Dreaming of Florence by T. A. Williams blogtour book review

dreaming of florence cover

Dreaming of Florence written by T. A. Williams, publisher Canelo, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/JaLcZv

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Fresh pasta, red wine, fine art… and love? Find enchantment this year in the magical city of Florence

When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!

Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?

Dreaming of Florence Blog Tour banner (4)

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of T. A. Williams latest novel:  Dreaming of Florence.

There is a recognised quote “Reading is dreaming with open eyes” and the author T. A. Williams has a unique skill of instantly transporting the reader to the locations of his novels.  You can fully appreciate the research he has undertaken as the knowledge of the areas he writes about with it’s beauty, heritage and history is spelled out across the pages.  After reading this new novel by T. A. Williams I too am dreaming of Florence …

Debbie Waterson is an English teacher currently based in Cambridge teaching her native language to foreign students.  Following the break up of a relationship Debbie’s work is her life but when she accidentally bumps into a handsome Italian Dr her childhood dreams of the Italian city of Florence start to feel like a possible reality.

Debbie’s current job is in jeapordy and she is forced to look elsewhere for employment and when an opportunity arises to teach in Florence she excitedly grabs the chance to fulfil her dreams and maybe also to see more of the dishy Dr Pierluigi.

The city of her dreams is all that she has envisioned and her heart is filling with the love of it’s culture and heritage.  However, her blossoming romance with Pierluigi is set for doom.  Brushing down the let down of her new love Debbie ploughs herself into her new job and making new acquaintances.  Life is turning out pretty well for Debbie until one eventful night that brings her in the hands of danger.  Can her city of dreams heal her heart and mind and bring her all that she desires?

I really enjoyed Dreaming of Florence, the author takes you on a wonderful picturesque journey with Debbie discovering a new city and friends.  However, when the storyline takes on a darker side the author treads very carefully and deals with a serious issue with a touch of grace.  A heartwarming tale of new beginnings in life and love.

To learn more about T. A. Williams and his work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://tawilliamsbooks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/tawilliamsbooks

 

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The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw book review

the things we learn when we're dead

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead written by Charlie Laidlaw, publisher Accent Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/8QbZT2

Product Details (as per amazon page)

On the way home from a dinner party she didn’t want to attend, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident. Or does God have a higher purpose after all? At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home…

hamster clipart

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

This is the story of Lorna Love who is about to embark on her career in law when her life is sadly cut short following an accident.  Lorna wakes up not in hospital but on a spaceship known as HVN and God has chosen her for a higher purpose but Lorna has to go through a process before God will reveal all that is meant for her.

I had heard great things about this novel and was intrigued enough to want to read it.  The author Charlie Laidlaw has cleverly written a story with such a great imaginative concept around a young woman who has been struggling with what life has dealt her.  Lorna sadly at a young age has had to deal with grief, loss, family saga and with it the angst of teenage hormones and the trials of growing up.  The story is very compelling, you are drawn to Lorna’s character, she is a young woman with strong beliefs but is also shy in herself.  As Lorna starts remembering events and feelings from her past you learn to love her character even more.  With the introduction of God and his entourage is so clever of the author but it is also quite charming, I was enchanted and intrigued by HVN and Irene with her unorthodox ways.  Charlie Laidlaw has injected a little humour in this side of the storyline which was perfectly placed.  I did get a little confused with the spaceship terminology but that is just me however, I hasten to add it didn’t distract me from enjoying the novel.  The storyline as a whole kept me captivated and I wasn’t sure where the author was going to take the reader next.

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is a very unique story; a story that deals with many emotions we face in life but it’s also quite a beautiful story; a story of love, loss and friendship.  At the end I felt quite uplifted and was so pleased to have the opportunity to read such an imaginative novel.

To learn more about Charlie Laidlaw and his work please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.charlielaidlawauthor.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/claidlawauthor

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/charlielaidlawauthor/

Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café by Rachel Griffiths book review

winter at the cosy cottage cafe

Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café written and self-published by Rachel Griffiths is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2A4EHZ3

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Camilla Dix is fiercely independent. Growing up, she had to be strong for her mother and younger sister after her father left them for a new life in Benidorm. Camilla has kept her heart firmly closed to love, and never allows her relationships with men to develop into anything serious.

