(Take My Hand, Book 1)
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)
4 - 4.5 Stars
Emily is so innocent. Dexter is so troubled. How do these two end up falling in love? Well, for starters…..it began with some good comedy. I was intrigued the minute I started reading it. I *laughed* out loud at so many points in this book. It was so funny to be inside their heads, listening to their thoughts. I am giggling as I am writing this review because there were so many funny parts, but the storyline itself was great too. It was also written with words and phrases common in London…..after all, the author is from there. I found myself actually reading this book with an accent in my head (that would have been funny by itself!)…..did I mention I might be considered weird?? Haha!! I loved the way it was written and the dialect made it that much more interesting.
This book was written in alternating POV, and it worked out so well….I really enjoyed seeing both sides to their emotions/actions/feelings. Emily escapes her very unloving home to move in with her best friend, Rachel, and attend University in London. Dexter escapes his past and moves from the US to London to start over, and move on and try to make something of himself. They both have a past that they don’t want to revisit and are trying to make the best of their lives.
"I moved here to escape – evade the pain and the memories. I moved here because I was too cowardly to face the consequences of my actions on a daily basis. Yet now I’m here I have never felt weaker." -Dexter
Emily has a very quiet father, but a loving one. Her mother is not very loving at all and makes sure that Emily feels her ice cold heart with every little contact they have. Emily moved away from home to explore life….to grow up. She meets Dexter at a pub that he works at and that is where the comedy begins. Dexter has a rating system for the “ladies” he sleeps with (that whole system made me laugh and totally made sense to me, from his point of view), but it also determines who he sleeps with based on his needs at that time. He refuses to allow himself to get close to anyone, ever. When he meets Rachel (super bad ass and has a mouth to match), he had to add a new rating just for her. She earned herself the nickname of Snickers….I won’t go into detail on how the ratings work because I think it adds a great comedic factor to the story, but I think you will laugh! I had to re-read so many sentences because I was laughing so hard at some of the comments made. Emily and Dexter find out that they are in the same classes with each other and get to know a little bit about each other. Eventually, they have to start a project with each other. Their friendship progressed rather nicely and it flowed really well. I loved “growing” with them and laughing with them.
Dexter doesn’t feel he deserves friendships, love and happiness, and he makes every effort to keep everyone at an arm’s length from who he really is. Emily is determined to make sure he sees that he is worthy. We see Dexter’s demons, and we get to watch as he learns that old habits die hard. I really felt sorry for him, but I wanted to punch him! He is SO stubborn….he is, after all, a man. With Dexter’s past, we start seeing some cracks in his façade and he slowly starts to crumble in front of us.
Heartbreak consumes Dexter when he has to fly back home and ‘deal’ with his past. It happens during a point in Emily and Dexter’s relationship that really tests HIM. Emily, as pure and innocent as she is, has a better understanding of friendship and unconditional love than most people do. She was such a solid rock to his slippery slope that I think they worked really well together. Dexter is verrry much the gentleman when it comes to Emily and we see how protective he is of her, and the love scenes are very hot. Very steamy…..he definitely made me root for his relationship with Emily. He protects her innocence as long as he can….and it just melted my heart. This big man, who is so rough around the edges, has such a soft spot for Emily.
I felt this book was very easy to read with some heavy subject matter, but it dealt the cards with a good dose of comedy. By that, I mean, I think that it wasn’t so heavy on the heart….it was a GOOD read, and it kept me entertained, but it made it an enjoyable book. It was a fun read, from start to finish, and even though this is a series, the cliffhanger wasn’t really a cliffhanger to me. It was a more of a “to be continued….” That is the BEST way to wait for a next book in a series!!! I really am looking forward to the next book, Hold On Tight, coming out in January 2014.
I rate this book 4-4.5 enjoyable and comedic stars!
About the Author:
I live in Rochdale, England with my wonderful family. I have three novels under my belt (Inevitable, Saving Amy and Take My Hand) and am currently working on the rest of the books in the Take My Hand series.
When I'm not playing with my imaginary friends I can usually be found looking after my four adorable (sometimes!) children (five if you include the dog, six if you include the hubby!) or studying towards my English Literature degree.
All in all I'm just an ordinary mum with an addiction to reading about hot book guys, writing about hot book guys and Pepsi Max!