Book Review: ‘Believe’ by Natalie Gayle

Title: Believe (Oni Fighters Book 2)

Published: 28th November 2015

Publisher: EBS

Author: Natalie Gayle

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NatalieGayleAuthor

Twitter: @nataliegayle1

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/6966640.Natalie_Gayle

 

Synopsis:

Have you ever hit a point in your life where everything looks good from the outside but there’s this feeling deep in your gut that tells you something is wrong?

Dane Roberts was just an ordinary guy—so he thought. Best friend to MMA fight sensation Xander Todd, and all round decent guy. But now a restlessness surrounds him. Dare he reach for more? Could he too emulate his best friend’s results in the cage?

Arianne Le Flegg was a woman starting over, with her son. Running from a past littered with broken promises, manipulation and violent abuse at the hands of family. Violence terrified her on every level. She longed for an “ordinary life”—safety for herself and her son.

Can there ever be a future for two people who view violence so differently? One embraces it, the other dispels it. One is seeking the extraordinary, the other ordinary. She longs for the type of man he’s trying to leave behind.

For there to ever be a future together, they’ll need to dig deep and decide what really is important to each of them.

To do this, they must first accept—The hardest demons to defeat are the ones inside.

They’ll have to Believe.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about a sport. Loved the first book so couldn’t wait to check out Dane’s story. Might be a Sensi and MMA fighter like Xander but they are two very different men, ones who would do anything to protect their women though.

So Dane feels like life is passing him by, almost like he is missing out on something – life, work, love, he’s not sure. Seems things might be about to get a little clearer when a chance encounter changes his whole life. The fact is if Dane sees a woman, or anyone for that matter, in trouble he’s going to help. He clocked the ex a mile off as someone who needed to back off. He wasn’t going to start something but knew he’d finish it if needed. Saving the day once is one thing but he feels a need to protect her and her son. So after finding her purse left behind he finds it the perfect way to see her again to return it. He just wants to make sure she is ok and not being hassled again but soon feels drawn into her life.

Arianne has escaped the clutches of her violent ex for over two years but now feels like he is close again ready to cause trouble. She thought he would have forgotten about her and their son – the one he stated he didn’t really want – by now and moved onto someone new but it seems he’s back and wants her again. For what exactly she isn’t quite sure yet but she has a few guesses. Her only focus is on her 9-year-old son Isaac. He is her whole world and she would do anything to protect him, she just kind of needs someone to protect her when Marcel makes an appearance. Good job Dane just happens to be on hand. He might be a handsome stranger with a nice smile that helped her out but she’s not sure how to handle his interest in her. He may have been interesting to get to know but that was right up until he told her what he does. He’s an Oni and MMA fighter and she hates all violence. Seems she was a bit quick to judge and needs to look deeper to find what he’s really about.

You soon find out that Arianne did not have a happy normal upbringing and now it seems to be pulling her back to do things she doesn’t want to do. Namely by taking on the gambling halls again. Well she is good with numbers and her boss Leo likes that she is on his payroll so she can take them for all they’ve got with his money. She may have paid her debt to him long ago but her son needs to go to a special school and that costs money, a lot of it. You do the things you hate to help the ones you love.

An unlikely friendship by chance encounters forms between her and Dane but dangers from her past and her views on violence keep holding her back from getting closer. She is slowly learning to see things in a different light the longer she spends with him. She soon finds the connection she’s been missing out on her whole life. Chemistry flies hot between them and you know there are true feelings behind them too. Dane pulls her and Isaac in and creates a unit, something she isn’t used to. She knows not many can cope with her son with him having Asperger syndrome so finds it incredible how easy Dane and his family does. Seems she should have let people in sooner but perhaps she was just waiting for the right ones. Shame her ex has other ideas and doesn’t take kindly to being ignored or disobeyed. Trouble is brewing right when heads need to be kept clear. Let’s see how they make it through to the other side, to do that they need to believe in each other.

Mark was an interesting character who fitted in nicely. He was part of the Oni family with taking part in classes and very helpful with being a cop. Good to have someone like that in your corner when you have a psycho for an ex who doesn’t know when to give up. Reed was still a hardass when it came to getting his fighters ready. With what they go through you are surprised they can even stand at the end of it, let alone actually fight. Seems he likes to create winners and winners they sure are.

Loved Dane’s family, so warm and caring. The first real experience Arianne has ever really had with that. It might scare her at first with her past and how she was always taught to believe things certain ways. Dane and his family are opening her eyes and giving her and Isaac the best family she could have thought of.

Liked the crossover between characters from book one too, so I would recommend you read that first. Another great read, I really love these guys and can’t wait to check out the next.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Give Me Books for my honest review.

