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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 R 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.


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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 R 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.

30 review for Branded

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    4.5 stars. Narrated by Kaleo Griffith Listened to the audio version and was glued from start to finish. This is the first book I have listened to with this narrater and I can easily understand why some of my GR's friends raves about him. He is an excellent narrator, one that I would happily recommend, he brings the characters to life and has a nice smooth voice which is easy to listen to and is the perfect choice for reading romances. In this there was quite a few really steamy scenes which were 4.5 stars. Narrated by Kaleo Griffith Listened to the audio version and was glued from start to finish. This is the first book I have listened to with this narrater and I can easily understand why some of my GR's friends raves about him. He is an excellent narrator, one that I would happily recommend, he brings the characters to life and has a nice smooth voice which is easy to listen to and is the perfect choice for reading romances. In this there was quite a few really steamy scenes which were enough to get anyones blood racing, but oh boy, after listening to Kaleo I was left drooling and in need of an ice cold shower ;)) I only had one complaint about this book (view spoiler)[and that is a big cliffhanger at the end and I am dying to know the answer, I want to know what happened to poor little Cassandra and what bas##rd snatched and killed her.....I suspect it won't be revealed until the end of the series. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ksenia

    Story rating: 3.5 Stars Audio rating: 5 Stars Overall rating: 4 Stars Branded take place in a small Texas town. When owner of the Triple C – a ranch that sustains the town passes away his three sons return home. They left their hometown after tragic death of their little sister and they don’t want to have anything with the ranch. Actually the oldest son Deacon would stop at nothing to destroy the ranch. Mac is the foreman of the Triple C and their sister’s childhood friend. She also happens to have Story rating: 3.5 Stars Audio rating: 5 Stars Overall rating: 4 Stars Branded take place in a small Texas town. When owner of the Triple C – a ranch that sustains the town passes away his three sons return home. They left their hometown after tragic death of their little sister and they don’t want to have anything with the ranch. Actually the oldest son Deacon would stop at nothing to destroy the ranch. Mac is the foreman of the Triple C and their sister’s childhood friend. She also happens to have a crush on Deacon when she was a girl. As they battle for the ranch they can’t deny their mutual attraction. I labeled this book as romantic suspense, but I think Branded is more of a character driven romance; suspense takes a back seat here. There was a mystery to solve of course – a tragic death of Deacon’s little sister, but it was in background. The author did a great job writing very different characters, each of them with their own distinct personality. I love character-driven stories, so it was a pleasure to meet them all. I admit that the book was a little slow in the middle, and my interest began to waver, but then Laura Wright changed the scenery. The first 50% of the book took place in the small town and have this “cowboy story” vibe. Then Deacon invited Mac to a dinner in the big city, and we unexpectedly have a look at his businessman side. I know FSOG ruined the whole “rich and handsome businessman” plot for many readers, but I love a sexy businessman in my romance. This aspect was a pleasant surprise in this country story. This is Adult, so as expected there were some steamy and hot scenes. They were well-written, but I wasn’t impressed by romance in this book. My favorite aspect in romance is build-up, anticipation, and unfortunately there wasn’t much of it in this book. Branded is the first book in this series. While the story centers around Mac and Deacon, there are also subplots about other brothers. I also want to warn you: the mystery behind Deacon’s sister wasn’t solved in this installment. And I have a feeling we wouldn’t get answers in the next book too. I found this frustrating, because I don’t like unresolved mysteries. My thoughts about the audiobook Branded is narrated by Kaleo Griffith. I liked his performance. He has a smooth deep voice and he did a perfect job voicing different characters. There was a scene where all three brothers were present, and his performance was amazing. I had no problems to distinct which one of three was speaking. It was my first experience this this narrator, and I want to listen more of his works. While Branded wasn’t a mind-blowing book, it was an enjoyable one, with interesting characters and intriguing mystery. I’m interested enough to continue with this series. PS. I’m not a big fan of bare-chested covers, but I’m in love with this model. I showed this cover to my husband with my comment: “Look at this gorgeous guy”. He was unimpressed. I hope he wouldn’t show me photos from some men magazine in retaliation. Lol. You can find my reviews:

  3. 5 out of 5

    Leila

    3 saddle up stars! This is a charming, slightly predictable, story of Deacon & Mackenzie. (view spoiler)[Deacon is a rancher’s son who has come back home after his father passes away. One big surprise is that his father has left the ranch to him, his three brothers and another brother they knew nothing about. Deacon wants nothing more than to destroy his childhood homes and the memories attached to it, specifically those surrounding the abduction and murder of his younger sister, Cass. Mac is t 3 saddle up stars! This is a charming, slightly predictable, story of Deacon & Mackenzie. (view spoiler)[Deacon is a rancher’s son who has come back home after his father passes away. One big surprise is that his father has left the ranch to him, his three brothers and another brother they knew nothing about. Deacon wants nothing more than to destroy his childhood homes and the memories attached to it, specifically those surrounding the abduction and murder of his younger sister, Cass. Mac is the ranch’s forewoman, Cass’s childhood best friend, calls the Triple C her home and Deacon’s father was like a father-figure to her, guiding her and taking her under his wing when she needed it most. (hide spoiler)] This is a brother to best-friend, unrequited love type of story that ends up being a battle of wills and emotions. I loved Mac!! She was a kick ass cowgirl who didn’t take crap from anyone and wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to get the job done. It was lovely to see her feminine side come out on occasion too; reminding us that she’s also a woman. Deacon is a wealthy business man who still has a whole lot of cowboy in him. I love that he’s a little bit cocky, a bit of a dirty talker and can look good in a suit or a Stetson. I liked the additional side character POV’s, they gave us an insight into what I’m assuming are the next books in the series. I had a couple of small issues with this book. The chemistry between Mac & Deacon seemed to only be based on looks and not that they possibly had any deep relationship based on the years and years that they’ve known each other. My other issue was the sex scenes, they were a bit awkward and the continued use of the words “cream” and “honey” were cringe worthy. This is my first book from Laura Wright and the first book in the Cavanaugh Brother’s series. I might give book 2 a try because I’m very curious to read James “The Horse Whisperer” Cavanaugh’s story and to learn more about the mystery of Cass’s murder.

