Title: Who We Are
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 13, 2017
Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.
He’s also a good actor.
Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.
At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerising stranger with the red hair and purple lips.
Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?
Angie at Wicked Reads ~ “Very heartwarming story, the banter between these guys is so sweet. I can’t say enough about this book to do it justice, just read it, you will love it.”
Beverly at Southern Babes Book Blog ~ “Sebastian and Oliver’s story is beautiful and heartbreaking… These two amazing men are trying to figure out who they really are and together they figure out that they can do anything.”
Jodi at Alpha Book Club ~ “Oliver’s story will make you cry and stand up and cheer for how strong of a human being he is… Loved this story and would recommend to anyone.”
MJ at Alixzia Reading Corner ~ “I ache and bleed with this book for every page turned! Highly recommend!”
Deanna at Two Chicks Obsessed ~ “This might be my new favorite Nicola Haken book. Broken nearly broke me, thus becoming my favorite; but this one left me far more emotional and thoughtful. I think it’s taken the crown.”
Every time I enter one of Nicola Haken’s books, I’m immersed into a well-thought out story with dynamic characters – heroes who learn how to accept themselves and find a way to deal with their insecurities and fears and allow themselves to live without hiding who they are and what/who makes them happy.
Oliver Clayton’s uniqueness and flair are the first traits I recognized in Olli as Haken introduces him in Who We Are, and despite his claim that he pretends in many aspects of his life, he does the best he can with the hand that he was dealt and he works hard to provide for both him and his brother, even when he feels he’s not enough.
Sebastian Day has always felt like he needed to conceal parts of himself, never fully showing who he is – a bisexual man – because society’s preconceived notions and opinions were too hard to deal with to confront everything head on, but when Oliver enters Seb’s life, Seb learns to accept who he is, understanding that hiding any part of him, especially when it comes to who he is at his core.
Olli and Seb’s story is one of self-reflection and personal growth. Both Oliver and Seb learn throughout the course of the text that it’s absolutely essential to not conceal parts of themselves because once they’ve been stripped away, it’s difficult to get them back, especially when society doesn’t want to see them.
The pull that Olli and Seb feel towards one another allows both of them to feel accepted and receive the affection that they deserve, and even when there are battles that have to be fought and won, together, they find a way to endure…a way to cope with the extreme situations they find themselves confronted with…a way to continue to grow as a couple despite the varying societal perceptions on who they are and how they act.
Life is meant to be lived, openly and vividly, and while accepting oneself and living according to one’s own dictates is difficult, especially with the prejudice that still exists in society, Who We Are proves that one’s commitment to do just that is beyond essential…it’s EVERYTHING!
4.5 Poison Apples
Nicola Haken lives in Rochdale, England, with her five kids – one of whom is a grown man who many refer to as her husband. She spends her days writing about life, love, and all the beauty and angst that comes with it, and her nights binge watching Netflix or being the household slave. She’s also not very good at referring to herself in the third person, so if you’d like to get to know her your best bet would be to follow her on social media!
Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…