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Cocktails and Books


Branded - Laura Wright Shannon's Thoughts

3.5 Cocktails

I'm not usually a cowboy romance person, but I was intrigued as to what kind of spin Laura Wright would put on a western type romance. I love her paranormal books and really enjoyed her spin at the bad boy tattoo artists, so I figured I'd give this one a try.

This first book in the Cavanaugh Brothers series focuses on older brother, Deacon. He's come back home to get his hands on the family ranch now that his father's passed away. The ranch holds bad memories of the death of his little sister and the torment suffered after she was gone. I found myself both loving and hating Deacon. He was a stubborn ass, hell bent on doing what he wanted regardless of what his brother wanted to do when it came to the ranch. But we saw cracks in his a-hole facade when it came to ranch foreman and his sister's best friend, Mac Byrd.

Makenzie (or Mac) wanted nothing more than to save the ranch she had grown to love. Not only was it a place she called home after her father died, but it kept her close to the memories of her childhood best friend. Mac could be just as stubborn as Deacon, but she was trying to save something that meant a lot to not only her, but to the small town that depended on what the ranch brought in. She may have hated what Deacon was trying to do, but she couldn't deny the feelings she had for him...which instead of being a young girl's crush was now full of a woman's lust.

I liked Mac and Deacon together. She was a little rough around the edges, but she was able to soften Deacon. Show him what was really important in his life. She understood where he was coming from and why he was hell bent on destroying his family's ranch, but she was also determined to help him understand what is was going to take for him to no longer be chased by those demons. Sparks fly between these two..whether it's their verbal jabs at each other or the dirty talk they use when they're in bed....these two are HAWT. And the dirty talk is D-I-R-T-Y!

The death of the Cavanaugh brothers' sister will most likely play out throughout the series. We get snippets of her diary throughout Mac and Deacon's story. It's this diary that is key to what happened to Cass and I have a feeling it will be key in each brother's story as we get closer to finding out what really happened to her.

I liked the start to the series. I'm hoping James' story is next and that we discover behind that very quiet facade is another dirty Cavanaugh brother. If you enjoy Laura Wright's books, this is definitely one to pick up.

Sheri's Thoughts

River Black, Texas and the Triple C Ranch are both places that I would love to visit after seeing it through Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Byrd’s eyes. She’s a great heroine and I loved how rough and tumble she was but still capable of being a very feminine woman. I loved that she had such a big crush on Deacon Cavanaugh growing up, and that the crush grew up right with her. Mac and Deacon together despite his grumpiness, which he has every right to, are a great couple.

My only issue with this story was the way the author hopped from character perspectives, I loved being able to connect with what other characters and Cavanaugh brothers were thinking, but the hopping happened choppily. I’m hoping that’s something that will be fixed in the final copy, because as it stands that detracts from the story and makes it a bit muddled.

I look forward to each of the Cavanaugh brothers’ stories, because I know that they each have their own journey and demons to put to rest, and I really look forward to meeting the women who will tame them.

Ms. Wright does a fabulous job creating a rich world for these cowboys and men to live, and gives them a rich, if painful past, and I definitely enjoyed it and recommend the story to fans of cowboy and western romances.