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
This was my February read for Loveahappyending and as March is on the horizon I really had to power read this book! Luckily for me, it’s one of those, ‘just one more chapter…’ kinda books so it wasn’t a problem! Security is about singer, Autumn Raine who is highly self-obsessed and caught up with her day-to-day life of fame, fortune and purging after she eats. She is assigned a new bodyguard to accompany her to the upcoming IMA awards but there’s more to her new security and ex-solider, Nathan Regan, that she knows. She discovers that her mother, a high-ranking politician is receiving dangerous threats from a terrorist organisation of which they have branded Autumn as their target. Autumn is yet to experience some horrible things but on her journey finds love, finds new friends and most importantly, finds herself.
I could tell there was going to be a lot more to this book than what meets the eye from the first chapter and I knew that it was going to delve into deeper and darker territory than just a famous singer who can’t handle the fame. It was all a bit suspicious and mysterious and right from the word go you’re tangled up in this fast-paced story and just like the main character, Autumn, don’t know what way to turn. Classed as a ‘romantic suspense’ novel, this is far from your typical ‘boy meets girl’ story and takes you on a rollercoaster of highs, lows and unexpected plot twists. There was no faffing around at the beginning of this book, it went straight in head first and by chapter 3 I already felt that I had a good picture and understanding of the characters that had been introduced. In fact, I had such a good picture I already had my dream cast picked out! When Autumn was introduced at the beginning, she was the most annoying character in the world. She was a spoilt brat who didn’t eat but I love how you steadily see Autumn change throughout the whole book. From this spoilt, stuck-up and snobby little bitch into a warm and loving person. After everything she goes through in the book it really is heart-warming to see. She has her emotions played with throughout the entire thing and despite being the most annoying person at the beginning, I really did feel sorry for her and hoped she got the happy ending she deserved. Her growth in the book was completely down to Nathan, her bodyguard. They were such contrasting characters but balanced each other out and managed to bring the best out of each other in ways they didn’t think possible. It’s obvious the pair of them hate each other at first – there’s no doubt about it. There’s no ‘love at first sight’ nonsense, they genuinely want to punch each other in the face but you can feel and see the tension and attraction rising in them as we go along but you can also tell how much each of them don’t want to like the other person. It was an interesting relationship and I enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t clear cut. In fact, none of the book was.
The character that really stood out for me was Tawanda, Nathan’s old friend and Autumn’s new friend and PA. She is such a motherly figure and exactly what Autumn needs at this stressful time in her life. Considering Autumn and her own mother don’t get along, Tawanda’s presence really fills a void and makes everything seem just that little bit better. The end of the book was anything but predictable. I kept assuming I knew what was going to happen but then it didn’t, was sure something wouldn’t happen and it did and I loved it because anything could have potentially happened. Mandy has a way with words which makes it seem like they’re controlling you. Her writing style is very current and readable and incredibly easy to get lost in. You become part of their world, part of their stories, you can sympathise with the characters as well as want to punch them in the face and you are continually shocked at the latest bomb that’s been dropped. She keeps you on the edge and doesn’t give anything away too quickly so too make sure to build and build the tension and frustration until the boiling point. Security was highly compelling, engaging and extremely addictive – it was hard to put down. It had me on a tight leash and wouldn’t let go until I’d finished.
Hi Mandy, thanks for answering some questions (on such short notice may I add!) Firstly, can you tell us what Security is about?
Security is a romantic suspense novel following the lives of pop diva, Autumn Raine and her newly-assigned bodyguard and ex-SAS soldier, Nathan Regan. Autumn’s mother, a high-ranking politician, receives threats from a terrorist group and Autumn is the target.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
I love watching shoot-them-up action on TV and wanted to try something drama-led with my writing. I also met Andy McNab at a Waterstones signing and just wondering what he’d done with those hands in combat was inspiration enough!
Do you have any experience in the music industry or was there a lot of research gone in to it?
I get asked this question quite a lot because a number of my novels feature musicians or singers. I do have some experience with the music industry in that I’ve entered the X-Factor and I have a number of friends who are musicians. Couple all that with what you can learn from the internet and I’m almost an expert.
Authors tend to want to make their main character as likeable as possible but at the beginning of the book, Autumn is extremely stuck-up and spoilt. How did it feel writing a character that was so unlikeable at first?
I do like to challenge my readers don’t I? I actually had to make Autumn more likeable. She was really awful in the first draft! I love readers to experience the whole journey with the characters and not all of them start at a good place. The thing with Autumn is, she’s had a bizarre upbringing and then she’s been thrown into the limelight where nothing is normal. She’s bound to be a little tainted from all of that!
The book centres a lot around the threat of Autumn being kidnapped by a terrorist group. Where did the research and knowledge of this element of the book come from as it’s quite elaborate and specific?
I did quite a lot of research into terrorism on the internet…I hate to think what it would look like if the authorities searched my internet history! I created the terrorist group As-Wana because I didn’t want to link the fictional group to any existing entity. The most important thing I worked on was making sure Autumn’s fears about the threats were believable. Nathan too, although seasoned in combat and extreme situations, had to go through moments in the story where he thought all hope was lost.
What type of people would you recommend this book for?
Everyone obviously LOL! People who enjoy Spooks, 24 and Strike Back would love Security.
If Security was made into a film, who would be your ultimate dream cast?
I always had Richard Armitage in my mind for the role of Nathan Regan and perhaps Emma Stone or Drew Barrymore for Autumn.
Was this book self-published or traditionally published? What made you decide to take that route?
This book was published by Sapphire Star Publishing and was my second book with them. They also brought out my ice hockey romance, Taking Charge. These two books were my first traditionally published books after a few years self-publishing. I like trying lots of different things!
Which 4 famous people, dead or alive, would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Bryan Adams (because I’ve been a huge fan forever!), Brantley Gilbert (because he’s my current musical crush), Lady Gaga (because I think she’s a very interesting, talented and crazy lady) and Graham Norton (because I’m DESPERATE to get on his show!).
What are your dreams and ambitions for the rest of 2014?
I’ve just released my latest novel, Made in Nashville, and I’m working on my next book which I hope will be released in the summer. I would absolutely love to have a book in the Amazon Top 100 in Kindle store, that’s my latest ambition, but really I just want to be able to keep writing and for readers to keep buying and enjoying my books.
Finally, do you have anything else lined up that you’re able to tell us anything about?
The next book I’m working on is a summer read. As it’s my 10th book I thought it would be nice to go back to the scene of my very first book, so this one is also set in Corfu. Half-sisters Ellen and Lacey Brooks travel to the Hotel Blue Vue to plan Lacey’s wedding. But Lacey is more interested in the Zumba instructor. Ellen is hiding a secret and emails from home tell her she’s very close to being discovered. While animator, Yan, is struggling with his plast and the life of lies he’s having to lead. Can holiday love out last the sun tan?
You can find Mandy and Security on the following links: