Sunday, 14 April 2013

Welcome To My Stop On The Blog Tour For SECURITY by Mandy Baggot



Title: SECURITY
Author: Mandy Baggot
Publication Date: April 4th 2013
Source: Review copy provided by RABT

"Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.
Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?
As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?
Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?"


*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings*

"Over here Autumn... Strike a pose..." ... "This way Autumn..." "Which designer are you wearing tonight Autumn?.."... Cameras flashing, paparazzi shouting, posing on the red carpet of posh hotels, press releases,album debuts, the rumour mill... All these things are standard day to day occurrences for sensational singer Autumn Raine. 
Her mother decides she needs to boost her security... *Enter Mr Nathan Regan*
Being the diva she is, Autumn refuses to have this unkempt looking, cheap suit wearing...man as her security.
If you don't wear Dolce & Gabbana or Roberto Cavalli or some other well known designer, then Autumn won't even look at you twice. She wouldn't be seen dead with someone who wears a cheap "off the rack" suit. You need to have these things tailor fitted and the cost needs to be in the high thousands. Image is EVERYTHING to Autumn. 
All her life, singing has been her passion and she's good at what she does. So good that she is paid extremely well and would think nothing of spending $5,000 on one dress, only be seen in it once and then leave it to gather dust in her wardrobe. 
But Nathan Regan, he's wearing a cheap, badly fitted suit. He smells of cheap cologne. He's got goodness knows how many days worth of stubble on his face. There's no way she's letting him besmirch her image and name by being seen within 100 yards of her. But her mother has other ideas. Nathan is MI5, well, technically Sector 7 actually. He's well trained in his job. Looks aren't anything to him. As long as he does his job, what does it matter what he looks like?

Nathan is assigned to Autumn no matter how little she likes it. But she doesn't have to like it, her mother just wants her safe. She's about to set off for America and attend the IMA's (music awards), she needs extra security and Nathan is it.

Autumn is nothing if not stubborn. So she might have to put up with Nathan working for her, but she doesn't have to make his job an easy one. She's a diva after all.

What ensues is one of the most fast-paced, entertaining stories I've read so far this year.

Everything goes belly up for Autumn. There's a plot by terrorists to kidnap her. But why? No-one knows... Or do they? 

Nathan must work hard to keep her safe. He takes her to a safe house and she is in for a surprise in the shape of Tawanda. She's a larger than life, Jamaican lady. Not only does she serve up a feast, she knows how to fire a gun. Trust me, you've never met a character quite like her.

The wardrobe in the safe house is full of clothes, but nothing like Autumn would normally wear. There are dresses but none of them are designer. They're all cheap cotton shift dresses. But needs must. After all, she only had the Audrey Dupont suit that she had been wearing when Nathan took her there. But the suit has seen better days so she throws it in the bin and reluctantly finds something in the wardrobe that she can wear.

When Nathan has a shower and a shave and comes out wearing linen trousers and a simple top, Autumn can't help but start to see him in a different light. Behind that beard he had, there's actually quite a handsome face. The clothes he wears may not cost thousands of pounds or dollars, but they fit him well and he makes them look good.

How is it that the more time she spends in his company, the more Autumn is attracted to this annoying bodyguard? 

Nathan is quiet and withdrawn. As a bodyguard, he's good at his job, but as a man? he's seriously lacking in the conversational skills department. He's shut off, but Autumn can't figure out why. She sees a tattoo on his arm, the name 'Marie'. But who is this Marie? Is Nathan married? He won't answer her questions and there's no point asking Tawanda because she says "It's Mr Nathan's business to tell you what he wants you to know, child."

So Autumn is in this safe house, being made to eat more calories than she's ever eaten in her life, and this time she's not allowed to binge and then discreetly make her way to the bathroom afterwards. Nathan knows that she's had problems with food. He knows she makes a show of "looking like she's eating - but in reality not really consuming much of what's on her plate". He also knows she suffers from OCD and has to count everything, and I mean EVERYthing.

