Review: Branded by Laura Wright

Branded (The Cavanaugh Brothers #1) by Laura Wright
Published:  June 3, 2014

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.

**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.

I give Branded 4.5 Flaming Hearts
4.5 Hearts