Dylan “Ice Dragon” Thompson has suddenly become the hottest thing in MMA. He’s fought all his life for control and inner peace. He focuses on what he excels at—fighting and his work with the Centre. It’s what he knows and what keeps him in balance. His latest assignment has him fighting a war with a partner he doesn’t believe he can trust.
Vanessa Aldridge has grown up in the gym and has seen it all—some good, some bad. But when performance-enhancing drugs threaten her life and her personal sense of worth—enough is enough. The very people closest to her now have her questioning their motives and nobody is as they seem. On top of all this, she’s unwittingly become the number-one pawn in an organised crime game and she’s risking her heart on a guy who wants to fight for everything but them.
Vanessa quickly discovers that Dylan is far from what he appears to be. But what happens when his latest assignment blows his carefully created world wide open? Can Dylan win the most important fight of all—the one for her heart and their future? Or will he retreat back into the one-dimensional existence of working and fighting? Can Vanessa remain steadfast to her principles and just maybe take the ultimate prize? The battle lines are drawn.
When the bell rings, who will step up to fight? The prize: A future of freedom.
Title: Finding Freedom (Centre Games #3)
Author: Natalie Gayle
Release Date: June 1st, 2014
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**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.**
I have only just recently stumbled across this series and it is definitely an enjoyable read. I loved Bray and Rihanna’s book, Finding Trust as well as TJ and Rory’s book, Finding Judgement. This series is set on the Gold Coast in Australia and I absolutely love reading books that are written by fellow Aussies. It’s refreshing to actually have been where a novel is set, and to support the great Australian talent that is out there.
I was really hoping that this book would be Quade and Jazz’s book, but nevertheless it was great to officially meet another Centre operative in Dylan “Ice Dragon” Thompson. I love how Natalie changes each story so there is rarely any similarities between each book. It’s great to actually read a series that isn’t the same standard plot line book after book – I love a bit of variety!
The characters in this book are a lot different to the previous books in the form of their personalities. Dylan seems like this tough MMA fighter/Centre operative, but really he is battling with some serious inner demons from his past and because of what he is. In my opinion, Vanessa is a more stronger female character than Rihanna and TJ; not just emotionally but physically. The characters really enhanced my love for this story because I fell in love with them.
Natalie portrays some very serious issues in this novel surrounding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport and the mental and physical effects that they have on a person. She didn’t leave a stone unturned, using the entire supply-chain to demonstrate the issue. After studying drug use in sports for my Sports Recreation certificate, Natalie sure got every fact and detail spot-on. Some serious research went into this story and it really does show.
The one thing I love about these books are that they aren’t short stories. There’s plenty of time to spend with the characters in each novel and it isn’t rushed so there is no detail missing. Natalie really does provide an entertaining and action-packed story with each book and this is just another great title to add to the collection.
I am now overly excited for Quade and Jazz’s story because it’s coming up next. Natalie, hurry up and write that book!
“I’ve got my prize right here and I’m not letting you go.”
About the Author:
I recently discovered those school vocational assessments are really interesting and probably correct! Who would have thought, hey? You see, I clearly remember taking one of those in Year 11 (for my US friends, I think that equates to junior year in high school). Anyway, semantics. Well, the results came back indicating that I should pursue a career in writing and something else. What that something else was I can’t remember but the writing thing stuck in my mind.
Sure, I’d always liked English and had already developed a ravenous appetite for romance novels by the age of sixteen—but who becomes a writer straight out of school? So to cut a long story short, I went to Uni and studied Business and ended up managing large-scale IT projects shortly after.
I can’t complain: it’s been a great career. I’ve done some awesome projects and met some incredible people and I won’t be giving it up anytime soon. Anyway, I’ve messed around with a couple of “secret” novels over the years and I finally decided to get serious and finish one. Hence “Finding Trust” came about. And about twenty years later, I’ve finally proved a vocational assessment correct, because I love writing!
As to some other stuff about me: I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I love spending time with my family and friends. When I’m not sitting behind a screen playing with IT or writing, you might find me down the beach playing in the waves on a Jet Ski or a bogey board (both are uber cool). When the weather turns a bit cooler (doesn’t really happen on the Gold Coast), we like to head for the snow. I’ve discovered I have two kids who are kamikaze skiers—they must take after their father. He’s always at me to “release the handbrake.” Apparently I’d ski so much better. I call it a healthy understanding of self-preservation and gravity!
I like to think I can fit in a few workouts and martial arts classes each week. This tends to be a figment of my imagination more than reality, unfortunately. I am trying to remedy this, but those damn characters just keep demanding to have their stories told and, well, there’s always another good book to read!
I hope you enjoy mine.
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