  4. 5 out of 5

    HTL

    This book was kind of ridiculous. I mean, I can get behind the premise of the plot, but holy shit the two main characters were just.... dumb. And boring. And the sex scenes were laughably horrible and cringe worthy! * Deacon growled 21 times in this book. WTF. A growl here and there... okay. But 21 times! Deacon and/or Mac moaned 23 times. There were 25 instances of gasping. Between the growling, gasping and the moaning, I'm sure it sounded like dying animals. * The sex scenes were just so.... a This book was kind of ridiculous. I mean, I can get behind the premise of the plot, but holy shit the two main characters were just.... dumb. And boring. And the sex scenes were laughably horrible and cringe worthy! * Deacon growled 21 times in this book. WTF. A growl here and there... okay. But 21 times! Deacon and/or Mac moaned 23 times. There were 25 instances of gasping. Between the growling, gasping and the moaning, I'm sure it sounded like dying animals. * The sex scenes were just so.... awkward for me to read. Lots of talk about 'darlin' and 'creaming' and blech! But back to the romance--it's just ridiculous! I mean, they haven't seen each other in TEN YEARS and then Deacon shows up for his dad's funeral, they fuck, and suddenly they are like soooOOOOoOOOoo in lurrrrrve. Whatevs.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tpagirl Loves Romance

    Branded was the first book in the Cavanaugh Brothers series by Laura Wright. It was also my first book by the author. Deacon Cavanaugh was a cowboy turned ruthless billionaire. He left the Triple C Ranch ten years prior and paved his own way. When he left, he vowed to ultimately destroy the Triple C Ranch along with the memories it contained. He estranged father had passed away and now was his chance. Mackenzie “Mac” Byrd was the Triple C Foreman. She grew up around the ranch and the Cavanaugh’s w Branded was the first book in the Cavanaugh Brothers series by Laura Wright. It was also my first book by the author. Deacon Cavanaugh was a cowboy turned ruthless billionaire. He left the Triple C Ranch ten years prior and paved his own way. When he left, he vowed to ultimately destroy the Triple C Ranch along with the memories it contained. He estranged father had passed away and now was his chance. Mackenzie “Mac” Byrd was the Triple C Foreman. She grew up around the ranch and the Cavanaugh’s were like family. With her pseudo father gone, she was determined to fight Deacon to save the ranch. Although Branded was the story of Deacon and Mac, Wright set the stage for the entire series by providing a glimpse into each Cavanaugh brother and revealing the conflict and mystery behind why the brothers scattered ten years prior. There was also a suspenseful aspect to the plot - who abducted and murdered their sister. This was a theme that will unravel and continue throughout the series. Branded was well written and told from multiple POV’s, the primary characters plus the remaining characters for the series as sporadically mixed throughout. All in all, it was entertaining and enjoyable. It was a little slow starting for me and I was craving more depth at a faster pace, but it still kept me intrigued and interested. And with the bomb that was dropped at the conclusion, I can’t wait to see what happens. James Cavanaugh is next up in Broken.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Lyon

