Nicola Haken’s Counting Daisies is one of the best surprises reading wise this year. I don’t know whether it was the compelling title of the book or just a promise of a good story that made me purchase this book. Whatever the reason, I’m glad that I did.
Counting Daisies is powerful, emotional story. I’ve been thinking about the story and the characters a lot since I finished the book and that’s always a good sign. There’s the teenage love between Cameron and Dylan, love that slumbers in the background until they meet again sixteen years later. But they’re not the same anymore and although they both feel the pull, a lot of things require a change and many problems need to be solved before they can even think about getting back together again. And where’s the middle road, when Cameron thinks that his love and will are enough and only thing that Dylan trusts is his always loyal companion, heroin?
This quote is when Cameron and Dylan meet for the first time after 16 years. It’s Cameron POV.
Pulling back, I stared at his face, pressing my hand to his cheek to move back the side of his grey hoody. Christ, the feel of his skin on mine… it still sent tingles through my spine even after all these years. He still felt familiar. He still felt like home.
(Nicola Haken: Counting Daisies, 4 % Kindle edition)
This omelette was cooked by Cameron with a little help from Dylan quite early in the book. I just love how Nicola Haken describes food in her book, it just makes your mouth water.
Nicola Haken’s Counting Daisies is one of my many BookBub finds. I love well written M/M -stories and this is definitely one.
Cameron and Dylan fall in love as teenagers and they make big plans for their future. But then Dylan’s life goes into a turmoil and nothing’s the same. He disappears until sixteen years later, their paths cross again. But gone is everything that they once had. Too much has happened to both of them to just pick up where they left.
All the good things have happened to Cameron, he has his own Michelin-star restaurant and he has really achieved a lot. Dylan has experienced nothing of that. He went into the system, got chewed into pulp and spat out into the sewer called life. And then he seeks out Cameron, he’s his last hope to get his life back. Dylan trusts no one, because everyone leaves. And along the way, he has found the one thing that comforts him, that is always there… heroin. Loyal companion that nothing compares to.
Counting Daisies is raw depiction of heroin addiction, how brutal is the destruction that it causes. It is also a love story, how teenage crush evolves into passionate true love between two adults. The book is not only about the recovery from drug addiction, it is about rebuilding trust, learning to know each other after over a decade apart and respecting and acknowledging the man life has molded one into.
I loved how Cameron’s POV was written. He want nothing more than be the one to save Dylan. The love, compassion, the will to fight for his lover… at the same time breathtaking beautiful and heartbreaking, when he realizes that to get Dylan back, he has to let him go.
Dylan’s recovery and gaining back his life is a struggle. Nicola Haken has succeeded to write Dylan’s fight against the addiction so real, so raw, that at times it’s almost too difficult to read. But you have to, because there is no way one is able to stop reading. And it’ll break your heart when you learn what the title of the book means.