Published: 28th November 2015
Author: Natalie Gayle
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.
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.