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Cover Reveal: ‘Doppelbanger’ by Heather M. Orgeron

Title: Doppelbanger
Author: Heather M. Orgeron
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: Juliana Cabrera, Jersey Girl
Release Date: May 3, 2018
Blurb

Doppelbanger; A person who bangs someone solely because they look similar to another person they want to bang.

At thirty-five, Gina Bourque is still playing the field. If he’s single, in his early twenties with dark hair and brooding eyes, there’s a damn good chance you’ll find him in her little black book.

Jeffrey Ryan never imagined that at nearly forty he’d find himself widowed and a single dad. But here he is—stumbling through this thing called life with two impressionable daughters watching his every move.

When Gina and Jeffrey meet while cruising the Caribbean, sparks fly and not in a good way. He’s too old. Too blond. Too stiff. Yet she’s still drawn to him like a moth to a flame. She’s too vulgar. Too sassy. Too wild. But she ignites something inside of him he can’t ignore.

We all know what happens when you play with fire. . . someone’s bound to get burned.

 

Live Release Alerts
Text “DOPPEL” to 797979 (US only)
Author Bio

Heather M. Orgeron is a Cajun girl with a big heart and a passion for romance. She married her high school sweetheart two months after graduation and her life has been a fairytale ever since. She’s the queen of her castle, reigning over five sons and one bossy little princess who has made it her mission in life to steal her Momma’s throne. When she’s not writing, you will find her hidden beneath mounds of laundry and piles of dirty dishes or locked in her tower (aka the bathroom) soaking in the tub with a good book. She’s always been an avid reader and has recently discovered a love for cultivating romantic stories of her own.

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Author Interview: ‘Seven Days of Infamy’ by Nicholas Best

Pearl Harbor Across the World

About the Book:

December 7, 1941: One of those rare days in world history that people remember exactly where they were, what they were doing, and how they felt when they heard the news.

Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable, and James Cagney were in Hollywood. Kurt Vonnegut was in the bath, and Dwight Eisenhower was having a nap. Kirk Douglas was a waiter in New York, getting nowhere with Lauren Bacall. Ed Murrow was preparing for a round of golf in Washington. In Seven Days of Infamy, historian Nicholas Best uses fascinating individual perspectives to relate the story of Japan’s momentous attack on Pearl Harbor and its global repercussions in tense, dramatic style. But he doesn’t stop there.

Instead, Best takes readers on an unprecedented journey through the days surrounding the attack, providing a snapshot of figures around the world―from Ernest Hemingway on the road in Texas to Jack Kennedy playing touch football in Washington, Jawaharlal Nehru in India, Ho Chi MInh in French Indo-China, Mao Tse-tung training his forces in Yun’an and the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe cheering as the United States entered the war.

Offering a human look at an event that would forever alter the global landscape, Seven Days of Infamy chronicles one of the most extraordinary weeks in world history.

 

What people are saying:

“A brisk, suspenseful World War II narrative from a proven storyteller.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Outstanding… Excellent… The real strength of his book – what makes it in many ways the most interesting of these three [Pearl Harbor books] – lies in its taut sense of the wider impact the Japanese attacks had internationally, from Ottawa to Canberra.”
The Christian Science Monitor

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I grew up in colonial Kenya and was educated there, in England, and at Trinity College, Dublin. My father was a feckless waster with no sense of responsibility. I had a very difficult childhood because he didn’t look after his children properly.

He was just like Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield. That’s no coincidence. An American academic once made a study of it and found that a significant number of American novelists had a father who didn’t take care of them properly. Neglected children are forced to retreat into themselves, creating an alternative reality in their heads. That’s where writing comes from.

I was working as a journalist in London when I wrote my first novel. It was rejected everywhere, thank God! I was walking past Secker and Warburg’s office one day when I saw a history of the British in Malaya in the window. Nobody had ever written one about the British in Kenya, so I dropped a note in saying that I could do it.

I was invited to meet David Farrer, a wonderful old man who had been at Seckers for most of his working life. I didn’t know it then, but he was one of the top publishers in London. He had published George Orwell’s Animal Farm when he was starting out, taking a chance on a novel that no one else would touch. Now, at the end of his career, he took a chance on me. Happy Valley: The Story of the English in Kenya was my first published book. I followed it up with a first novel and have never looked back.

David died soon afterwards. I have never had a better publisher. I can’t bear all these corporate nobodies that you have to deal with nowadays. One of the best things about publishing online is that you can ignore them altogether if you wish.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

At my desk, after breakfast every morning. It’s a job, not a hobby.