Tom Stone moved to Heatherlea for a fresh start. He’s been hurt in the past and has no intention of making himself vulnerable again. The only company he wants at night is that of his rescue British Bulldog Hairy Pawter.

However, when Camilla and Tom meet, they can’t deny their mutual attraction, and something deeper soon develops between them.

As snows falls over Heatherlea, mulled wine flows and festive carols fill the air, but can Camilla and Tom put their fears aside and trust each other enough to let love in?

bulldog in the snow

 

This was such a treat to return to one of my favourite cafes (shame it’s fictional)!  Rachel Griffiths has created an idyllic setting for her new book series and Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café is our third outing to the café.  Each book can be read as a standalone but to fully immerse yourself in this picturesque landscape and the characters that the author has created I would fully recommend reading all the books in the series in chronological order.  The books now available are:

  • Summer at The Cosy Cottage Cafe
  • Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Cafe
  • Winter at The Cosy Cottage Cafe

and coming soon …

  • Spring at The Cosy Cottage Café

I instantly felt like I was re-visiting my very own book family as Rachel Griffiths has created a lovely myriad of characters for this series.  Characters written with warmth and humour and all set around The Cosy Cottage Café in the fictional country village of Heatherlea.

This story focuses on Camilla, the older sister of Dawn and the glamorous career woman from the friendship group that live in the village and congregate at the café.  Due to heartbreak in the past Camilla is wary of committing to a relationship but when a new vet turns up in the village Camilla is instantly attracted but is confused with her growing feelings.

Vet Tom has recently moved to the village following his own heartbreak, with the unique help of his trusted dog HP he is trying to settle into a new community.

With the festive season in full flow the storyline weaves around Christmas markets with festive foodie treats and handmade toys.  Family and relationship unrest but with a close friendship circle any unsettling is minimised by the love of the community within.

This was such a fun, festive read and the author has given us so many comical moments in this story.  A story of letting go of the past and opening your heart to new beginnings.  Cosy, comforting, full of laughter and festive sparkle.

To learn more about Rachel Griffiths and her work please do visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/authorRG

 

 

 

Away for Christmas by Jan Ruth book review

away for christmas

Away for Christmas, written and self-published by Jan Ruth, is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  myBook.to/Away4Xmas

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Jonathan Jones has written a novel. Losing his job a few days before Christmas means the pressure is on for his book to become a bestseller, but when his partner drops her own bombshell, the festive holiday looks set to be a disaster.
When he’s bequeathed a failing bookshop in their seaside town, it seems that some of his prayers have been answered, but his publishing company turn out to be not what they seem, and when his ex-wife suddenly declares her romantic intent, another Christmas looks set to be complicated.
Is everything lost, or can the true meaning of words, a dog called Frodo, and the sheer magic of Christmas be enough to save Jonathan’s book, and his skin?

rocking horse

Away for Christmas is a 107 page novella by author Jan Ruth.  Jan Ruth is a contemporary women’s fiction writer and sets her stories in the countryside, specifically her beloved Welsh countryside.  I really enjoyed Away for Christmas, so much that I didn’t want it to end, this was mainly because the storyline is set around a bookshop, which is every book lover’s dream to own and run their own bookshop.This festive story tackles real life issues which made the storyline and characters more easily recognisable.

Jonathan Jones was a despondent accountant in a lovely coastal town in Wales.  For the last year or two his mind has been more focused on words rather than numbers as he is an aspiring author.  With his first book written he was now part way through his second novel and was obsessed with getting his characters and ideas in his head noted down.  After a particular bad day at work he makes a radical decision about his career.  With a failed marriage under his belt he’s hoping his relationship with Charlotte will not go the same way as his writing obsession does have the habit of taking over his life.

We follow Jonathon’s journey fulfilling his dreams of seeing his own books in print in a bookshop.  His steps to become a published author hit many wrong turns and you are left wondering whether Jonathon will realise his dreams.  We also follow his relationship woes and over the months and years pursuing his writing career he is given time to ponder his future.

