Romance Review | Brave by Natalie Gayle

Overview: 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.

Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble 
Publishing Date: July 10, 2015
Stars: 5
My Review: 5 emotional, sweet, and fear fighting stars. The story is told between both his and her points of view which makes for a very complete picture involving their inner demons, how they face them, and how the two come together as a couple. Xander is an all around great guy but has an inner struggle he attempts to suppress. He's honest, charming, caring, disciplined,  and loyal. Eden is a great women but clearly has demons. She's smart, compassionate, sweet, and a fighter. 

Eden suffers from the scars left behind due to her saving her two sisters from a house fire. She suffers from low self-esteem due to how horrible people react to her scars ranging from pity to disgust, regardless if it is a peer or a doctor. She struggles to deal with people outside of her family and therapist, going to university every day alone is a struggle. She's smart, creative, and has a great sense of humor but most people see the scar on the side of her face and can't get past it. Eden's entire world changes when Xander decides to enter it. 

Xander is quite possibly one of the best kinds of male characters to fall in love with because he's just imperfect enough to be real but still oh so perfect. He's a business owner in his twenties, inspires others to face their problems and fears, and is always willing to help someone. On the surface, Xander is confident and wonderful but inside he's dealing with his own kind of demon which keeps him from professional MMA matches. Killing a man in sport weighs upon his very soul but it seems that Eden might be the cure for that. 

While Xander pushes Eden to be confident in herself, accept herself, and to move forward in life, Eden pushes Xander to face his own demons. The two help one another move forward in life while falling in love along the way. Their kind of love is beautiful, bright, and creeps into your very being. It isn't overt and in your face but grows steadily and naturally through the pages. The story has a moment where Xander stands up for Eden after feeling powerless due to the nasty comments about her scars and begins a trend on social media, #brave, along with saying his piece during a press conference. He gives a voice to all those that have ever felt less than because of others and shows Eden truly how much he loves her. It was a powerful and beautiful moment which highlighted a massive problem in today's society, the issue of perfection being considered beautiful and anything less as gross and disgusting.