Series: Take My Hand #1
Published by Self-Published on 2nd October 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
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?
REVIEWED BY KELLY
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Take My Hand is going to be a hard one for me to review I think. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. I’ll try and explain …
I loved that the author is English (I’m sure you all know that I am too) because I knew there would be lots of English-isms. English-isms, you ask? You know, like typically English humour, English slang words. Things like that. Initially I LOVED those things when I read them in the first couple of chapters but then they were in the story all the time and it started to feel over-done.
I always love it when the female main character has a strong and snarky best friend. In this case the best friend was Rachel, and I really didn’t like her! She was just TOO. MUCH! An overly aggressive female is NOT attractive! I do understand that maybe Rachel was written like that because of her disability – she couldn’t walk and used a wheelchair to get around. Maybe the author was trying to convey that despite her disability she’s strong and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. Her disability did not equal her being weak. I don’t know.
I have one more MAJOR complaint before I move on to what I loved about the story! My MAJOR complaint is something that left me REALLY freaked out and cringing! Dexter and Emily had just had sex for the first time. It was hot but sweet, he told her loved her, they both had an amazing experience … then he got up, went to the bathroom and got a wash cloth to clean her!! OMG!! NOOOOO!! Who does that?! It’s weird! And I thought the same thing when Rush Finlay did it to Blaire, too! And as if that wasn’t enough they then snuggled up to go to sleep and he FARTED!! I’ve said it already but … NOOOOO!!
OK, now on to what I liked about the story …
Dexter had a secret. I loved the originality of what his secret was. I haven’t read that before. The last few chapters were moving and I had a few tears in my eyes while reading them.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending when I’d first finished the book. But the more I’ve thought about it I actually did like it. It opens up a whole new can of worms and possibilities of how Dexter and Emily will deal with this. Especially after what Dexter did towards the end. I know that’s vague but I have to be!
So, all in all, I did like the book and I’ll most likely pick up book #2 when it’s out in December. If you like English writers, stories set in England, stories with humour as well as issues, stories that aren’t a straight forward love story then this could be the book for you.
“Give me that,” I ordered, reaching for the bottle. I jumped back, for the first time feeling afraid of him when he threw it violently against the wall, smashing it into a thousand shards. I was stunned into a nervous silence and all I could do was watch as he walked over to the kitchen area and grabbed a bottle of whiskey from the counter.
“Please, Dexter…” I begged him, too scared to get any closer to him.
“Please what? Please stop being a worthless piece of shit?” He screwed the cap off the whiskey and downed a sizeable gulp. “Please stop fucking up everything and everyone who’s ever meant anything to me?” He took another gulp. “Please stop scaring you?” And another. “Well I can’t, Emily! Because this is who I am!” he yelled at me and I shrank back a few steps when I saw the veins in his neck bulging under the pressure of his words.
“I’m a fucking monster!” he blared, throwing the whiskey across the room and making it smash against the coffee table.
“Please,” I whimpered. “Stop shutting me out.” He laughed sardonically.
“How can I shut you out when I never let you fucking in?”
“J-just talk to me, Dexter,” I stuttered nervously. “I-I know this isn’t you.”
“YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT ME!” he roared. “I destroy people! I ruin everything! And if you don’t get the fuck out of my life right now I’ll destroy you too!”
He picked up a mug from the counter and threw that too. Then he reached for a plate and did the same. I gasped and dodged and screamed at him to stop but it was like he couldn’t even see me. Determined in his quest, he repeated the process with all the crockery in his immediate vicinity and then stormed over to the other side of the room and started kicking the furniture – never relenting until everything in the room was either broken or lying on its side.
Feeling utterly out of my depth and more terrified than I’ve ever been in my life I reached into my pocket for my phone and started to scroll through my phonebook until I stopped on Jared. Then, just before I hit call, Dexter collapsed to the floor. Without hesitation I rushed to his side and crouched down beside him. His body was crumpled into itself and he had his head hidden between his knees, rocking back and forth and tearing at his hair with his trembling fingers.
“Help me, Emily. Please God somebody fucking help me,” he cried – his entire body starting to shudder. Instinctive I wrapped my body around his and rocked back and forth with him.
“I don’t know how,” I cried with him. “Tell me what to do.” He couldn’t answer me as the violent sobs wracked through his body. Not knowing what else to do, I just held him. I swayed with him. I shushed him. I cried with him.