Series: Take My Hand #1
Published by Self-Published on October 2, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
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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?
Emily Barton is finally free from her parents’ strict parenting. She has gone off to college with her one and only friend Rachel. She wasn’t really privy to getting an education but if it meant being miles away from her controlling mother than she welcomed the distance. Emily is more of an introvert. Rachel on the other hand is the total opposite. She is loud, uncouth and outspoken. Being that Rachel is so shy, Rachel comes up with this ” New Life List” to help her get herself more out there.
They haven’t even been in London for more than 24 hours and she has already found herself a date. Maybe Rachel’s outlandish List is not as insane after all? The List however did not plan for one hot, intense and dark Dexter Michaels. He is just as anti-social as Emily. When thrown together in a class project they develop an unexpected bond that even bests Rachel and Emily’s friendship. What is it about their pasts that makes them so compatible? Read this one to find out.
“All I know is when I’m around you – even now, arguing like crazy – I’ve never felt more alive. You make me feel safe. You make me laugh. You make me cry. You make me feel so many different things and it’s exciting, overwhelming and heart breaking all at the same time….”
I thought this book was quite interesting. I have to admit that I did have issues in the very beginning but as it moved on the characters and the story in general grew on me.
I found Emily’s character very impressive. I loved her personality and thought that she was pretty mature for her age. She had a way with words. When Dex was down, she always knew the right things to say…
“Anyone can get lost on the wrong path, Dex. It’s whether you have the courage to turn around that’s important.”
I enjoyed the slow development of Emily and Dexter’s relationship. They started out as friends then became something more. Even when they spent so much time together it never felt forced or rushed. Knowing Dexter’s womanizing ways, he took his time with Emily. He made her wait which is unheard of! When they finally got there it was quite passionate. He pours his heart out to her and then the most unromantic thing happens.
Talk about making things real! Yes it a normal bodily function but it was so inappropriate yet so ridiculously hilarious too. It has been a couple of days past that I have finished this book but thinking about those funny instances makes me start giggling all over again. As a matter of fact there are so many funny situations in this story that I am surprised it isn’t labeled as a romantic comedy.
Just as it brought tears in my eyes from laughing the drama did too. Dexter’s past is so heartbreaking. The guilt that he felt from something so life changing (that wasn’t even his fault) felt so real and I was impressed that the author was able to convey those profound emotions in writing.
Bottom line is I thought that the introduction was a little on the longer side but despite that I ended up liking it anyway. The unique elements added spiced up the story and made it even the more entertaining. The harmony between the humor and sensitive issues was very well balanced.
I enjoyed this one and I am looking forward to reading Book 2: Hold on Tight which is due to be released sooner than we thought – December 7th.
Ashley Simpson as Emily
Chase Crawford as Dexter
Why couldn’t he tell me what I’d done wrong? I got it – we weren’t friends anymore. But we were once upon a time so didn’t I deserve an answer before he started ignoring me again? We sat in uncomfortable silence for what seemed like a lifetime. Dexter stared at his hands, and in between much-needed sips, I stared at my water.
“I’m going to wake up tomorrow and want to die of shame aren’t I?” I said to no one in particular. Mainly because I didn’t know if Dexter would answer me or if he was back to being an ignorant pig.
“Why’d you do it, doll? Why’d you get so wasted? You don’t even like the feeling of being drunk – you told me that after the last time.” Now, to most people, drinking yourself into an obliterated fool wouldn’t warrant this kind of question. They’d have been having fun – letting loose. But not me. That’s not who I am and Dexter knows that. He knows me too well and I hate it.
“You don’t need to make small talk,” I replied acidly, even though it was me who started the conversation. Guess I’d forgotten that part. My brain was still a little woozy.
“I’m not. All that before – the dancing, the singing… that’s not you, doll. Something’s wrong and I want to know what.”
“Are you trying to be bloody funny?” I snapped again. His eyes sprang wide open like I’d just slapped him in the face. Like I’D just slapped HIM in the face. “Dexter I thought we were friends. Actually I thought we were more than friends. I felt things with you I’ve never felt for anyone before and it scared the crap out of me but it didn’t matter because I knew you’d make it all better. I trusted you dammit! I’ve never trusted anyone besides Chris and Rachel and even though I’d only known you a few weeks you made me think you cared.
“I laid myself right out there for you. You know things about me I’ve never been able to face telling anyone – not even my best friend in the whole world. And all because I wanted a teeny bit of that honesty from you in return you decide to just kick me aside like a piece of dog crap on the grass. You let me care about you. Jesus Christ, Dexter – YOU LET ME FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU!”
Dexter gasped. I gasped. I didn’t just tell him I loved him. I didn’t. I didn’t. I didn’t. I was drunk and I imagined telling him that. Yes that’s what happened.
Don’t argue with me. That. Is. What. Happened.
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