#ReleaseDay #Review Counting Daisies (The Counting Series) by Nicola Haken #Giveaway

Counting Daisies

The Counting Series

Nicola Haken

 Cover Artist: Reese Dante 

Cover Artist: Reese Dante 


Dylan Roberts and Cameron O’Neil were good kids. Growing up together, they shared everything. By the age of fourteen they were more than best friends – they were in love. They dreamt of their future, of success, marriage…happiness. They were going to grow old by each other’s side. 

But… “Kids are stupid.” 

When tragic circumstances forced them apart, Dylan discovered that life wasn’t the fairytale he dreamed of; it was dark, difficult, saturated with pain and shame. Life wasn’t meant to be enjoyed, merely survived, but even that became a challenge. 

Damaged, worthless, and disgusting, he saw no point to his pitiful existence… 

Until he came face to face with the boy he used to love. 

Successful, honourable, and happy, Cameron had achieved the future they planned. He was good, positive, popular…everything Dylan would never be. What would happen if Dylan let him back into his world? Would he destroy Cameron too? Would his poison push him away like everyone else? 

“Everybody leaves.” 

“They leave or they die.” 

But what if…what if Cameron didn’t? 

Counting Daisies is book one in The Counting Series, but can be read as a standalone novel. 

(M/M romance. Not suitable for readers under 18 years of age due to language and sexual content. ***Please note*** This book contains scenes and descriptions of intravenous drug use which may be uncomfortable for some readers.)




Don’t even attempt to read without tissues. This is an emotional, brutal, and eye-opening journey of one man’s addiction and how it stole over a decade of his life. You will watch him struggle, trip, get up, fall, and stand over and over as he fights for a future he wants and deserves.

Dylan and Cameron were best friends growing up and often spent most of their young lives at one house or the other. At fourteen they knew they loved each other and that it was the real thing. But, when tragedy struck leaving Dylan with no adult supervision he was whisked away into the foster care system never to be heard from again.

Fast forward sixteen years later, homeless, an addict, cold and hungry — Nicola Haken takes the reader on a powerful and heartbreaking — rollercoaster of emotions — into the life of Dylan.

Dylan’s pain and anguish is real. You can feel it.

You can visualize his despair and the turmoil and pain he is suffering is so palpable your chest will hurt as you read his journey. You can’t describe the emotional suffering he is going through yet Nicola Haken has captured it so perfectly giving the reader a front row seat that's brutal and harsh.

It’s an ugly epidemic and the aftermath is tragic and as I read my heart is broken for not only Dylan, but for Cameron as he tries to stand by his once best friend and first love... and within his heart and soul he knows is his only love.  

Trying to stay clean is a constant repeat day after day, forcing yourself to stay busy, keeping your mind busy and your thoughts from drifting back to that period in your life. It’s a daily battle that will be forever a lifetime of decisions to stay on the right path.

It’s never guaranteed that you will. It becomes a race against mind over matter, truth over lies, it’s ugly, it’s a liar and a thief, and it all becomes too much for Cameron.

I broke down several times, destroyed by the turn of events, and even though I knew it wasn’t really happening, it is happening daily. Haken writes with passion and she delivers the message in a way that it resonates with the reader, with this reader, sparking recognition of personal experiences. She hit the nail on the head through this entire story and it’s definitely one that will stay fresh in my mind for a long time to come.

Dylan is working on his happy ever after and it will always be a work in progress. He will always be an addict and Cameron has grown just as much and has learned how to help and not to be an enabler but it’s hard especially when you love someone so deeply.

Beautiful story of perseverance, second chances, and fighting for what you deserve. Nicola Haken has captivated me with her words and her ingenuity and she has once again blown me away with her storytelling. Even though the majority of this story is about finding your feet and staying on them, there is a love story here from the the first page. Amazing story and I can't wait to read more from this author. 5 Stars





Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (seven if you include the dog and cats!) She is the author of the bestselling gay romance Souls of the Knight series, Broken, and the upcoming Counting series. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary friends (or talking about them with real life friends) she can usually be found carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties. Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they're sleeping...

Nicola is always looking for new stalkers - oops I meant friends, so join her social media! 







* Thank you to the author/promoter for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review *