Who We Are by Nicola Haken

Title: Who We Are
Author: Nicola Haken
Publisher: SelfPublished
Release Date: March 9th 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 271 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 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.)

Who We Are by Nicola Haken is the story of Oliver Clayton and Sebastian Day. Oliver has been raising his younger brother since the death of their mother. During the day he’s a hairdresser, and at night he performs as the drag queen Miss Tique. He hasn’t much time to devote to himself until he meets a tipsy stranger one night who intrigues him. Sebastian is heavy goods driver and a devoted co-parent to his teenage son. He was out one night for his friend’s birthday when he catches sight of Oliver. On a whim, he asked him for his number. What ensues is an emotional journey of openness, grief, acceptance, and love.

My highlights:

-The characters. Their backgrounds and personalities were fleshed out, and the characters grew as the story progressed.

-Narration. It’s told from alternating POVs.

-The chemistry between Oliver and Sebastian felt realistic despite their feelings growing quickly. It felt very much like “sometimes you just know.”

-Angst. This author writes emotional journeys exceptionally. She knows how to kick you in the stomach and make it worth it at the end. I loved how the conflict of the story was handled. It could’ve become a contrived mess, but instead, it was heartbreaking, genuine, and hopeful.

-The pace of the story was smooth.

-And the end- after crying some ugly tears- the ones at the end were happy ones.

Nicola Haken is becoming an author I keep a look out for new releases. She writes about real life struggles, about people we may know. I like this writer more and more, and I’m looking forward to more stories from her…possibly some side characters we met in this book. 4.5 Stars!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Who We Are provided by Nicola Haken in exchange of an honest review.


I'm a romance junkie, who loves when books make her cry from heartbreak and happiness. A few of my favorite tropes: -Friends to lovers -Hurt/comfort/healing -Age gap NetGalley Member since 2015 2016 NetGalley Challenge 80% Professional Reader 2015 Challenge Participant