Jan Ruth transported me to the ruggedness of Wales with it’s natural beauty.  I fell in love with the rundown bookshop and could picture it in my head and also images were swimming around my head of my very own imaginary book shop.  The text flowed very well and I was sad to see the story come to an end.

A festive story that will entertain and inspire you.

To learn more about Jan Ruth please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://janruth.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JanRuthAuthor/

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket by Linda MacDonald blogtour book review

Needlecord - Cover Image

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket written by Linda MacDonald, publisher Matador, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2zDqdOH

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When Felicity meets Coll, a charismatic artist, she has high hopes of being distracted from her failed marriage. What she doesn’t know is that he has a partner, Sarah, with whom he has planned a future. Sarah is deeply in love with Coll, but his controlling behaviour and associations with other women have always made her life difficult. When he becomes obsessed with Felicity, Sarah’s world collapses and a series of events is set in motion that will challenge the integrity of all the characters involved.

Needlecord Blog Tour Poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating this wonderful book about love and life by Linda MacDonald.

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is about one man, Coll, who has been in a long-term relationship with Sarah for a couple of years however, he isn’t fully committed to this partnership.

Coll is a manipulative man full of charm and persuasion but as quick as he pulls you in he keeps you dangling, as if on the end of a piece of string, near enough for him to pull when he wants attention but still far enough away to allow him his own space to pursue and pull another string.

This story by Linda MacDonald is told from three POV; the manipulator (Coll), the one left dangling on the end of the string (Sarah) and the newcomer that soon becomes embroiled (Felicity).  I did feel compassion for Sarah who was so in love with Coll and this intensity of love helped her overlook some of his more deviating ways but when Felicity came on the scene Coll’s persona changed completely crushing Sarah’s heart and soul.  Sarah has suffered with heartbreak in the past and finding Coll with his charm has been a tonic for Sarah when she needed it the most but can she now learn to live without Coll by her side?  I don’t believe Coll intended to be devious with his love, I believe his character traits found it difficult to keep his charm offensive in check and the attention he received from this was such a boost to his ego.  Felicity is struggling to come to terms with the break-up of her marriage and with the recent steps she has taken in her personal life she has many regrets.  Her family are what she holds dearest and now living apart from them she has time to take stock of her life.  Starting up her own restaurant with her youngest son has given her a new outlook on life and when this chance opportunity meeting Coll arises she is soon charmed by him.

Linda MacDonald has created a clever story about relationships and the complexity of personalities.  It is a story of lies and deceit, love and fantasy, letting go of the past and hope and strength to move on to a brighter future.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and as a reader it was interesting to learn about the three sides to this tangle of love that Coll had created around himself.


About the Author

Linda - Author PhotoLinda MacDonald is the author of four novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. All Linda’s books are contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.

After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. The first two novels took ten years in writing and publishing, using snatched moments in the evenings, weekends and holidays. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.

Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham in Kent.

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4870870.Linda_MacDonald

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/LindaMac1

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/LindaMacDonaldAuthor/

No Way Back by Kelly Florentia blogtour book review

no way back

No Way Back written by Kelly Florentia, publisher Urbane Publications, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: http://amzn.to/2xvnR2q

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When two eligible and attractive men are vying for your heart, it should be the perfect dilemma…

Audrey Fox has been dumped by her unreliable fiancé Nick Byrne just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and confused, the last thing she expects when she jumps on a plane to convalesce in Cyprus is romance. But a chance meeting with handsome entrepreneur and father-of-one Daniel Taylor weaves her into a dating game she’s not sure she’s ready for. Audrey’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she discovers on her return to London that Nick has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that’s left him in intensive care. Distraught yet determined to look to the future, Audrey must make a decision – follow her heart or listen to well-meaning advice from family and friends? Because sometimes, no matter what, it’s the people that we love who can hurt us the most…

Banner_NWB

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Kelly Florentia’s latest novel, No Way Back.

I really enjoyed this novel by Kelly Florentia.  No Way Back is her second full length novel.  It follows the life of Audrey Fox who is heartbroken following the break-up of her relationship mere days before their wedding.  Audrey and Nick have been together for eight years and Audrey was so excited and ready for her forthcoming nuptials.  However, Nick has had a fairly unreliable past and calling off the wedding just proves to Audrey how unreliable he is.  Audrey flees the country and stays in Cyprus with her parents to recuperate and reflect on her future.

