A moment in time, that’s all it took. Beauty, pain and tragedy.
Xander “Pretty Boy” Todd was a demon in the ring. A professional MMA fighter with a career that had the world a buzz—but now it’s gone. Or is it?
Eden Sommers had her dreams of an international modelling career within her grasp—and lost it. Gone within a few seconds, leaving nothing but pain.
How do you go on, when the one thing that defines you is suddenly ripped away—only to leave scars and a hollow shell in its place? Has the beauty gone forever? Or has it just retreated—to now be hidden, and dormant; guarded by the inner demons?
Can these two wounded souls find the inner strength to fight back the demons together and find the beauty in their lives once again?
To do this, they must first accept—The hardest demons to defeat are the ones inside. They’ll have to be BRAVE.
Having never read anything by Natalie Gayle before I didn’t know what to expect but am very happy to have taken the plunge into Brave because it is a beautifully written book that actually took me by surprise as to how much I ended up thoroughly enjoying every aspect of it. It pulled out every emotion I have and though I didn’t devour it in one sitting, I found that when I did have to put it down (sometimes life really does get in the way) that I couldn’t wait to pick it up again.
I absolutely ADORED Xander. Sweet, sensitive, honest, confident and lets not forget sexy as sin. He’s really that guy that you want to have in your close circle of friends because you know that he’ll always have your back, but will also be straight up with you when you’re in the wrong. I think what I loved most about him was while he definitely hadn’t had an easy go of it in life, he still found a way to pick himself up and instill respect and confidence in others and show them that they were worth so much more. My heart broke for Eden and what she endured, not only physically but emotionally. In a split second her whole world changed and though she wanted to curl into a ball and disappear she didn’t. She may have taken baby steps, but there was still that thread of self confidence within her, that little bit of a fighter in her, that wouldn’t allow her to stay hidden away from the world. That fighter came out when Eden met Xander and I loved the way that their relationship progressed. There was no insta love going on. Ms. Gayle showed how much she loved and respected Xander and Eden and their struggles by allowing them to work through their demons instead of rushing things and what you end up with is a relationship built on mutual love and respect.
I enjoyed the writing style and though I'm no expert on MMA there was just something about how Ms. Gayle wrote about the varying techniques that shows how much she respects the craft. And I loved the background on how Xander and Dane came up with the name for the dojo. Also, this book falls under the New Adult genre the angsty drama that is normally associated with it doesn't rear its ugly head. This isn't to say that there isn't drama but it isn't over the top or excessive and fits with what is going on with the characters.
The Bottom Line: Brave is simply a beautifully written story that shows just how much the author loves and enjoys her craft and characters and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!
~ ARC was provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
I recently discovered those school vocational assessments are really interesting and probably correct! Who would have thought, hey? You see, I clearly remember taking one of those in Year 11 (for my US friends, I think that equates to junior year in high school). Anyway, semantics. Well, the results came back indicating that I should pursue a career in writing and something else. What that something else was I can’t remember but the writing thing stuck in my mind.
Sure, I’d always liked English and had already developed a ravenous appetite for romance novels by the age of sixteen—but who becomes a writer straight out of school? So to cut a long story short, I went to Uni and studied Business and ended up managing large-scale IT projects shortly after.
I can’t complain: it’s been a great career. I’ve done some awesome projects and met some incredible people and I won’t be giving it up anytime soon. Anyway, I’ve messed around with a couple of “secret” novels over the years and I finally decided to get serious and finish one. Hence “Finding Trust” came about. And about twenty years later, I’ve finally proved a vocational assessment correct, because I love writing!
As to some other stuff about me: I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I love spending time with my family and friends. When I’m not sitting behind a screen playing with IT or writing, you might find me down the beach playing in the waves on a Jet Ski or a bogey board (both are uber cool). When the weather turns a bit cooler (doesn’t really happen on the Gold Coast), we like to head for the snow. I’ve discovered I have two kids who are kamikaze skiers—they must take after their father. He’s always at me to “release the handbrake.” Apparently I’d ski so much better. I call it a healthy understanding of self-preservation and gravity!
I like to think I can fit in a few workouts and martial arts classes each week. This tends to be a figment of my imagination more than reality, unfortunately. I am trying to remedy this, but those damn characters just keep demanding to have their stories told and, well, there’s always another good book to read!
I hope you enjoy mine.
Please drop me a line. I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, and via email Natalie@nataliegayle.com.au. I’d love to know what you think of my books and well, let’s be truthful—I love talking about books, whether they’re mine or someone else’s. Fiction is just so much more fun than reality!!!