October Releases

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Book Review: Branded (The Cavanaugh Brothers #1) by Laura Wright

Author: Laura Wright
Series: The Cavanaugh Brothers
Number in Series: 1
Format: ARC PDF (Netgalley)
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Pages: 359
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic Romance/Mystery

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Synopsis from Goodreads

In the small town of River Black, Texas, sits the Triple C—a working cattle ranch that sustains the town. But it also holds painful memories and shocking secrets for the Cavanaugh brothers...

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.


     Branded is easily one of my favorite reads this year. I don't really read a lot of books about cowboys. I actually don't think I have before. But I love Laura Wright. If she writing it, I will be reading it. Point blank. Wright has written some freaking awesome paranormal books, so I was excited to see what she would do with a contemporary romance since I haven't had the chance to start any of her other ones yet. I am happy to announce that it was just as captivating.
    The book follows Deacon, a self-made billionaire who has just learned his father has died. He doesn't seem to care much about his father's death. Him and his brothers have lost their younger sister, Cass. After that, nothing was the same between them. All the more reason he doesn't care about his dad's death. What he does care about is the ranch his dad has left behind where he and his brothers grew up. He wants it demolished. This, however, raises a huge problem.. People work on this ranch, a lot of people. Some for many, many years. It is their life. But Deacon doesn't care. He comes to the ranch for his father's funeral and his will. He meets up with his two younger brothers, Cole and James, to get things figured out. Things were terrible for them in that house, so there is no real issue there. But when their father's will is read, a crazy discovery is made and it turns plans completely upside down.

    Mackenzie aka Mac was our leading lady in the book and I loved her. She is the ranch foreman and she was Cass' best friend before she was kidnapped and killed. She was in love with Deacon for a long time, so him finally coming home should be great. But she hates that he is going to ruin her livelihood. She is not going to take that lying down even if it seems her feelings that she has had for him all those years ago haven't gone anywhere. I loved how tough she was. She had a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue. I knew from the get go she was going to give Deacon a run for his money. It was a slow process to love Deacon though. I wanted to punch Deacon in the face at times. He could be such a jerk at times. But little by little we learn so much about his past and the kind of man he really is. But his put his revenge ahead of everything else, even his potential future with Mac. I loved this struggle because he really needed to learn things the hard way. His hate bled into everything and he needed to learn what was important and what wasn't. You will definitely love him in the end.

     One of many things I love about Wright's work is that she gives us the story from all sides. I love that the book clearly has its main characters, but Wright makes sure we get the points of view from everyone involved. We learn so much about them and I am really looking forward to all of their books. We have Blue, Mac's best friend and fellow ranch worker as well. He plays a bigger part into the story, but you will have to read it to find out. Then we have Deacon's brothers. James is a celebrity horse whisperer. He is quiet and keeps to himself most of the time. He is a gigantic cloud of mystery in this book. He is involved with something in this book that we are kept in the dark about. We get a glimpse of it at the very end (left my jaw on the ground, by the way). I am curious as to why he was keeping it a secret though. I can't wait. We also have Cole. Cole is a professional MMA fighter. All of his anger comes from his fists. We learn a little about him in this book. We learn of his anger and how he can't get over what happened to Cass. It really is a tragic story and seeing how their past is still affecting their future is heartbreaking.

     I just couldn't put this book down even if I wanted to. I finished it in a day, I was that enthralled. I knew Wright was going to give me a great story and she delivered. I loved the complexity and the romance. I wasn't expecting this book to be so mysterious though. We learn some very dark and terrible secrets that have been haunting these brothers. Sadly, these secrets are still haunting them. Deacon definitely has been the most affected by them and you will learn why. I was dying to see how far he was going to take his vengeance. He was so bitter over his memories of his dad, he couldn't really think of anything else. I can't wait to see how the younger brothers are going to handle their demons in the coming books. The death of their sister, Cass, is the turning point for all of them. After the ending, I can't wait to see what the reaction will be and how they are going to handle everything. 

     This book is definitely a favorite. Again, cowboy reads haven't been a thing for me, but I may be changing that in the future. Wright knows how to type out one hell of a story. I am already addicted to this series. This book is a must-read and Wright is an author you must watch. Rich storytelling, complex characters, and dark secrets wrapped up in a super sexy romance. Can you say win? I can. WIN! Read this book pronto.



About Laura Wright
Author of the Bestselling Mark of the Vampire series, Laura Wright spent the early years of her life immersed in the worlds of singing, acting and competitive ballroom dancing. But when she started writing, she knew she’d found her true calling. Laura lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, two children, three dogs, two frogs and two fish. She’s been thrice nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, and loves hearing from her readers.
Connect with Laura Wright

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