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Nicola Haken: Counting Daisies

Nicola Haken--Counting DaisiesI don’t have much to say about this story. I was in the Kindle store via the app looking for another story by Garrett Leigh when Nicola Haken’s face popped up in one of the recommended lists. I love everything I’ve read by her, so I abandoned Garrett Leigh and jumped to see if there was anything new by Haken and there was! Totally unexpected. So here I am. I don’t think I really read the summary. I did, I know I did, but I didn’t really, because I was going to read the story regardless. But I didn’t really take it in. Would I have passed on this if I had? I can’t say for sure, but probably not.

Counting Daisies. A guy named Dylan and his childhood best friend, Cameron. They fell in love with each other just as they hit their teens, but a series of tragedies in Dylan’s family lead to him being take into the foster care system. They were separated for 16 years–that’s quite some time. For 10 of those years, Dylan spent his life as a slave to heroin. The story is about them finding each other again, Dylan’s struggle and recovery, and the maturation of Cameron’s ability to support Dylan–to be strong enough to do it right because it was going to take more love to see it through.

It was a tough read, because as much as I like sad stories and as much as I like reading about people being in pain and having to earn their way back, earn the love, and earn the happiness, there is just something a little too much for me in this story. I can take it when there are stories about people’s brains that aren’t wired like the average person, and I can take the heartache and all the things that come with living with (or with someone with) an unprovoked illness, disorder, or disability. I can deal with all that, but there is just something about drug abuse and the things that people go through when that is a part of their life, whether directly or indirectly, that I can’t take. It’s too heavy for me.

But that’s fine, I can’t be a fan of every story. Although, that is not to say that there was anything was wrong with this one. Honestly, I think the story was pretty good and if you can take that, if you can deal with reading about drug addiction and substance abuse and the horrors that go on in people’s lives with that and the suffering of the people who are connected to those who are suffering from the addiction, then go on, read it–it’s worth it.

N.B. This is also the first in an ongoing series. I suspect the next book will feature Cameron’s best friend and sous chef, Paul, and Derek, the pastry chef. Should be interesting.

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