    I can't wait to read this! I got a look at the first pages...yummy! I can't wait to read this! I got a look at the first pages...yummy!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Wow! Just wow! That ending was a killer! I need to get my hands on the next book now. Laura Wright delivers a steamy, emotionally charged romance with plenty mystery and HOT cowboys in Branded. It will keep you on the edge on your seat from start to finish. Deacon Cavanaugh grew up on the Triple C, a cattle ranch in River Black, Texas. Tragedy drove him away and tragedy has brought him back. Deacon and his two brothers are in town fo I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Wow! Just wow! That ending was a killer! I need to get my hands on the next book now. Laura Wright delivers a steamy, emotionally charged romance with plenty mystery and HOT cowboys in Branded. It will keep you on the edge on your seat from start to finish. Deacon Cavanaugh grew up on the Triple C, a cattle ranch in River Black, Texas. Tragedy drove him away and tragedy has brought him back. Deacon and his two brothers are in town for their father's funeral. Will the Cavanaugh brothers be able to bury their anger and resentment toward their father now that he is dead? Being back at the Triple C has stirred up memories and emotions that might have been better off buried for Deacon and his brothers. Mackenzie Byrd is the foreman for the Triple C. She grew up with the Cavanaugh brothers and had a crush on Deacon. Now that he is back, will sparks fly between Deacon and Mac? Deacon is a sexy, wealthy businessman who is comfortable in both the boardroom and in the saddle. The scars of his past direct his decisions. Can he learn to forgive? Mac may be feisty and stubborn, but that is what is needed to run a ranch. She is willing to fight to the bitter end for what she wants. Deacon will have his hands full with Mac. The chemistry between Mac and Deacon is sizzling with plenty steamy scenes. I would definitely recommend it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    A lot of this one was predictable, yet it was a fun read. I wasn't sure at the start, Deacon was an ass and I had a hard time liking him. It didn't help that no one else seemed to either, including his brothers. It was only as the past was slowly revealed that you understood why Deacon was so cold and out to ruin his childhood home. Mac was a great foe against Deacon. She could stand toe to toe with him and had some sneaky moves of her own. With how this one ended it will be interesting to see wh A lot of this one was predictable, yet it was a fun read. I wasn't sure at the start, Deacon was an ass and I had a hard time liking him. It didn't help that no one else seemed to either, including his brothers. It was only as the past was slowly revealed that you understood why Deacon was so cold and out to ruin his childhood home. Mac was a great foe against Deacon. She could stand toe to toe with him and had some sneaky moves of her own. With how this one ended it will be interesting to see what will happen for all the brothers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Branded 4 Stars After the death of their father, Deacon Cavanaugh and his brothers return home to the Triple C ranch with one goal - to destroy the ranch and their father's legacy. But Deacon's determination is tested when the ranch foreman, Mackenzie Byrd, challenges him at every turn, and soon he will have to choose between his obsession for revenge and a future with the woman he cannot live without. While Deacon and Mac have strong chemistry, their backstory is underdeveloped, and their romance Branded 4 Stars After the death of their father, Deacon Cavanaugh and his brothers return home to the Triple C ranch with one goal - to destroy the ranch and their father's legacy. But Deacon's determination is tested when the ranch foreman, Mackenzie Byrd, challenges him at every turn, and soon he will have to choose between his obsession for revenge and a future with the woman he cannot live without. While Deacon and Mac have strong chemistry, their backstory is underdeveloped, and their romance has little going for it other than insta-lust. Aside from mentioning Mac's girlish crush and Deacon's annoyance at her friendship with his sister, Cass, there are few details of their past acquaintance. Moreover, the transition of their relationship from opponents to soulmates is sudden and unrealistic, as is Deacon's decision with regard to the ranch at the end. That said, the rest of the plot elements are much more intriguing. In addition to the kernels of a murder mystery, there are also snippets focusing on the lives of Deacon's brothers, all of whom have problems and secrets of their own. It will be interesting to see where the author takes these characters. In sum, despite the shortcomings of the romance, Branded is a well-written and entertaining read and the mystery has definite possibilities.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    4.5 stars First of all, let’s talk about this amazing cover. I must admit, it was the cover who drew me to the book. I mean, hot cowboy, hot SHIRTLESS cowboy with a beautiful background…what’s not to love? And then, I read the synopsis and I wanted this book. I was right. Branded was a great read and I cannot wait for Broken! I’d also like to say that I love the title of this book, after reading it, it makes perfect sense. And I also love the details on the cover, very well done! I’m impressed. Pe 4.5 stars First of all, let’s talk about this amazing cover. I must admit, it was the cover who drew me to the book. I mean, hot cowboy, hot SHIRTLESS cowboy with a beautiful background…what’s not to love? And then, I read the synopsis and I wanted this book. I was right. Branded was a great read and I cannot wait for Broken! I’d also like to say that I love the title of this book, after reading it, it makes perfect sense. And I also love the details on the cover, very well done! I’m impressed. Penguin knows how to design the perfect covers. Deacon Cavanaugh is rich. Immensely so. He owns a big company and lives in Dallas. Shortly after the death of his father, Everett, Deacon needs to go back to the Triple C Ranch, the ranch where he grew up with his brothers and sister. He doesn’t want it, he hates it and wants to destroy it. He has his reasons. After his little sister’s death, his family went to shit. Especially his mother. Things happened, bad things and because of that he does not want the Triple C Ranch to live anymore. He knows his two brothers, James and Cole, will agree with him but what he doesn’t expect is the surprising news during the reading of his father’s will. He has another brother, Blue, a worker on the ranch. Deacon, still determined to destroy the ranch, offers Blue money, lots of it, for him to sell his parts of the ranch. Meanwhile, enters Mac. The foreman of the Triple C. She’s tough, she loves this ranch more than anything else and she will not let Deacon destroy it, even if she had a big crush on him when she was younger. Mac was Cass’s (Deacon’s little sister) best friend, she was practically born on the ranch and she cared deeply for the three Cavanaugh brothers. Until Cass’s death. She doesn’t know what truly happened but after Cass’s abduction and death, the three brothers left the ranch and never came back. Now, they’re all back and one is determined to destroy her home. But things don’t go as planned. Deacon and Mac grow closer to each other, what will happen when the finale decision is made? Will they choose each other? Will Deacon destroy the Triple C and in the same time destroy his relationship with Mac? Read the book and find out… I love cowboys. I do. And Deacon Cavanaugh was one hot cowboy. I really liked him. Deacon is a sweet and nice guy, very rich but not arrogant, trying to be the good guy. He is just so desperate to destroy the ranch, he wants it gone and yeah, that must seem heartless and mean but Deacon truly has his reasons. He doesn’t want that just because. It’s deeper than that, it’s important for him, to find peace, to find happiness again, to let go of the past. I loved how passionate he was about his work and everything else around him. How nice he could be with Mac. Understanding, patient, funny. Mac doesn’t know Deacon’s reasons for wanting the ranch gone, she doesn’t understand but she tries and that’s why I loved her. At first, she kinda hates him but then, she realizes that Deacon is not a bad man, she wants to know the true reasons, why does he hate that part of his life so much. Mac is in love with her work, with the horses and saving cows, fixing fences and riding in the sun. She’s like Deacon, passionate. I loved that Mac wasn’t too judgmental with him or with anyone else, actually. She was brave, independent, not too stubborn (not too annoying), strong. And yes, I loved them together. Laura did a good job with them, I think that they worked great as a couple. They had chemistry and the sexual tension was palpable! What I loved about them was that it wasn’t a hate-love relationship, I’m so done with those, they bore and annoy me. With the circumstances I was afraid it was going to be like that but not at all. They both know the other wants something completely different, they both know that one of them will get hurt at the end but still, they don’t “hate” each other constantly nor do they try to hide their feelings for each other. They just go for it. It wasn’t too sudden either, they didn’t jump each other after 10 pages. Laura took her time at the beginning, explaining everything to us, every sides, and then she brought them together. Their relationship was beautiful, powerful and HOT. Laura knows how to write dirty. I had time to enjoy them as a couple and I loved that as well, they didn’t get together-together just at the end, I had time to read about them as a couple and it was awesome and cute and sweet and hot and nice. Of course, Branded doesn’t revolves only around them. For one, there is Cass, the little sister. Cass was abducted when she was thirteen and found dead a few days later. Her killer was never found but she kept a diary, a diary never found by the police either. A diary Laura shared with us, only a few pages but it was so interesting and I’m intrigued. In this diary she talks about an older boy, she calls him “Sweet” and Mac knows about him because Cass told her. Mac told the police but they never found anything about him. They dropped the case after several months. But we learn new things in Branded (it takes place 12 years after Cass’s death, if I’m not mistaken), I really wanna know more, especially after that ending!! How could Laura do that?! I WANT ANSWERS!!! And then there are Deacon’s brothers. James and Cole! Oh my Lord. YES! I want some of that. Seriously, I cannot wait to read their book. Especially Cole’s (he has tattoos everywhere and he’s a professional fighter and he was/is Cass’s twin brother). I already know their heroines, I’m sure for James but not completely sure for Cole but I have a good feeling! ;) Anyway, read this book. You won’t regret it. The only reproach I have is that I felt like some things were overlooked, especially with Blue and his mother. If you like cowboys, hot sweaty stubborn cowboys you will love this book! Don’t miss it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ula'ndi Hart

    Overall book rating: 4 Audio Book: Kaleo Griffith Book Cover: 4 A girl sometimes has a need for a sexy cowboy. Okay so Deke isn’t 100% cowboy anymore but he still rings the bells. Mack is just great. She’s no wall flower and I like that about female characters. I’ve read this before. Years back in my MF days and I still LOVE the narration. Kaleo Griffith sure has a very nice voice.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    Branded by Laura Wright starts out flying high with tension, as three brothers must return to the place they fled years before when their estranged father passes away. Focusing on the eldest brother, Deacon, who is a self-made financial success, and the most bitter of the brothers, this is a story of learning that what is important to your future may be stronger than the bitterness and need for revenge from your past. Mac grew up around Deacon and his brothers, being their sister’s best friend a Branded by Laura Wright starts out flying high with tension, as three brothers must return to the place they fled years before when their estranged father passes away. Focusing on the eldest brother, Deacon, who is a self-made financial success, and the most bitter of the brothers, this is a story of learning that what is important to your future may be stronger than the bitterness and need for revenge from your past. Mac grew up around Deacon and his brothers, being their sister’s best friend and the four of them still feel the pain of her murder and her loss. Younger than Deacon, she was in love with him from afar, even as a child. The family imploded the day the body was found, and the skeletons in the Cavanaugh family closet begin to mount. The “Mac” Deacon remembered is nothing like the Mac she has become beautiful, strong, intelligent and full of heart. She is also manages the ranch his family owns. This is her home. When Deacon makes it clear that he plans on destroying the ranch, a line is drawn, Mac versus Deacon. But their romantic attraction is hotter than a branding iron. Can they keep business separate from their growing feelings? Has Mac broken through the hardened shell around Deacon’s heart or will his need to destroy the demons that haunt him the only way he knows how destroy his chance for love? Laura Wright has combined high sexual tension with taut emotional tension as she tells a story of love, loss and need. Mac is one of those characters you admire from the start, determined and caring, while Deacon may take some getting used to. His over-the-top hatred and cruelty within the first few pages is hard to forget as he lashes out at those around him. I will say, the skillful blending of mystery, the shocking revelations that pepper this tale and the amount of angst it provides comes together wonderfully as a firm foundation for this new series. I received this ARC edition from PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW in exchange for my honest review as part of the Branded Tour and Giveaway stopping at Tome Tender. Series: The Cavanaugh Brothers - Book 1 Publication Date: June 3, 2014 Publisher: Signet ISBN: 9780451464873 Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie G