I’ve written most of my books in a 17th century barn across the drive from my house outside Cambridge. There’s a 400-year-old skeleton under the floorboards in the corner. It’s a cat, buried there when the barn was built to ward off evil spirits. Doesn’t work for the Inland Revenue.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

This is the question authors are always asked. Some reply that they would go there more often if they knew. I don’t know either. It’s mostly just a question of looking at a familiar subject from an unfamiliar angle. Either that, or click on ideas.com.

My short story The Souvenir beat more than 1,200 other entries to be long-listed for the inaugural Sunday Times/EFG Bank prize, at £30,000, the biggest short story award in the world. It’s a humorous account of a convention of American salesmen sailing down the Amazon and buying fake souvenirs from the natives.

It was inspired by a photo of an American sales convention that I saw in a magazine. The salesmen were all wearing red sparkly dinner jackets, except for the star salesmen, who had exceeded their targets that year. As a reward, they were allowed to swagger about in gold lamé jackets, while everyone else watched in envy. I thought that was worth a laugh.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Both. You have to have a pretty good idea of where a book is going, particularly at the end. You shouldn’t start writing until you know what the last page is going to be.

I always have a plan, but I don’t necessarily stick to it, if something better turns up. Good ideas often come to you while you’re writing.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I’ve written novels and short stories, some serious, some satirical. Tennis and the Masai was serialized on BBC Radio 4 and gets film inquiries from time to time.

I’d like to write more fiction, but my history books are better paid and come with a substantial advance up-front. They sell all over the world. I’m drawn by the genre that pays the bills!

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I was recently in the offices of Joe Wright (director of Atonement, Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice), surrounded by huge pictures of Keira Knightley. We were discussing another project, but what I would really like to see filmed is my Kindle No 1 best-seller Point Lenana.

It’s on Kindle because it’s a short story (actually a film treatment), too short to publish as a book. The San Francisco Chronicle gave it a rave review, calling it ‘a Hollywood blockbuster in miniature’.

Point Lenana is about a Kenya settler’s daughter who falls in love with a good German in September 1939. He has come from Germany to climb Mount Kenya. Fifty years later, his frozen body is discovered perfectly preserved in the ice on the mountain. He is still young and handsome when he is brought down. She is an old woman nursing the memories of their wartime affair when she goes to see the body and say goodbye.

Keira is a dead ringer for the girl I wrote it about, so she’d be ideal for the part.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read everything when I was younger (I was the Financial Times’s fiction critic for ten years), but very little now. The older I get, the more I see the flaws in other people’s writing. Some of our literary lions enjoy stellar reputations, but I don’t know why. Their books seem unremarkable to me. You look at their reputations, then you read their books and wonder if you’re dreaming.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’ve discovered Jane Austen. I had to do Emma for A level and have avoided her work ever since. But I loved the BBC’s Persuasion, the version starring Amanda Root. I’m reading the book now to see how they adapted it for film.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I have three. Gone with the Wind for a terrific story; Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop for the humour in the writing; Robert Ruark’s Something of Value, because it’s a novel about the Kenya of my childhood. Every halfway pretentious author needs to name at least one book that no one else has heard of!

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Apart from ‘Don’t’? Make sure that you have another source of income… a job, a husband, anything that will pay the bills.

Don’t try to get published before you’re 30. Your writing will be immature before then. Use the time before then to have experiences and learn the job. Work as a reporter, magazine writer, script editor or whatever until your writing is good enough for you to take the plunge.

Avoid the temptation to self-publish online. It will come back to haunt you.

Remember that most writers have a seven-year window in which they do their best work and enjoy their greatest success. The rest of their career is either before that time or after it. Literary London is full of one-hit wonders desperately hoping for a second coming.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I’m on Twitter and Facebook, but the best place to see me on my website.

Website: www.nicholasbest.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authornicholasbest

Twitter: @NickBestauthor

 

 

About the Author:

Nicholas Best grew up in Kenya and was educated there, in England and at Trinity College, Dublin. He served in the Grenadier Guards and worked as a journalist before becoming a fulltime author.

Formerly a literary critic for the Financial Times, he writes both fiction and non-fiction and is translated into many languages. His novel Tennis and the Masai was serialized on BBC Radio 4. His short story The Souvenir was long-listed for the Sunday Times-EFG Bank £30,000 award, the biggest short story prize in the world.

Nicholas Best lives in Cambridge.

