When the Cavanaugh brothers return home for their father’s funeral, they discover unexpected evidence of the old man’s surprising double life—a son named Blue, who wants the Triple C Ranch as much as they do. The eldest son, Deacon, a wealthy businessman who couldn’t wait to leave the ranch and move on with his life, is looking to use his powerful connections to stop Blue at any cost. He never expected the ranch’s forewoman, Mackenzie Byrd, to get in his way.
Mac knows Deacon means to destroy the ranch and therefore destroy her livelihood. But as the two battle for control, their attraction builds. Now Deacon is faced with the choice of a lifetime: Take down the Triple C to feed his need for revenge, or embrace the love of the one person who has broken down every barrier to his heart.
I have been looking forward to this book since Laura Wright announced this new series on her Facebook page and asked her Texas readers for information on area ranches. I’m a Texan myself and a story about some hot cowboy brothers in Texas sounded great to me. I love Laura Wright’s Mark of the Vampire Series and Bayou Heat series and would have tried anything else she decided to write as well, but this plot really captured my interest. My review partner Dawn and I were both blown away by Branded. I got to write the review though. Branded has everything I look for in a great love story. It has great characters with an intense emotional connection and chemistry. Their story was filled with emotion, conflict, and scorching romance. If you’re a fan of Laura Wright’s paranormal romances you will not be disappointed in this contemporary romance series. The scorch factor is still there as well as her great writing style. I loved Branded and can’t say enough good things about it. I’m hooked and will be impatiently waiting for the second book, Broken, to release in October. I highly recommend this series!
*Review copy provided by Berkley/NAL in exchange for an honest review.
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The lights of the city flashed by as Deacon drove like a bat out of hell. Mackenzie watched him, his hand on the gearshift, ever ready. She wanted to touch him, put her hand over his, but she was afraid of getting stung.
She’d gotten too involved at the restaurant, in a situation that should’ve warranted some self control on her part. It was his business, for goodness sake. The choices he made were his own. She should’ve stayed out of it. But when it came to him, to them, it was like trying to stop a meteor from hitting the earth. The only way to do it was to shoot the thing down.
“I’m sorry, Deacon.”
“What for, Mackenzie?” His voice was tight, his eyes trained on the road.
“Getting into it with you back there. Acting jealous.” She shook her head, remembering. “In front of a business associate.” Ugh, not to mention every patron in the restaurant, and the pissed off fashion designer.
“You really think you know me.”
His cold tone worried her. This was exactly why she’d been anxious on the way to dinner. Screwing something up for him. Acting like a naive country gal who wanted everyone to know Deacon Cavanaugh belonged to her. She shouldn’t have said a word to Angus Breyer. That was Deacon’s private business. Had she truly screwed something up? Had he not meant it when he’d said it was his final offer to Breyer?
“I feel like I do know you,” she said, then sighed. “Hell, Deacon. I wasn’t trying to ruin your night or start a fight with you.” She groaned. “Or maybe I was. But if anything it was a fight for you.”
Deacon yanked the wheel to the right and skidded off the road onto a patch of gravel near a deserted playground. He had his seat beat off and his eyes on her in less than five seconds. “I’m not pissed off because of Breyer or Pamela or anyone in that goddamn restaurant, Mackenzie. I couldn’t give a shit about any of them.”
Her insides reeling from the jolt of the car and the fire in Deacon’s eyes, Mackenzie gripped her seat. “Then what is it? Why are so angry?”
“This.” He reached out and touched her face, ran his fingers up her jawline into her hair. “You. I want you. Fuck, I wanted you so badly back there that I didn’t give a shit about that deal. I didn’t give a shit about anything.”
Her mouth dropped open. “Oh.”
“Yes, oh,” he said on a growl, his fingers tightening in her hair. “What does that say to you, Mackenzie?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know.”
“Yes, you do,” he retorted hotly. “Tell me. What does it say that I’m more enraptured with you than I am with a deal I’ve wanted for more than three years?”
Her heart was pounding so hard in her chest, she could barely think straight. “That you’re as into me as I’m into you.”
“Yes.” He released her and sat back in his seat with a groan. “And that I’m losing control over myself.”
Shaking her head, she huffed out a breath. “You’re not alone in that, Deacon. God, we’re both running hot for each other. You’re all I can think about. That’s why everything I hear, everything I’m told scares the shit out of me.” Her throat went tight and her hands started to shake. “I want to run from you. Get out of your eye line. Forget I saw you again, pretend my heart isn’t screaming for yours to capture it right this very second. It would be so much easier. But I can’t.” When he turned to look at her, she shook her head at him a little manically. “I can’t.”
His jaw working, making his cheekbones flex, he popped her seat belt. “Come here,” he uttered hoarsely, then reached for her, lifted her up like she weighed absolutely nothing and placed her in his lap.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Laura Wright is passionate about romantic fiction. Though she has spent most of her life immersed in acting, singing and competitive ballroom dancing, when she found the world of writing and books and endless cups of coffee she knew she was home. Laura is the author of the bestselling Mark of the Vampire series and the USA Today bestselling series, Bayou Heat, which she co-authors with Alexandra Ivy.
Laura lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and a menagerie of pets.
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✦THE CAVANAUGH SERIES INFORMATION: http://www.laurawright.com/books_cavanaugh.html