    The first book in The Cavanaugh Brothers series is a mesmerizing and heart gripping read. Consumed with vengeance, Deacon Cavanaugh returns to the Triple C ranch for his father’s funeral all set to destroy the ranch and everything on it. He never expected the ranch’s foreman, Mackenzie Byrd to get in his way, but as the battle each other for control, their attraction builds and now Deacon will have to choose; take the down the Triple C or embrace the love of the one person able break down the ba The first book in The Cavanaugh Brothers series is a mesmerizing and heart gripping read. Consumed with vengeance, Deacon Cavanaugh returns to the Triple C ranch for his father’s funeral all set to destroy the ranch and everything on it. He never expected the ranch’s foreman, Mackenzie Byrd to get in his way, but as the battle each other for control, their attraction builds and now Deacon will have to choose; take the down the Triple C or embrace the love of the one person able break down the barriers to his heart. The steady to fast paced and smooth flowing plot keeps readers on the edge of their seats with suspense, drama and romance. The author brings the story to life with well written descriptions of the scenes and events which inspire vivid images that capture the imagination and draw the reader deeper into the story. Tension builds throughout the story as secrets are revealed and Mac and Deacon battle their feelings and the past. The strong compelling characters are charismatic, easily related to and capture the heart of the reader from the very beginning ensuring the reader wants to know more. The attraction between Mac and Deacon sears the pages and the sex scenes are hot and steamy, but it’s the relationship that has sparks flying in every direction. The reader can’t help but get emotionally caught up in the story as they empathize with the Cavanaugh brothers and with the people of the Triple C Ranch. The snarky dialogue and tempestuous romance between Deacon and Mac adds chuckles and passion, while the past and unknown future brings tears, keeping the reader completely engrossed with the outcome. The author has created a wonderful, heartfelt romance with four sexy cowboys that have the reader wanting to take them home and make everything better. The author keeps the reader guessing with some surprising twists and secrets being revealed add spice and depth to the story and I can’t wait to read the next one. - Eva

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellie

    I'll have to think how to rate this book. So, it's just 2 stars and here are the reason's why. I was excited about this book but unfortunately, it didn't work well for me. I expected a cowboy story of love and second chance and instead I got a billionaire hero (a character which I generally don't like and avoid reading about) and some instalust and over-the-top love scenes which read more like paranormal that contemporary. The hero and heroine had a complicated history, he was her best friend's old I'll have to think how to rate this book. So, it's just 2 stars and here are the reason's why. I was excited about this book but unfortunately, it didn't work well for me. I expected a cowboy story of love and second chance and instead I got a billionaire hero (a character which I generally don't like and avoid reading about) and some instalust and over-the-top love scenes which read more like paranormal that contemporary. The hero and heroine had a complicated history, he was her best friend's older brother, her teenage crush and he had tried to stay away from her. At present they have opposite goals and nothing much in common. The beginning was promising - liked the atmosphere at the ranch and getting to know the characters, not Deacon and Mac, but Deacon's brothers as well. They had an important role and strong presence in the story which I quite liked. Deacon and Mac didn't work for me as a couple. I felt we were not given any reasons for them coming together (except, pure lust) and no real development of their relationship. They became from adversaries to soulmates overnight. It was unrealistic and their romance seemed forced. The love scenes, which were plenty, were so over-the-top that I skipped a lot of them. The chemistry didn't seem authentic but forced, the dialogue was stifled. On the positive side, there was a strong mystery/thriller element and it really held my attention throughout the whole story. This, together with the interactions between the Cavanaugh brothers were the best elements in this book. Still, despite being intrigued by the mystery I had too many issues with this story and I'm on the fence about continuing with series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Reading In Pajamas

    SPOTLIGHT, Review & Giveaway: Branded: The Cavanaugh Brothers by Laura Wright http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-1kd Publication Date: June 3, 2014 Reviewed by: Reading In Pajamas/ Cori Rated: 5 Stars ✦REVIEW: 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 SPOTLIGHT, Review & Giveaway: Branded: The Cavanaugh Brothers by Laura Wright http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-1kd Publication Date: June 3, 2014 Reviewed by: Reading In Pajamas/ Cori Rated: 5 Stars ✦REVIEW: 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hbeebti

    Really enjoyed this. I cant wait to read about the rest of the brothers, but I loved LW's Vampires more. Really enjoyed this. I cant wait to read about the rest of the brothers, but I loved LW's Vampires more.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Flavs is Mrs David Gandy♥~♥’

    Oh Darlin... I just love a cowboy...lol Nice... Definitely reading the next one!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dark Faerie Tales