Audrey’s heart and mind is very unsettled and Cyprus is not proving much of a distraction especially when she literally falls in the lap of wealthy and handsome businessman Daniel Taylor.  Daniel turns out to be Audrey’s very own Prince Charming but is she ready to be swooned so soon?

Back home in London reality hits her hard after learning that her ex Nick is seriously ill in hospital following a motorcycle accident.  Audrey is faced with a dilemma on whether to visit Nick in hospital.  Her friends are set against her visiting Nick and unbeknown to Audrey they have their reasons for this and when this reason reveals a whole lot more anguish for Audrey she is confused and heartbroken even more.

The handsome businessman Daniel is also back in London and has set his sights on winning Audrey’s heart?

Daniel Taylor is a very complicated character and Audrey’s first impressions are way off the mark.  But the more Audrey lets Daniel into her life the more tangled her new relationship becomes as Daniel has many secrets and until he reveals all to Audrey she cannot clear her mind of her feelings for him.

Audrey has a lovely support group of friends and family which hold many keys to this story .  The sub-characters themselves experience many trials and tribulations in their own lives.  Some of these moments in her friends lives were quite emotive, dealing with serious issues and the author dealt with these concerns in a sensitive manner.

For the weeks and months following the cancellation of her wedding Audrey has experienced extreme highs and lows and her heart was in turmoil.  Should she go back to her ex Nick or have the charming Daniel capture her heart?

There were many twists in this tale I didn’t see coming, one minute I was hopeful and thought ‘yes, Audrey should choose him’ and then the author throws us in a completely different direction and you are left with a right quandary.

I was pleased to learn after reading this novel that Kelly Florentia will write a sequel to No Way Back.  There is so much potential for a sequel and I’m excited to see which way the author will take all the main and sub-characters.   No Way Back has many tears of despair, drama, intrigue, fun, frolics and warm tender moments.  Great story that has left me wanting more.

To learn more about Kelly Florentia and her books please visit the following links:

Website:  https://kellyflorentia.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/kellyflorentia

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/KellyFlorentiaAuthor

 

Guest Post: Extract from Zenka by Alison Brodie

Zenka_Final

Zenka written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available to pre-order in ebook format.  Date of publication is 6th November 2017.

To pre-order links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07534Y6QZ
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Product Details (as per amazon page)

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says

About the Author

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side.
Alison Brodie is an international best-selling author. Her books having been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland).  Alison has now gone “indie”.
Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books:
BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor” –Midwest Book Review
THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.
To learn more about Alison Brodie visit the following links:

EARLY PRAISE FOR ZENKA:

“A riveting read. Powerful. Spicy” -Midwest Book Review

5* “To say I loved this story would be a massive understatement” –Bloggers from Down Under

5* “Will warm your heart and chill your bones” –Tome Tender Blogspot

5* “Top of my list for best fiction this year” – Lauren Sapala, WriteCity

5* “You won’t be able to put this book down” –Laura Reading

5* “Brodie nails it again. Intelligent wit and outstanding writing” –Charlie Elliott, author of Life Unbothered.



I’m delighted to be able to share an extract from Zenka.  Alison Brodie has chosen a brilliant scene to share with you all.

Maid-MarigoldAt ten o’clock, the doorbell buzzed. Nicholas padded down the stairs, smiling grimly as he imagined the battle-axe standing on the doorstep, a battle-axe who would storm into Jason’s room and order him to get his lazy butt out of bed and tidy up his mess.

Nicholas opened the door to see the top of a dripping blue umbrella. He saw it lift slowly to reveal a face. The small pointed chin and full lips belonged to a little girl, but the slanted green eyes belonged to a porno queen.

It took a moment for him to find his voice. ‘Can I help you?’

I am Zenka.’ Her accent was Eastern European, her voice husky. She smiled and held up a pair of yellow Marigold gloves.

Her smile was blinding. It took him a moment to drag his eyes from her to the Marigold gloves. He looked at them. He looked at her. Somehow, it seemed, they were connected.

