Title: Who We Are
Author: Nicola Haken
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: 3/9/2017
Genre(s): M/M Bisexual, M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 271
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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?
(M/M Romance. Not recommended for readers under 18 years of age due to language and sexual content.)
A well rounded love story
Fans of this author won’t be surprised I had tears in my eyes before the prologue even finished. That said, Who We Are is decidedly brighter than many of the author’s other works. The characters are fun with an upbeat energy that left me smiling regularly, even when the plot turned sad.
Haken is a master at creating characters who draw the reader into the story. I really enjoyed both Oliver and Sebastian. They were likable and dynamic, with solid backstories that kept me interested in their journey in life and love. The novel is told from alternating first person points of view featuring characters with distinct personalities and voices. The dialogue was fresh and kept the pace brisk and bright, with little aside inner commentary and reflections that alternately delivered truths and silly quips. It added to the story, created depth in the characters, and made for an enjoyable read I couldn’t put down.
As a couple, I was completely invested in Olli and Seb. Their romance was perfect, though never disingenuous. I liked that it was a departure from the hook-up turned into more love story. The characters had personal and familial responsibilities and were looking for a partner from the start, which is a bit different than the majority of contemporary romances I’ve read recently. It felt natural and included loads of sweet moments that melted my heart interspersed with hot scenes, cute conversations, and even times that cracked me up.
The couple does get together rather quickly, and while there are minor failure to communicate conflicts, they make sense and things resolve fairly smoothly. Considering this almost “too perfect” pairing happens early on in the book, I was a tad concerned where the book would go. A major event ushered in the primary conflict, but I loved that this couple and their families face it together. In the course of the resolution, the characters and secondary plots develop and find resolution and I was left with a full, happy heart. You’ll definitely need tissues, so fans of Haken’s tear-jerking plots shouldn’t fear. However, I do think that she delivered on her promise to readers- a lighter (for her) book with plenty of banter, fantastic characters, and a beautiful love story that celebrates life.