    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales Quick & Dirty: Deacon Cavanaugh will do anything to destroy the Triple C Ranch. Mackenzie Byrd will do anything to stop him. Add in a sizzling attraction to each other, and that makes matters extremely complicated. Opening Sentence: Today it took five dollars to get the cowboys to look the other way when Mac and I saddled up one of Daddy’s prize cow horses. The Review: This book was just what I needed, as I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump lately. I Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales Quick & Dirty: Deacon Cavanaugh will do anything to destroy the Triple C Ranch. Mackenzie Byrd will do anything to stop him. Add in a sizzling attraction to each other, and that makes matters extremely complicated. Opening Sentence: Today it took five dollars to get the cowboys to look the other way when Mac and I saddled up one of Daddy’s prize cow horses. The Review: This book was just what I needed, as I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump lately. I do find it funny that a book I normally wouldn’t have picked up (I’m not always a huge contemporary romance fan) is the one that pulls me out of my slump. I’m incredibly grateful for it though! Growing up, the Cavanaugh brothers had a great life on their father’s ranch. That all changed when their 13-year-old sister went missing and was later found murdered. Life on the ranch changed, and it was no longer a place any of them felt safe or loved. All three brothers left as soon as they were able and never looked back. Since then, Deacon Cavanaugh has made himself into a very successful businessman. What he wants more than anything is to tear down the Triple C Ranch and move on with his life. He’s made numerous offers to buy the Triple C, all of which have been refused. When his father dies, Deacon sees his chance. What he doesn’t foresee is the fight he will have on his hands with the ranch’s foreman, Mac. Mac was his sister’s best friend and cannot understand the hatred Deacon holds for his father and his ranch. She will everything in her power to stop Deacon’s plan from going forward. Who will win in this battle of wills? Will Deacon and Mac’s burgeoning romance be able to withstand the fallout? The book is told mainly from Deacon and Mac’s perspectives, although we do get a couple scenes with the other Cavanaugh brothers as well as Deacon’s assistant. Spending so much time in the heads of our hero and heroine really helped me forge a connection to the two characters, although I felt more connected to Mac. In the first part of the book, Deacon comes off as a bit of a jerk, making it very hard to like him at first. Thankfully, this changes once the romance really takes off. Mac, on the other hand, is likable from the start. She’s incredibly strong and doesn’t need a man to make her life complete. At the same time, she’s not afraid to open up and make herself vulnerable. She’s just very easy to identify with. While I will say the romance did seem to move a little quickly, it honestly didn’t bother me too much. I think this is due to the fact that the chemistry between Deacon and Mac is just perfect. You could practically see the sparks and steam come off the pages. That chemistry greatly made up for any rushing of the romance that occurred. This was an incredibly enjoyable, quick read. I think fans of contemporary romance will be greatly pleased and those that aren’t normally into this type of book will be pleasantly surprised. I know I was! Notable Scene: “Everett Cavanaugh was good to this town,” he said in a deep, controlled voice. “No question about it. His success shows in every building, every business, and every home. But his failures were just as impactful. And like his successes, they shouldn’t go unobserved.” Beside Mac, Elena gave a tiny gasp. The rest of the room, however, fell silent and still. Clearly captivated by Deacon Cavanaugh’s audacity. Even the members of the congregation with fans held them aloft and immobile. “A town can be built on the destruction of others,” he said, his voice near to ice now. “But that kind of foundation ain’t strong. It won’t last. It can’t. I won’t allow it.” Without warning, his eyes dropped to the front row, hitting Mac with a dark, quizzical look that turned her insides lava. Will you be the one who gets in my way now? he seemed to be asking. Damn right, she wanted to shout back at him. But she had no voice. No goddamn voice. Staring up at him, she felt as if she were completely alone–on the bench and inside the church. She felt like a prisoner to his stare and that if he wanted to take something from her, not only would she let him, but she might just be inclined to fall to her knees when she handed it over. After a few long seconds, he pulled his gaze from hers and settled it back on the crowd again. As Mac regained her mind and chastised herself for shrinking under the weight of that intense look, Deacon continued with his backward eulogizing, undaunted. “Today you buy Everett Cavanaugh,” he said tersely. “Tomorrow I bury everything he’s ever worked for.” FTC Advisory: Signet/Penguin provided me with a copy of Branded. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shauni

    Originally reviewed for Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy. Branded was my first Laura Wright book and I will admit I am hooked. It's the first book in her Cavanaugh Brothers Series and it's both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The Cavanaugh family was perfect..three strong and handsome sons and one sweet and beautiful daughter. But one day, one simple action and their world fell apart. Their sweet and beautiful sister was abducted while they were at the movies. A week later her body was re Originally reviewed for Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy. Branded was my first Laura Wright book and I will admit I am hooked. It's the first book in her Cavanaugh Brothers Series and it's both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The Cavanaugh family was perfect..three strong and handsome sons and one sweet and beautiful daughter. But one day, one simple action and their world fell apart. Their sweet and beautiful sister was abducted while they were at the movies. A week later her body was returned to the family and the family disintegrated. Each son left the family ranch that had turned from heaven to he'll as fast as possible. And each of them found success. But the anger, race and bitterness remains. Now their father is dead and plans have been made to raise the land. MacKenzie Byrd had been the best friend of Cass Cavanaugh, they shared secrets, broken hearts and joy. Mac was an honorary member if the Cavanaugh Clan and their living family made Mac's desolate home life bearable. Add to that a forever crush on Cass' oldest brother, Deacon. As they all grew up and the brothers left, Cass worked the ranch, moving from hired hand to foreman. When Everette Cavanaugh dies she is devastated but when Deacon Cavanaugh returns and announces that he is going to level the triple C, Mac has a fight to win. Now if she can only push those old feelings aside and ignore the new ones, everything will be fine. Deacon Cavanaugh, oldest son. The one who had the best if childhoods, the one who felt the fall the hardest. The one who had to deal with his own guilt about his sister's death and the one who shouldered the most of the blame. But his guilt and sorrow has turned to a rage so dark he doubts he will ever again see the light. Called home for his father's funeral all he can think is at last. At last he can level the Triple C and put the past behind him. Only he doesn't count on MacKenzie Byrd.. she's all grown up now and Deacon realizes that they have something special.. But he soon realized he can have Mac or he can have revenge. Of course there is so much more going on.. at the reading of his father's will, the brothers Cavanaugh discover that there are FOUR brothers not three. So now besides the guilt, the rage, the lust and the memories that keep resurfacing now Deacon has to deal with an unknown brother.. And it seems the middle brother James has discovered New information on Cass' death.. Choices must be made.. Can Deacon give up on the one thing that has powered his adult life? Can Mac accept the man he is rather than the boy she had a crush on? Can they forge a lasting future or will their past destroy them? So much story packed into this book. Ms. Wright spins a beautiful weave while sharing these characters with us. Poignant moments appear in the midst of some of the most intense times. Like the eye if the storm they bring peace..only to give way to more fury (or rather intense moments). Wonderfully done. A story truly worth reading. Shauni This review is based on the ARC of Branded, provided by NetGalley.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks

