~Book Review~ “Brave: A Contemporary MMA Romance” (Oni Fighters Book 1) by Natalie Gayle

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Natalie Gayle’s Brave was simply an amazing tale.  She brings two people from completely different walks of life together in the most beautiful of ways.

Eden Sommers had just signed her first modeling contract when tragedy struck.  While saving her younger sisters from a house fire, Eden becomes badly burned.  After facing almost a year in the hospital and countless surgeries, she feels she must hide away from the world because of her scarring.  She chooses to limit her dealings with people and the outside world, spending time only with her family and her therapist.

Xander Todd, a rising MMA star is about to propel himself to superstar status when one punch changes his life.  While deemed an accident, killing a man in the ring changes Xander’s life.  Instead of being a professional fighter, he opens his own dojo to teach and train others while remaining out of the spotlight and trying to deal with his survivor’s guilt.

While seemingly from different walks of life, both Eden and Xander are beautifully scarred.  When brought together through Eden’s sisters, their relationship immediately blossoms.  Xander sees much more than Eden’s scars . . . he sees her soul and how brave she must be to deal with things, such as being seen in public, that most of us take for granted.   Eden also sees through Xander and how he has avoided what he truly wants in life by pretending to be something he is not in order to hide his emotional scars.

Natalie Gayle created such amazingly strong characters.  Yes, they are flawed.  Yes, they struggle daily.  And together, they seem to be a couple that stands no chance.  However, Eden and Xander build each other up and become what the other needs in ways that cause them both to grow individually and as a couple.  This story had so many emotional ups and downs and incredible moments that is sucked me in and kept me reading chapter after chapter, needing to know if Xander and Eden would be able to heal one another and have the relationship they both deserve.

Beautifully done, Ms. Gayle!  I can’t wait to continue with this series!  5 stars.

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About the Book:

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2qgWanS

Synopsis

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.

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About the Author:

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!!!

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