Author: Natalie Gayle
Series: Oni Fighters #1
Genres: NA, Contemporary, Romance
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.
**An eARC was provided in exchange of an honest review**
DNF at 65%
Before I read this book, I read the reviews of it and all of them raved about how good this book was. I'm a sucker for half-naked guys on covers, or really any hot guy on a cover of a book, and this guy was wearing red. Combine the model, my blind love of the color red and the blurb and reviews, and I just had to read this book. As soon as I opened the book and started reading however, I knew I was going to have issues with this book.
Brave is told from both Eden and Xander's POVs. Both are from the same town, but they both have different career choices that were going to bring them fame, until life got in the way and destroyed both their dreams. Now, years later, they are battling their demons and the fear of living, until they cross paths and find themselves fighting to be together.
Let's get one thing out of the way first. I liked the plot. I really, really liked it. It isn't the first book I've read about two people with a past and issues and demons, but I still liked the story and what was happening. It's the only thing that got me to read 65% of the books before I couldn't take any more. What I didn't like, my biggest issue, was how everything was happening and how it was presented and written. This story is about two people who live in a world of pain and have so many hang ups and issues and torture. I should be moved by their story, I should feel pain and my heart should ache and I should cry. I did none of these things, instead, I was bored. So very bored.
Before I even finished the first chapter, I was already struggling with finding the will to continue. The writing was so flat and emotionless, I got bored from the first page. There was really no showing or feeling at all. It was all about telling. I was told Eden was in pain over what happened to her. I was told she was afraid of crowds and had problems with being in the presence of other people. I was told Xander still wasn't over what happened in the ring. I was told he struggled with the memories. I was told a lot of things, but I was never shown them. I couldn't connect with either Eden or Xander and even though I understood what they had been through and knew it had to be hard on both of them, I didn't feel it. It didn't help that everything was repeated so many times. At one point, I was even thinking, did I flip to the previous chapters without releasing it? But no, I hadn't.
Then there was the scene where Eden proceeds to tell Xander's father everything about her life, everything that had happened since page one of the book, in great detail, and all there is to know about her relationship with his son to explain why Xander was going to fight again. That felt so irrelevant and confusing and I couldn't for the life of me understand why he needed to know all of that. It actually felt like she was getting further away from the point instead of explaining it. I could barely read a few pages after that and had to put the book down.
Brave has so much potential and the story is interesting even if it isn't the most original one, but it wasn't done right and instead of being a gritty story, it was a very boring one.