    LOVED IT!!! BRANDED by Laura Wright is a mesmerizing mystery with a sizzling romance, thrown together to make a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. Mackenzie Byrd is the foreman of the Triple C Ranch. When all the Cavanaugh boys left the ranch after the death of their sister, Cassie, Mackenzie's best friend, was taken into the Cavanaugh fold as one of the family. Everett Cavanaugh and his wife blamed their sons for not protecting Cassie when she disappeared and was subsequently found murdere LOVED IT!!! BRANDED by Laura Wright is a mesmerizing mystery with a sizzling romance, thrown together to make a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. Mackenzie Byrd is the foreman of the Triple C Ranch. When all the Cavanaugh boys left the ranch after the death of their sister, Cassie, Mackenzie's best friend, was taken into the Cavanaugh fold as one of the family. Everett Cavanaugh and his wife blamed their sons for not protecting Cassie when she disappeared and was subsequently found murdered. The Cavanaugh men, Deacon, James and Cole, all left the Triple C with bad feelings after their family was torn apart with the crime. Now years later, she has become an important part of the Triple C and has a personal stake in seeing the ranch flourish. Swoon-worthy and powerful, Deacon Cavanaugh is a successful businessman with an agenda, to destroy the Triple C Ranch. When he left, he never looked back. Now the patriarch, Everett has passed away and Deacon plans to ruin the Triple C are set. he now has to return and bring his brothers, James and Cole on-board with his plans. When he returns to see Mackenzie, a whole load of emotions sprout and they could potentially cause a kink in his plans. Mac, who had a crush on Deacon growing up, will do all she can to sway him from his plans. Not only she will lose a livelihood, but all the employees could be out of work. Mac idolized the Cavanaugh patriarch, Everett. He took her in and treated her like one of the family after Cassie was lost to them, but Everett was not the man that Mac thought he was and when Deacon shows her the truth of it, Mac also is left with a dilemma of her own. Does she allow Deacon to take down the Triple C, or will she show him there is more to life than the revenge he has so deep in his heart? The chemistry between Mac and Deacon can either help or hinder the Triple C's future. I was quickly and completely drawn into the Cavanaugh's trials and tribulations and the search for Cassie's murderer. Deacon's quest to destroy his and his brothers' legacy is a compelling read. BRANDED by Laura Wright is a gripping mystery and well as a riveting romance. Laura Wright's characters are strong-willed, interesting and determined. Sexy, alpha Deacon has the world at his fingertips, but he could ruin a bright future if he doesn't let go of his past. Mackenzie a flourished on the Triple C. She is attractive, headstrong and devoted. Her childhood crush for Deacon thrives when Deacon returns. but will she lose herself and her independence by giving herself to this man? That's a question best left answered by reading BRANDED by Laura Wright. Ms. Wright has taken Western Romantic Suspense a step further with her astounding gift for intrigue and romance. I eagerly await, BROKEN, which hopefully will get closer to solving Cassie's murder as well as seeing James and Cole more settled in their lives.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Giulia

    Oringally posted at My Devastating Reads This novel was not what I expected to be. That being said, I was excited when the unsolved murder of the hero's sister was introduced, and looking forward a romance that had a bit of a mystery. However, that's not exactly what I got, though I suspect the series as a whole will focus on Cass's murder. Let me preface my review by saying, I did enjoy the book. That being said, I did have some issues with it. Overall, he writing is easy to read, crisp and cle Oringally posted at My Devastating Reads This novel was not what I expected to be. That being said, I was excited when the unsolved murder of the hero's sister was introduced, and looking forward a romance that had a bit of a mystery. However, that's not exactly what I got, though I suspect the series as a whole will focus on Cass's murder. Let me preface my review by saying, I did enjoy the book. That being said, I did have some issues with it. Overall, he writing is easy to read, crisp and clean and I see a lot of potential in upcoming books. Perhaps there is even a greater plot line interwoven into the series as a whole that I'm not seeing at the moment. It will be interesting to see how the series develops, and to discover exactly what happened to Cass and who her killer really is. The novel is about Deacon Cavanugh, who wants to destroy his late father's ranch. He literally wants to bulldoze everything to the ground. It has been his life's ambition for some time, fueled by a hatred for his dad who allowed some horrible things to happen after the murder of Deacon's little sister, Cass. Mac, Cass's best friend and now foreman at the Triple C, refuses to allow this to happen. She is as hell set on saving the ranch as Deacon is in saving it. Having once had a crush on Deacon, sparks begin to fly and they are pulled into a passionate relationship despite their better judgement. However, despite the passion I sensed in Deacon, I am still asking myself why. Why these are two characters, who are supremely at odds with one another, suddenly come together so intensely and passionately--I didn't understand the connection or attraction between them. Other than some fond childhood memories, and a shared tragedy, I wasn't sure what anchored these two characters together. Bottom line? I wanted more from this story. More character development, more plot development. I wanted to really crawl inside Deacon's head and truly understand why he was so angry, so full of hate for his father and what it was about Mac that made him lose his heart so utterly. I wanted to understand what had happened to him after Cass died on a deeper level. I wanted to know more about what happened the day that Cass was abducted, and why her death destroyed her family in the way that it did. I'm hoping the upcoming books will unravel some of these questions for me so that I can better understand the characters and story in this series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tina "IRead2Escape"

    4.5 stars Hotness Rating 4 out of 5 This is my first Laura Wright book and I am hooked! Branded begins The Cavanaugh Brothers series - a series I have really high hopes for. The Cavanaugh brothers suffered a terrible loss at a very young age. This tragedy and the hell that followed shaped them into the men that they are now. Branded gives us a peak at all of the brothers, but is essentially Deacon Cavanaugh's story. Deacon Cavanaugh left the family ranch just as soon as he was old enough. He love 4.5 stars Hotness Rating 4 out of 5 This is my first Laura Wright book and I am hooked! Branded begins The Cavanaugh Brothers series - a series I have really high hopes for. The Cavanaugh brothers suffered a terrible loss at a very young age. This tragedy and the hell that followed shaped them into the men that they are now. Branded gives us a peak at all of the brothers, but is essentially Deacon Cavanaugh's story. Deacon Cavanaugh left the family ranch just as soon as he was old enough. He loved the land so it wasn't a decision made lightly. But, his hate for his father outweighed that love and still does. He's done well for himself and over the years has tried repeatedly to buy the family ranch, so that he could destroy the childhood that's haunted him. Now, his father is dead and Deacon is coming home to claim his part of the family ranch and convince his brothers to sell out their shares. This shouldn't be too hard. He knows they are haunted by the same ghosts as Deacon. He's ready to end it all and finally move on with his life, but a certain young lady from his past has other ideas. Mackenzie Byrd pretty much grew up on the Cavanaugh ranch. As the best friend of the only female Cavanaugh and having a not so great childhood herself the ranch was her salvation. So, after their world was turned upside down and the Cavanaugh boys moved away Mackenzie was thrilled to be asked to stay on as a ranch hand and later the foreman. The late Mr. Cavanaugh was like a father to her and Mackenzie would not let Deacon or anyone else destroy the ranch and all she's worked for. She's ready for a fight and prepared to do just that. However, she's not prepared for the jolt that she gets when faced with Deacon. She thought her old childhood crush was gone along with everything else that was lost. The characters in this book were so well-written. I'm not a fan of romantic suspense because I hate the secrets and questions. It drives me crazy trying to figure everything out and I can't just enjoy the story. This was not the case at all with Branded. The intrigue and mystery is there, but it's not drawn out to the point it takes away from the present story. Kudos Ms. Wright! I can not wait to read more on the Cavanaugh Brothers. And of course, learn what actually happened all those years ago. You can find this review and others at www.riverinaromantics.com