A cloud of anxiety moved over her face. ‘You not vant me cleaning?’

Cleaning?’ He felt a jolt. She was the cleaning lady!

He quickly collected himself. ‘Come in, come in.’ He snatched the umbrella from her. ‘I’m upstairs. It’s not very big. It shouldn’t take you long. You might need a hand … you know … with-’

Stop babbling! he screamed inwardly.

As she threw off her hood, long red hair cascaded down over her shoulders, alive and bouncing, and screaming to be touched.

He clapped his hands vigorously. It made him think of a scout master summoning his troop. ‘O-kay! Let’s get to it!

He led the way, his nerve-ends alive to her presence, every male testosterone and mating instinct flashing on red alert. At the door of the flat, he stood back to let her enter. The shy look she gave him from under her black lashes made him catch his breath, and for the first time in his life, he was aware of his heart.

Your home is so pretty,’ she exclaimed, looking around. She handed him a leaflet. ‘I saw this on door mat. Thai boxing. That for you?’

He barely glanced at it. Everything about her was sensual; her little nose, the way she moved her lips to speak, and her eyes, oh God, her eyes, sliding to look at him from under thick black lashes, seeming to say: “I want to be friends with you, if you want to be friends with me.”

Nicholas, mesmerised, watched his beautiful visitor inspect the ornaments on the mantelpiece. Suddenly, she looked back at him and smiled. His reaction was instantaneous. It was the quickest, widest smile he had ever given.

Ver do you want me to start vith you, Mr Jaffrey?’

Nicholas.’ He couldn’t get the word out fast enough. ‘Call me Nicholas.’

She tried his name, speaking delicately, as if caressing the air with her breath, the “o” sound puckering those beautiful lips: ‘N-i-c-h-o-l-a-s.’

He sat down to hide his erection, thankful that she had gone into the kitchen. He felt the grin spread across his face. Oh, Jason, Jason, you stupid twat. Look what you’re missing. Nicholas was not prepared to share Zenka with that Neanderthal. Thankfully, Jason held his Saturday morning lie-ins sacred, and would never meet her.

Itt Vagyok!’

Zenka stood in the doorway of the kitchen. She had removed her raincoat and now wore a little French maid’s. She held up the bucket and mop. ‘I begin,’ she announced. As she pivoted into the kitchen, he glimpsed frilly white knickers. He got to his feet and followed.

Let me help you,’ he offered.

Frankly, Nicholas, I’m not impressed.’ It was twelve-thirty and Jason had just woken up, bleary-eyed and cantankerous. He inspected the kitchen sink. ‘Bloody hell, it’s filthy! Look at the crud. And the cooker!’ He ran a finger over it and held up a greasy fingertip in evidence.

Nicholas smothered a laugh. Jason was behaving like Lady Davenport-Tewksbury. ‘When did you get so house-proud?’ Nicholas asked, putting away the cleaning products.

Jason stiffened, outraged by the slur. ‘I’m not house-proud for your sodding information, but I know when some tit has been ripped off. And you, mate, have been royally ripped off.’

I’m happy with what she’s done.’

What?’ Jason swung wildly. ‘What has she done?’ He pointed to the window. ‘Look!’ Squinting, he inspected the glass, ducking from side to side as if dodging bullets. ‘Look at those smears. They weren’t even there before!’

Nicholas sighed contentedly. He had spent two glorious fun-filled hours with Zenka; his only regret was that – because of the agency’s strict rules – she couldn’t give him her phone number. They’d giggled when she hoovered up the duster. He had physically melted when she tapped a puff of Fairy Liquid foam on his nose. He had blown up the Marigold gloves until they looked like udders and proudly displayed them on his chest. He had shoved two chopsticks up under his top lip and hopped about the kitchen like a rabbit, making her buckle up against the fridge in helpless laughter.

They had talked … well …. he had bombarded her with questions. She was Hungarian. No, she didn’t have a boyfriend. She told him she was attracted to men who were brave and strong. ‘I want someone who can protect me,’ she’d kept insisting. ‘A man who is not scared to use his fists.’

He knew, at that moment, he would become that man … whatever it took.