(BRT) Believe by Natalie Gayle

Believe (Oni Fighters, #2)  
Book Title: Believe
Series: Oni Fighters 2
Genre: Contemporary/MMA Romance
Author: Natalie Gayle
Purchase: AMAZON USUK

Book Overview

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

My Review

*ARC Provided for an Honest Review*

Don't you just love it when Fate interfere? Dane and Ari's relationship is so complicated sometimes that I can't help but get frustrated with everything that is going on in their life. What I really love though is the way they compliment each other, not literally, but is a much more passionate and emotional way. And I love love love how the family vibe came around in this book and the fact that there was some hints of other people's lives as well. I've read the first book and this is a completely different world from that, that is the main reason why I now love this series.

Dane's feeling to challenge himself to prove that he is worth something and that he is enough is like a huge part of the reason why I finished the whole book ASAP. I wanted to know if he was satisfied with himself and he was but as everything came closer to his plan he was more focused on getting back to a normal life. Funny. But, in reality we all have that feeling of proving ourselves, not for everyone but for our own good. Dane inspired me in that sense. For Ari, there's not much to say aside from the fact that her life is not in place because of her ex-husband. She needs someone to be there for him and yes, by fate, it was Dane.

I thought it was sweet with how everything ended for Dane and Ari so 4 stars for this. I have to say that Natalie is very consistent with this book and I have yet to be disappointed.
Excerpt


Almost there.

Once we were alongside the car I opened the back passenger’s door for Isaac and leant in to make sure he was buckled in properly. That was when the familiar smell of a cologne I’d never forget invaded my nostrils. Every muscle in my body tensed and terror streaked through me.

Ever so slowly I straightened and went to close the door, and that was when his hand landed on my arm and my heart rate spiked to a level that I knew was off the charts.

“Hello Annie, you’re looking beautiful as always and how’s the retard?” His voice was silky and seductive even with his strong French accent—all that ran through my veins was hate and cold hard fear.

Slowly my eyes met the icy, evil hardness. I read the calculating smirk and all I felt was dread.

Marcel Beauchamp was back in my life—not only was he very bad news, he was also my ex-husband and the father of my son.


Dane

I pulled into the carpark of the local shopping mall. No sooner had I shifted into park and shut off the engine of my truck, than my mobile rang. I didn’t even need to pick it up from the centre console to know it was my mum. Each member of my family had their own tone in my phone. It was a little quirk of mine and easy to do. Small minds and all that.

I’m fine admitting that I’m easy to keep amused, particularly with anything “shiny”; like mobile phones, video games and technology.

“Hey Mum,” I answered. My eyes flicked across the carpark to a good looking woman who had a young boy with her. My truck being higher than just about every vehicle in the carpark, gave me a distinct height advantage. Yeah the woman was attractive, but that wasn’t what caught my attention. She was acting nervously about something. Her gait was choppy and her movements tense, as her eyes darted back and forth. There was something about the kid as well—I couldn’t quite pick it.

“Dane are you still coming to dinner tonight?” I glanced at my watch, instantly annoyed that I needed to glance away to check the time. There were still a few things I needed to do today before I took the 5:00pm class at Onigashima for Xander.

“What time Mum?”

“Well you know your father likes to eat at 6:30 but I can stretch it to 7:00 if it means you’ll be here.”

The woman had stopped at a compact hatchback, parked in the next row over. The car was a few years old, but looked to be in decent condition. The number plate caught my eye, 847–ISV. I had a memory for stuff like that.

She was putting the boy in the car when my peripheral vision tagged a guy getting out of a blacked out Mercedes two cars down. Immediately he started moving purposefully towards the woman who had her attention on her kid.

Two things screamed through my head. One, this bloke was too interested in the woman, and secondly, a car like that was unusual in a carpark in a Logan shopping centre. Logan wasn’t exactly the most affluent area; the high end sedan stood out like a sore thumb—well to me anyway. Couple that with how nervous she looked and something was about to go down.

“Got to go, Mum. See you tonight.” I ended the call and slid the phone into my pocket. My eyes didn’t leave the guy. There was a look on his face that I didn’t like one bit—something was off about everything I was seeing.

His voice was thick with some sort of foreign accent and it came clear across the distance and through my open window. “Hello Annie, you’re looking beautiful as always and how’s the retard?”

I watched her slowly straighten, her body rigid with fear. She started to look around with wild eyes and before I knew it, I was opening the door and moving.

For a split second my brain asked the obvious question. “Why was I getting involved?” and I hesitated for just a moment at the door.

“Marcel, what are you doing here? I have a restraining order against you. You aren’t allowed to approach us!” Her voice was clear and pitched with the intent that others in the vicinity could hear. At the moment, she was standing her ground, but there was no doubt in my mind she was terrified and trying to figure out how to get out of this situation. Basically, she was looking for someone to help her. That’s why she was projecting her voice. I started to move closer.

“I’m here to talk to my wife.” Once again I briefly hesitated. Was this some sort of strange marriage spat?

“Ex-Wife Marcel. Very ex and for the millionth time your son has Asperger’s—he’s not a retard. We’ve had no contact for over a year. I have full custody of Isaac, why are you here?”

Smart girl. She was giving lots of information, making her situation very plain to anyone that might hear—perhaps could help.

Now she just needed a rescuer and I decided that was going to have to be me. The other few people that had looked up, just as quickly looked back down and hurried on.

So typical.

No one wanted to get involved. Well that wasn’t how I rolled. This woman was asking for help and I was going to give it. She hadn’t reverted to screaming yet—probably trying to keep the situation stable with her child in the car.

I sized the guy up a little more as I approached. He was a smidge under 6 foot but the wiry type. If he had any skills, my guess was he’d be fast. My brain raced trying to decide the best approach. I was confident I could take him out if it got to that. But I didnt want it to escalate if I could avoid it—particularly when there was a woman and a child so closely involved.

“Annie, I don’t understand all this anger…” He noticed me just as I came level with the front of her car. His eyes shot to mine and I gave him a grin. I needed to get myself between the woman and him first, before I did anything further.

The woman’s head spun around and I could see the relief on her face. I gave her my biggest, friendliest smile. My mum and sisters always told me it made women “melt”. Whatever the hell that meant. I hope it didn’t fail me now.

“Hey gorgeous, sorry I’m late,” I said moving in beside her and putting an arm around her. I dropped a kiss on top of her head for good measure—trying to act familiar. “Who’s this?”

I watched the other man’s eyes narrow and work at summing me up.

“This is my ex-husband, Marcel. The one I told you about. The one that I have a restraining order against for beating me half to death.” I glanced down at her, she had her face turned toward me and I could see the pleading look in her eyes.

Then I did what any “boyfriend” or “partner” would do when his woman was threatened, I squared my shoulders and prepared for battle. I relaxed my arm from around her shoulders.

“We got a problem here Mar…” Fuck, before I could get the word out he’d lunged forward at me. My immediate reaction was to step in front of the woman and I pushed her behind me with my right arm while I blocked the punch, Marcel threw to my head, with my left.

I slipped the arm I blocked with, over and under his and brought my hand up on the inside near his armpit, locking up his arm. Then I pounded a punch directly into his nose, and he staggered back with me still holding him in the lock up.

A shrill scream split the air, so loud and high pitched my ears rung with the assault.

Was it the woman?

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