal and honest. Not only the addiction and the addict, but the loved one who thinks they can make it all better.
The supporting characters of Paul and Derek were great. They were not simply filler in the book, they had purpose and I honestly hope they get their own book next.
Like the entire story itself, the sex was both heartbreaking and tender, depending on where in the story they were. Dylan reverting to turning himself off while having sex but Cameron realizing it and stopping everything was gut wrenching.
Their story came to a satisfying and cohesive ending. Nothing was rushed or tied up neatly with a bow. Again, just so, SO real. Amazing book by an amazing author.
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?
“They leave or they die.”