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Originally posted at The Book Nympho   First Thought: Giddy up! The Cavanaugh brothers are hot! The Romance: I love this romance troupe where the heroine finally gets the guy that she had a crush on for years. Mac was the best friend of the Cavanugh's little sister and had a huge crush on the oldest brother, Deacon. Years later Deacon comes back home to take over the family ranch and sees that Mac is no longer the little girl who had a crush on him. She's all woman now and he can't stop thinking abo Originally posted at The Book Nympho   First Thought: Giddy up! The Cavanaugh brothers are hot! The Romance: I love this romance troupe where the heroine finally gets the guy that she had a crush on for years. Mac was the best friend of the Cavanugh's little sister and had a huge crush on the oldest brother, Deacon. Years later Deacon comes back home to take over the family ranch and sees that Mac is no longer the little girl who had a crush on him. She's all woman now and he can't stop thinking about her. Mac is all country cowgirl and Deacon is country under his new city boy outside. Sure Deacon moved away and because a millionaire but his heart is still with the country life and Mac. I really liked that even though Mac and Deacon has a history they didn't jump straight into bed with each other. They dance around their sexual tension for a bit and then it gets hot as hell when they finally do more than dance. The Mystery: While the romance was a good one I think was really keep me going was the mystery that surrounds the Cavanaugh family and what happened to them all those years ago. The Narration: Kaleo Griffith did an ok job with the narration for BRANDED. He had sexy voice that really works well for the male characters but like many narrators he didn't quite pull off the opposite sex voices.  My major complaint about the narration was when a scene changed to another POV there was no pause and sometimes it took me a little while to figure out it was someone else's POV. I was confused on a couple of scene changes. Last Thought: The cliffhanger had running to Amazon to one click book 2, BROKEN.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly at

    Review will be posted at www.books-n-kisses.com . NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 1/2 REVIEW: Full disclosure at 16% in to the book I really really really dislike Deacon Cavanaugh. He is a total pain in the arse. But there is so much more to Deacon then meets the eye. He may be a cold-heart, take no prisoners business man but deep down he is still a cowboy at heart. It did take the whole book for Deacon to win me over. And it was most definitely a wild ride. Mackenzie really makes him work for both her forgi Review will be posted at www.books-n-kisses.com . NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 1/2 REVIEW: Full disclosure at 16% in to the book I really really really dislike Deacon Cavanaugh. He is a total pain in the arse. But there is so much more to Deacon then meets the eye. He may be a cold-heart, take no prisoners business man but deep down he is still a cowboy at heart. It did take the whole book for Deacon to win me over. And it was most definitely a wild ride. Mackenzie really makes him work for both her forgiveness and love. Mac is one tough chick. She may have suffered just as much as the Cavanaugh family, but she was able to find the silver lining in the storm that she called her childhood. But all that changed when Everett passed and now Mac is fight to keep the only thing she knows. Her home. This was a good beginning to Laura Wright’s new series. As I said before Deacon really had to work hard to win me over. And I am still not sure I am totally in love with him. But his little brothers that might be a different story. I am very much looking forward to learn more about James & Cole. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley & PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather andrews

    This book was completely different from what I was thinking and that was an unexpected good thing. The book isn't just about one Cavanaugh brother but all of them, there were times I thought that were were one to many point of views, but I saw how those were setting up the other books in the series. Deacon I did love him and his naughtiness when it came to Mac, "sexual heat flared in his eyes, and he pulled her even closer, up against his rock-hard chest and the now hard co** behind his zipper. This book was completely different from what I was thinking and that was an unexpected good thing. The book isn't just about one Cavanaugh brother but all of them, there were times I thought that were were one to many point of views, but I saw how those were setting up the other books in the series. Deacon I did love him and his naughtiness when it came to Mac, "sexual heat flared in his eyes, and he pulled her even closer, up against his rock-hard chest and the now hard co** behind his zipper. "Oh, we'll come together, darlin'. I promise you that." His hands raked up her back to her shoulders, her neck, and into her hair. "But tonight," he growled, "You're the one who's going to be coming..." Sometimes that boy has to compromise when it come to Mac, "his jaw tightened. "Darlin'." he said, grabbing the bouquet of sunflowers he'd brought for her from the seat and thrusting them into her hands. "If I go to this shindig with you tonight, not only will I be thoroughly enjoying each of your bases, I'll be roundin' home a few times as well." I also found that when it comes to Mac that boy sure is needy, "I woke up and you were gone." He swam up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. "I didn't like it." I can't wait for the next book in the series because Laura that naughty little girl left us with an ending I didn't like and I just want the next book now.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lani ⚔⚔ the Destroyer ⚔⚔

    I can't decide if I rate Branded 3.5 or 4 stars. I liked Mac and Deacon together, and Mac as the heroine but Deacon took me a long time for me to warm to. His attitude to tear down the ranch no matter the cost didn't endear me to him. Once we found out why, it was a little more understandable but still quite extreme. It was his acceptance of Mac and how he embraced their relationship that really won me over and I ended up liking him (grudgingly, so I think Laura Wright should get 4 stars for win I can't decide if I rate Branded 3.5 or 4 stars. I liked Mac and Deacon together, and Mac as the heroine but Deacon took me a long time for me to warm to. His attitude to tear down the ranch no matter the cost didn't endear me to him. Once we found out why, it was a little more understandable but still quite extreme. It was his acceptance of Mac and how he embraced their relationship that really won me over and I ended up liking him (grudgingly, so I think Laura Wright should get 4 stars for winning me over despite me thinking Deacon was a big dick for a lot of the book). This wasn't a stand out romance for me - there wasn't any big action or drama/angst or anything exceptionally original (hence the 3.5 stars), but I enjoyed it and I'm interested in the rest of the Cavanaugh brothers to keep on reading.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tamran

