By Candace Havens
I have my hands full taking care of my little sister and covering for my uncle as ranch foreman. The last thing I need is a Texas princess like Callie Llewellyn getting up in my business and messing with my head.
All I can think of is getting up close and personal with those curves of hers. And being on the edge of discovery makes our quick-and-dirty encounters twice as hot. And that’s all they are—quick and dirty—there’s nothing deeper going on here.
There’s only one rule to keeping my job and a roof over my sister’s head: stay away from the boss’s granddaughter. But I’m not always great at following the rules.
Branded is a sweet story of two people who want to do the best for everyone around them. It doesn’t take long for the reader to fall in love with Cole. He has the right amount of wit to match his bad boy edge without actually being a bad boy. On the other side you have Callie, she also has a good amount of wit to go with her good girl demeanor.
The prologue starts with Callie being found in county lockup. Branded tells the story of the events that led her to that place. We learn that there is a lot expected of Callie. She is conflicted by the path that she is expected to follow and the path she wishes she could try. She finds out while she’s at school that she doesn’t have business mind but can’t bring herself to tell her loving grandparents that she isn’t perfect. She can’t stand the thought of disappointing them.
Cole does have the weight of the world on his shoulders. He takes care of his sister because their mother has passed away and their father is not in the picture. He is also stepping in for his uncle at the ranch while he recuperates from an accident. Cole needs this job. It becomes very apparent from the beginning that he has a keen business mind and makes changes to the ranch so that it will run smoother.
Cole knows that if he tries to pursue the bosses granddaughter he would be thrown off the ranch. So he tries to distance himself as much as he can from her. Callie knows that she could be risking Cole’s future if she tries to start a relationship.
Callie isn’t what he expected her to be. Cole was expecting a princess with an attitude but what he got was a very passionate and compassionate young women who was trying to be what everyone expected her to be. They decided that their affair was going to be short lived and a secrete. But secretes never stay that way. And as much as we don’t want to be hurt the other person, someone always gets hurt.
I did find these characters enjoyable to get to know. I felt that they had many layers. We found out a lot about Callie but I think we were missing some details about Cole. There was a side to his story that was missing for me that would have completed the novel.
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