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)
Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (and dog!). She is the author of two stand alone novels, Inevitable and Saving Amy, and is currently having fun working on her first series with book one, Take My Hand, to be released in October. When not reading or writing Nicola can usually be found carrying out her daily slave duties – cleaning, feeding the mob, cleaning a bit more etc… or watching The Twilight Saga for the fifty-billionth time 🙂
Back on the sand I talked Emily into paddling along the water’s edge. She whined a little, complaining about the cold, but when I threatened to chuck her whole body into the frothy sea she soon quit moaning and followed me towards the shore. I stood still for a few long seconds when we reached it – gazing out in awe towards the endless stretch of unsettled water.
For a moment I was back home. I was alone, admiring the effervescent waves crash against the rocks, taking forgotten debris and lost branches with them as they ventured back out into the impossibly vast ocean, and wishing they could take me with them.
“Crap that’s cold!” Emily blared as a small wave lapped over her bare foot, snapping me back to consciousness.
“Quit being a pussy,” I replied, kicking up a mighty-big spray of water her way. She jumped away from me quicker than if I’d just pulled a knife on her.
“Oh my God, Dexter!” she squealed! “Stop it!” she continued when I splashed her again. “I mean it now. Stop,” she added after the third time, growing a little more serious each time. But I was having too much fun. Her angry face was too cute.
Sensing her irritation growing by the second and enjoying it more than I should (I’m mentally stunted remember?) I scooped her up in one swift movement and tossed her over my shoulder, running deeper into the ice-cold water.
“Dexter, please. Put me down!”
“You got it, doll,” I said, laughing lightly and plopping her down into the waist-high water.
“No! Please!” Any trace of humor immediately evaporated from my body. “PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE,” she begged, her eyes on fire with panic. She was all-out scared. Fuck that she was petrified.
I lunged forward instantly, taking her in my arms like a baby and ran as fast as the soft sand beneath my feet would allow, towards the dry land.
“Jesus, Em, I’m so sorry,” I rushed out. She was shaking in my arms. It was more than just the cold – it was pure unadulterated fear. “Shh, doll. You’re out now. I’ve got you,” I reassured. She buried her head in my chest and her body vibrated against me as the tears started to flow. What the fuck had I done? “I’m sorry, doll. I’m so fucking sorry.”
Slowly but surely her body began to relax against me. Then she looked up at me just long enough to say,
“Take me home.”
So I did. And all the day’s fun and giggles became nothing but a grieved memory.
Book: Take My Hand
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: October 7, 2013