    I love, love, love these brothers & Deacon was "it" right out of the bag! I enjoy the mystery to their past & what's going on or what happened. But the men, what they've been thru. Ahhhh!! I can't wait for more!! Hot, hot, hot!!! Then she just ends it on a cliff hanger haha. I shut the book & said oh no she didn't end the book like that haha bring on October & James! Laura thank you for my advanced copy as a birthday surprise. As usual you have written an amazing book, hot men & women I always te I love, love, love these brothers & Deacon was "it" right out of the bag! I enjoy the mystery to their past & what's going on or what happened. But the men, what they've been thru. Ahhhh!! I can't wait for more!! Hot, hot, hot!!! Then she just ends it on a cliff hanger haha. I shut the book & said oh no she didn't end the book like that haha bring on October & James! Laura thank you for my advanced copy as a birthday surprise. As usual you have written an amazing book, hot men & women I always tend to enjoy. This is why you're one of my all time favs. Mad love for you girl!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    well that was yummy. I really liked Mac. I loved how she wouldn't back down to Deacon. The sex scenes. hmmmm. they were hot. But most of the time I was listening to sexy Kaleo Griffith narrate this and...Kaleo did an outstanding job but...my eyes were rolling and not in a good way...the sex was a bit cheesy. oh who cares...I'm on to the next book...BROKEN...I've got a tiny crush on James. By y'all. well that was yummy. I really liked Mac. I loved how she wouldn't back down to Deacon. The sex scenes. hmmmm. they were hot. But most of the time I was listening to sexy Kaleo Griffith narrate this and...Kaleo did an outstanding job but...my eyes were rolling and not in a good way...the sex was a bit cheesy. oh who cares...I'm on to the next book...BROKEN...I've got a tiny crush on James. By y'all.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    It was the cover! There I've admitted what grabbed me first, but then I saw an author I've been wanting to try and a keen blurb (though if you want to experience the first twist in the conflict fully, you won't read the blurb). I was hooked. This story had lots of good stuff going for it- ranch backdrop, cowboys and horses, a tortured hero, a fighter for a heroine, and an intriguing mystery plot. The story opens with things on the cusp of change. Everett Cavanaugh, the owner of the Triple C ranch It was the cover! There I've admitted what grabbed me first, but then I saw an author I've been wanting to try and a keen blurb (though if you want to experience the first twist in the conflict fully, you won't read the blurb). I was hooked. This story had lots of good stuff going for it- ranch backdrop, cowboys and horses, a tortured hero, a fighter for a heroine, and an intriguing mystery plot. The story opens with things on the cusp of change. Everett Cavanaugh, the owner of the Triple C ranch, has just passed and now things are uncertain. The ranch's future will be determined by the sons who have spent a decade away running fast from the place that brought so much misery. When their little sister was abducted, killed and her case closed with the murderer never found changed everything. The oldest, Deacon, has amassed a fortune and he makes no bones about the fact that he plans to level the ranch and sell off the property, the other brothers will probably follow his lead. He will finally get the revenge he needs to heal after the pain and abuse that came to his youthful self on the death of his sister that his parents dished out in their blame. For the foreman, Mac Byrd, and the others who have called the ranch home, this news is devastating. Mac lost her best friend when Cass was killed, she lost the man she always looked on as a father, and now it looks like she has a fight on her hands with the man she crushed on as a girl and couldn't forget no matter how citified and cold he has become. The reading of the will changes everything. A fourth brother's existence comes to light with the reading of the will. This revelation has huge repercussions naturally. Deacon's determination and plans are shaken when he encounters the capable all-woman that is now Mackenzie Byrd. He knew she had a crush on him when they were younger, but this is something else- something that he wants to investigate, but not allow to sidetrack him. He loves her fire and the determination she has to preserve what she loves and he is moved by the honesty in her eyes and her agreement to pursue their mutual attraction. It's not until he sees the vulnerability and confusion that he is faced with the fact that his revenge might not taste as good as he thought when it might cost him someone who has become dear to him. Mac has no idea what she is doing with Deacon Cavanaugh. He plans to destroy the her very home and livelihood yet she still wants him. She tries to convince herself that it is enough, but that trip to the city and spending time with him is a game changer for her too bad he still plans to go through with his terrible decision if he can gain controlling interest in the ranch. Overall, I really liked this story and the direction its taking as a series. I like what the author set in motion in this book that offers a nice backdrop with the ranch, the developing story and the romance. It was a wonderful beginning. But- yes, there is a but. Not sure where it came from completely, but while I enjoyed the story, there was a part of me that wasn't completely engaged. Trying to put my finger on why I'll try to put it into words. First, I had the story pegged within the first few chapters. I knew exactly what moves everyone would make, what would become a conflict, what would cause the turning point, and what the final resolution would produce. It was like a good book that is re-read. The second time is a nice revisit, but it lost its edge because you knew the score. Possibly this was just me and others won't even sense something like this. The second thing was the romance that left me split on my feelings. I loved Mac and Deac together. They were good for each other. Scenes sparkled when they were in them together. However, it was a rush job. I'm not one that cares if its love at first sight, instalove, or slow build, or various other love tropes but I do care that I'm given something to make me believe it. Mac gave in too quickly on the lust considering how fierce she seemed in the beginning and how much Deacon's ruthless plan of destruction was hurting her. And the love thing was just suddenly there when I was still only feeling them giving in to passion. I let it go mostly because I really did want to be convinced. Deacon, the tortured hero, really engaged my sensibilities and there was a pivotal scene where he reveals the truth behind his motivation to do what he's doing bringing the exact response from Mac that I had- righteous anger- which was what completely nullified the earlier disappointment I had in her. Plus Mac put it all out there in the end and she was what made all the difference in Deacon's redemption. The brothers were a highlight for me. I liked getting to know Deacon's brothers a little and know that their stories are coming next. Each went a different direction when they left the ranch and they even grew estranged from each other. I liked seeing them all back together and the beginning of a reuniting of the brothers. The possibility of accepting the newly revealed brother is a nice expectation for me too (again, can't believe they revealed this surprise in the blurb). Then there is the ongoing mystery of Cass' murder. I can't wait to see where that last delicious teaser at the end takes them. And even though it is unacknowledged, I'm interested how the now deceased Everett Cavanaugh is turning into an enigma too. So, all in all, it was engaging and I am totally on board with this new series. It's hot and intriguing. Contemporary Romance lovers who like stories set on the ranch with cowboy heroes should grab this up. My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Renée Gendron

    A classic contemporary Western -- one where those who love the land must fight to protect it. There's a lot of history between the two MCs and it's interesting to see how tied they are to the community in different ways. Their conflict made sense and was well-fought, no dirty tricks. These characters are relatable and have enough complexity to them to keep the reader engaged. A classic contemporary Western -- one where those who love the land must fight to protect it. There's a lot of history between the two MCs and it's interesting to see how tied they are to the community in different ways. Their conflict made sense and was well-fought, no dirty tricks. These characters are relatable and have enough complexity to them to keep the reader engaged.

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