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?
“They leave or they die.”
But what if…what if Cameron didn’t?
“This is a deep and powerful book with the main theme which is refreshing less about the path of a relationship and way more about the real life gritty obstacles that come on the way of their HEA.” – Reader Review
“This book was phenomenal. I cried so many tears. Story was heart breaking and heartwarming all at the same time.” – SiKReviews
“This was a beautifully crafted story of friendship, love, bonds, addictive behaviour and heartache. It was hugely emotional in parts, and Nicola doesn’t hold back.” – 2 Girls & Their Kindles
Excerpt from Counting Backwards (Book Two in The Counting Series)
“I’m gonna die alone,” I said, tipping my head back on the couch cushions.
I expected Derek to grumble, or at least laugh at me, but he didn’t. Instead, he slapped his hand down on my knee and spoke in the most tender tone I’d ever heard from his lips. “We got each other.”
Four little words, yet they made my chest feel funny. My heart beat a little faster and the feel of his hand on my jeans-clad leg made my stomach tickle. “You coming onto me, old man?” I didn’t like how unsettled I suddenly felt so I turned it into a joke.
“No.” He sounded almost offended. “I’m just sayin’ maybe I don’t wanna grow old alone either.”
“But…you hate people.”
“I don’t ‘ate you. Well, not all the time anyway.”
My eyes narrowed as I flopped my head to the side to look at him. He sounded so…serious. Derek and I didn’t do serious. “Are you saying you want to make one of those pacts? Like, if we’re still single in ten years we’ll marry each other kinda thing.”
“Fuck no! Christ, I couldn’t live wi’ your whiney arse twenty-four seven.”
We were back to goofing around. Normality had resumed.
“I just meant if we never get to ‘ave the ‘ole romance novel life, we’ll always ‘ave each other to get drunk with. We can bitch about ‘ow sickenin’ the likes o’ Cam and Dyl are together while we’re doin’ wheelies in our wheelchairs in the old folks ‘ome.”
“I’d whip your arse in a wheelie contest,” I said, my voice brimming with confidence.
With an amused grin taking over his face, he pointed to my stomach. “Wi’ that podge?”
Covering my belly with my hand, my jaw dropped. “I do not have a podge!”
Derek’s build was what could only be described as fucking huge. He had broad shoulders and a strong neck, biceps like fucking watermelons that were decorated with vibrant tattoos on his left, black and grey on his right. He was solid everywhere. You ran the risk of getting knocked the fuck out just brushing against him.
Sure, in comparison I was tiny, but I didn’t have a podgy belly. If I tensed hard enough in front of the mirror I could almost see the shadow of a four-pack. “I’m lighter,” I said. “Which means I can haul my weight around faster. You don’t stand a chance.”
“Oh yeah? Prove it.”
I rolled my eyes. “Shit. I left my wheelchair at home.”
“Come to the gym wi’ me and Dyl this mornin’. Challenge me on the treadmill.”
Fuck. “I’m hungover. Wouldn’t be a fair fight.”
“Yeah, yeah.” The twat snickered. “Shame you can’t live up to that big gob o’ yours.”
“Tomorrow.” Shit. What the hell did I say that for? “Tomorrow. Seven AM. I’ll be ready.”
Derek’s eyebrow rose as he jerked his head back. “You’re on, Twinkle.” He held out his closed fist, which I proceeded to bump, but inside I was quietly petrified. “Prepare to lose.”
I’ll die before I step off that treadmill. I wouldn’t give the cocky fucker the satisfaction. And so it looked like today could quite possibly have been my last day on earth.
This was such a powerful book. Dylan broke my heart. He’s so lost and broken. He tries really hard and struggles. My heart was with him through the whole book. I was rooting for him so bad. Cameron was amazing. He was so loving and forgiving. He truly believed in Dylan and was very supportive. I really like how Nicola wrote this story. There wasn’t a magic you’re fine ending. She was realistic in the work and daily struggle that Dylan would have to live with. Cameron was my champion in this story. He love for Dylan and his acknowledging the fact that Dylan would struggle with his sobriety. The entire story was very realistic to me with the ups and downs.
5 pieces of eye candy
Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (six if you include the dog and cat!) She is the author the author of the m/m romance Souls of the Knight series, and is currently working on a standalone with new boys, James and Theo, due for release early 2016. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book 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…