Series: The Cavanaugh Brothers #1
Author: Laura Wright
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published: June 3rd 2014 by Signet
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
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.
After the death of his father, Deacon Cavanaugh returns to his family's ranch, the Triple C, only to dismantle it and his father's name. But when he arrives he finds several surprises waiting for him. Not only does he have a half brother that no one knew about, but there is also a new forewoman on the ranch that Deacon can't overlook. Mackenzie Byrd is determined not to let Deacon take away the only home she has ever known and with Blue at her side fighting for the ranch as well she knows they won't fail. But Deacon is one tough nut to crack with a healthy dose of anger. Will his need for vengeance destroy not only her home, but the budding relationship growing between them?
Laura Wright is a favorite of mine so I was excited to read her new contemporary western romance series! The first book in the series follows the eldest Cavanaugh brother, Deacon, who is a ruthless businessman that has done everything he can to distance himself from his cowboy roots and the memories they hold. Cold, callous, yet undeniably sexy; there's more to him then meets the eye. He has no love for his family ranch and wants nothing but to destroy it. Despite what his brothers may want and what that may do to those who's livelihoods depend on it. I really didn't like Deacon at the beginning, it took a long time and more then half of the book for me to see him as anything other then an a-hole. Mac, the heroine of the story, causes cracks in Deacon's frigid facade though. Mac comes from a rough past but that hasn't hindered that spark for life inside of her. She had a crush on Deacon as a girl and now that she sees the man he has turned into she wants nothing more then to forget all those feelings she had for him, but her body has other ideas.
Mac and Deacon together was a good combination, they balanced each other out well. While Mac understood where Deacon was coming from in regards to his hurt, anger, and plans for the ranch, she wasn't going to let him succeed. The sparks fly between these two in and out of bed, and the verbal parlay was entertaining.
The murder of Cavanaugh brothers' little sister and the reason for the darkness that surrounded the family afterwards is going to play a integral part throughout the series. Little puzzle pieces were revealed throughout Branded, and the mystery is sad yet intriguing. Despite my feelings towards Deacon and never really being able to warm up to his character, Branded, was a good start to the series. I'm interested to find out more about the other two Cavanaugh brothers, James and Cole.