Nathan tells Autumn to get on the phone to her PA Janey and tell her she must organize a last minute party in her honour. She needs to get everyone together in one room. He believes that he can control the kidnap attempt if everyone is in one room and Autumn is glued to his side. But all doesn't go to plan. Why? I can't tell you.

Janey organizes the last minute party, telling everyone that Autumn has a new song to debut before the IMA's. In reality, Autumn has 24 hours to come up with a song "off the cuff" and Nathan has also told her that she must announce her new boyfriend. For a moment, she can't figure out what he means. Then the penny drops. He wants her to tell everyone that her and Nathan are an item. Why? She doesn't really know. But she is starting to learn to trust Nathan and will do what he says. After all, she acts in front of the cameras all the time, she can make them believe anything she wants them to.
But when they get out of the car to attend the event, Nathan kisses her and something in her responds to this handsome man holding her close and drawing her in with his kiss.

I won't tell you what happens at the party, that's for you to discover when you buy the book for yourself.
But what I can say is that there are shocks in store and twists and turns that you don't see until they smack you in the face. 

After the first kidnap attempt fails, Nathan knows that it's only a matter of time before they try again. They need to be ready for whatever comes their way. 

Living at the safe house with Nathan, Autumn starts to discover feelings she didn't know existed. It's a very different world to which she is accustomed. But being here with Nathan and Tawanda, eating regular meals and sitting outside looking out over the water, Autumn can begin to imagine another life for herself. 

Is Autumn Raine really the pop diva and media sweetheart that we first met? Is she nothing but an empty-headed, shallow little girl? Or is she much deeper when you scratch the surface? Is she adapting to a different way of life?

SECURITY is a story of drama, tantrums, kidnap plots and much much more. The budding romance that unfurls is the sweetest, deepest kind. There's more to Autumn and there's more to Nathan than anyone would first think. Nathan may be a man with his secrets, but he has his reasons. There's good reason for him to have built a fortress around his heart. But can Autumn start to burrow under that fortress? Can she make him believe in life, in love, in himself? 

This story packs a a mean punch. Just when you think it couldn't get any deeper, boy does it! There are trials and tribulations that both main characters must face. For Autumn, she needs to discover if she can be anything but a rich, snobby, shallow little girl. For Nathan, he needs to discover if he can begin to let down the walls around his heart. But in doing so, can he do his job? Can he protect Autumn from the terrorists?
One thing we know is, he would defend her to his last breath. But is that due to duty or thanks to Autumn teaching him how to love?

The 3 characters in this book that you will be guaranteed to love are Autumn, Nathan and Tawanda. Each for different reasons. Autumn, because she's not all she seems on the outside. Nathan, because he's swoonworthy and you can't help but fall for him. Tawanda, because she is so vivacious, tenacious and oh so very funny. Plus, if you don't like her, the lady knows her way around a rifle.

When RABT first asked me if I wanted to be on the tour for this book, I knew I had to say yes. I love Mandy Baggot. She is an uber-talented author and anything she writes is worth reading. So when I downloaded the book and started reading, I wasn't surprised that I got swept away by the story within.
I felt like I could connect with all the characters (except for Autumn's mother - you'll find out why). I fell in love with Nathan (in case you hadn't guessed) and I had a blast reading about their journey together.

Mandy Baggot always manages to write books that seize you and drag you under. But that's okay because you want to be dragged into the middle of the story. You want to exist within the world of her characters. Amidst all that goes on, there's an underlying story of courage to overcome your anxieties. To conquer your demons and to fight for what you want in this life. 

I wish there was a sequel to Security because the only bad thing about this book was the fact that it had to end. This journey was a tumultuous, emotionally charged roller coaster. One that you haven't seen the blueprints for so you don't know when to expect the sharp turns or the loop-the-loops. My heart was broken with the impact of this story-line. At around 80-85% of the way through, I started to cry and it was like someone had turned a tap on. One minute I was sitting quietly reading my book, the next, I couldn't see for the tears blurring my vision. Once the initial cascade had passed, I wiped furiously at my eyes with a tissue and kept reading. I didn't stop crying until the last word on the last page. Some will say this is because I am over-emotional. But I'll tell you the truth; I only cry at books that deeply move me. Security is one of those. I think I'll contact Mandy about buying a signed copy because it's one of those books that you just have to own in paperback (I only have a Kindle copy).