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Promo Tour: ‘Heartaches: Bad Boy Vibes’ by H.M. Irwing

HEARTACHES: BAD BOY VIBES series

by H.M. Irwing

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Book Review: ‘Haunted: A Romantic Suspense’ by Kiara Delaney

Title: Haunted: A Romantic Suspense

Published: 30th December 2015

Author: Kiara Delaney

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Kiara.Delaney.romance

Twitter: @crave_kiara

 

Synopsis:

When Devon Bradford entered Nina Petrov’s life, she was broken and alone. He did everything in his power to tear down her defenses, refusing to let her push him away. In the end, it just wasn’t enough. Nina had backed him into a corner, and he ended up doing the very thing he promised Nina he would never do- leave her, just as all the other men had done to her before. By the time Nina’s secrets had finally come to light, Devon had already vanished- she left him with no other choice. In the end, she was forced to make the decision between letting the memory of him consume her, or vanquishing him from her mind forever.

Devon had abandoned Nina in her darkest hour, in what seemed like a lifetime ago. It had shredded her heart, and left her questioning her sanity. The day he’d left her, she’d buried a part of herself, but the memories of him continued to haunt her, leaving her feeling unsure about everything she thought she once knew.

It has been eighteen months since Devon Bradford disappeared from Nina’s life, but she’s worked hard to dispel the demons that once plagued her. One day at a time, she becomes one step closer to leaving her past behind and moving forward. That is, until one fateful day, Devon is hurled back into Nina’s life, and her reality will be forever changed.

As Nina finds herself chained once more to the ghosts of her past, she realizes Devon holds the key to her future. Can Nina really trust Devon this time, or will he leave her to pick up the shattered pieces of her life once more?

Find out in the shocking conclusion of The Shattered Pieces Series!

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a blue cover. Love the design of it too! Well she’s done it again, makes you think the story is going one way then completely flips it on its head. Queen of WTF moments indeed, even if you think you know something might be coming you will be surprised when it does.

So Devon is back, or is he? Is Nina dreaming or living, you can never be completely sure. Which is great as it helps draw you into the story more and hold you on tender hooks until the end. You should read Ghostwriter first though to give you a little clue into Nina’s state of mind and what she has been through before this point.

So it’s been eighteen months since Nina’s last mental break and she is now in the last stages of her treatment at Hope, Heart and Home Rehabilitation before being released back into the real world. Her doctors – Dr. Simmons and Dr. Andrews – have been relocated so her remaining care will be in hands of someone new. Not good for someone with abandonment issues and more of a shock when she meets her new doctor, one very hot looking Dr. Perkins. The shock comes due to fact he just so happens to look an awful lot like her Devon. But is this Devon from her past, made up in her mind or maybe a bit of both? Either way things are going to get interesting with the lighting bolt spark that hits both of them when they lock eyes for the first time. The fact she runs out of the room as fast as she can does throw a spanner in the works to begin with and confuses him to no end.

Dr. Devon Perkins has been transferred to work at Hope, Heart and Home Rehabilitation and feels like he has been thrown in the deep end a little. After a disaster of a first meeting with his first patient, his next not turning up and then being thrown in to do group at the last minute he doesn’t think the day could get harder. He can’t seem to get his mind off his first patient Nina though and knows he needs to see her again, maybe not just on a medical level. There is something about her that draws him in. Good job then that she happens to be the first person to come into group. Not so good that she soon passes out after facing him again. The need to protect her is strong and he is going to do whatever it takes to help her. Namely by being called back into work after she has a fit and says she will only calm down if he comes. He’s there to protect her from the start but she can’t trust that he always will be. It’s her weakness. Push before they leave so you can say ‘I told you so’ when they finally do after saying they wouldn’t. This does seem to connect them a little but her fits/panic attacks are something she deals with a lot. They may have started a connection but the moment the good doctor tells her his actual name things get a bit tense. She thinks it’s a trick or just cruel that he would say his name is Devon but he really hasn’t read her file that thoroughly so doesn’t know everything. Even when he does though it’s still just the tip of the iceberg with what’s going on inside her head.

Chemistry and passion galore no matter what Devon is in her mind and the pull towards each other is always going to be there no matter where they are. He knows the trouble he could get in with being involved with a patient but he can’t seem to deny her anything. All he wants is trust from her but that might be something she can’t really give. You know their romance is going to have bumps along the way. The fault of these lying in both their hands, not just his as she’d like to believe. Can he get past her barriers to what he wants and needs? She has become his addiction, one he doesn’t want to give up. Let’s see if he can keep her or if she will run.

Loved her friend Terrance, a right laugh who seemed to be someone who really clicked with her, making her laugh just when she needed it. Dr. Malway though was a douche that needed to stay out of their business.

Mental illness is hidden from most so this is a good way to talk about a subject that affects more people than you would think. What’s up and what’s down, well with this book it sure flips things on its head so just hold on for a hot, fun filled, eye opening ride. A dream, in a dream, in a dream. Or is it?

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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