I am eternally grateful to RABT for the tour invite. But more so to Mandy for creating this world in which I got lost and didn't want to find my way back out. Oh how I wish Nathan Regan was more than merely the product of Mandy's imagination. We all need a Nathan in our lives.

Thank you to everyone who came by for the tour stop today. I hope you will continue to follow the tour, maybe even go back to the stops before me. Let's spread the love for this wonderful book as far as our bookish community possibly can.


While I still have your attention, here's a little Guest Post from Mandy herself:

Starting out as a writer – 5 things you should know and do

  You know everyone says they have a book in them. But do you know how many writers are actually active and out there? There are millions, yes millions of writers creating stories every single day. Choosing writing as profession isn’t easy. There is a lot of competition and if you want to go down the traditional route be prepared for knock backs. There are millions of others all carrying the same dream.
 
Be yourself. Read widely but don’t copy style. Find your uniqueness. Do you enjoy writing descriptive passages? Are you a King or Queen of dialogue? You need to write what comes from your heart otherwise it won’t bond together properly. A passionate voice is key.
 
Ask for help and advice. We all become better writers by accepting critiques from peers. Join a reader/writer community and test drive your manuscript. Ask for honest opinions because in the long run these will help you most.
 
Unless you are a bit of a phenomenon you aren’t going to hit the Amazon bestseller charts at the first attempt or even the second or the...do you see where I’m going with this? Be prepared for lots and lots of hard work not just on polishing your novel but on letting people know it’s there. Embrace social media, work hard and it will pay off but don’t expect to be at E L James status overnight.
 
Keep writing and never lost heart. It’s your novel, they are your characters and you are the best person to write their story. There will be knock backs, dashed hopes and lots of ‘almost’ moments. Suck in every one of them and remember the feeling. When you get that contract or when copies start flying off the virtual shelves it will all be worthwhile. A real writer will always write regardless of commercial success. Sometimes we all get too wrapped up in this. Don’t forget to enjoy the story – that’s how we all got started!


April 4 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
April 6 - Andi's Book Reviews - Review/Interview
April 7 - Tiffany Talks Books - Review
April 8 - Taking it One Page at a Time - Review/Guest Post
April 10 - T's Bookish Moments - Review
April 11 - Looks, Cooks, and Books - Review
April 12 - The Serial Reader - Review
April 14 - Gothic Angel Book Reviews - Review/Guest Post
April 15 - My Cozie Corner - Review
April 16 - Turners Antics - Review/Guest Post
April 17 - Bean Counting Mommy - Review/Guest Post
April 19 - Musings of a Blodger - Review/Interview
April 20 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews - Review/Guest Post
April 22 - Author Ever Leigh - Review
April 23 -For The Love of Reading  - Review
April 24 - Flirting With Romance - Review
April 25 - My Reading Addiction - Review
April 26 - Lets Get Booked - Review
April 27 - 
April 28 - 
April 29 -Queen of All She Reads - Review/Guest Post
April 30 - Army Wife's Reviews - Review
May 1 - Busy Mom Book Reviews - Review
May 2 - RABT Reviews - Review

Author Bio:
Mandy Baggot is a self-confessed Twitter addict who likes to sing on You Tube. She regularly guests on book blogs and is a featured author on the innovative website loveahappyending.com. She is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

Website 
Twitter Handle: @mandybaggot
Facebook 
Publisher Author Page






2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me today, Keren and for that fantastic and detailed reviewed. I'm so glad you loved Security!

    Mandy :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think she loved it! I think I know why. FAB book, FAB review! Thanks for sharing, Keren - and CONGRATS, Mandy! :) xx

    ReplyDelete

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