Branded by Candace Havens is a sweet and smoking hot Western-romance with a little bit of angst to keep things interesting. Read our review, an excerpt, and grab your copy!
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This is the first book from Candance Havens that I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be last. Typically, I’m not a fan of Western-themed romances, but something about the summary of Branded put me in the mood for this particular cowboy… maybe it was the forbidden-ness of the romance, or maybe it was the promise of some seriously hot sexy times. (Who am I kidding, it was both!) In any event, Branded was exactly what I needed. Take a look at more details below, including my review, and an excerpt. You’ll want to add this to your TBR list today!
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.
We meet Callie Llewellyn on a pretty bad day. She has just finished her freshman year at Harvard, but before she leaves for summer break, she finds out at a meeting with her academic advisor that she has failed her finance class. This means that Callie’s on academic probation. She just knows her grandparents will be disappointed in her. Since Callie is the only heir to the family business, she’s been groomed to take her Grandfather’s place…even though her heart is in creative writing. Ugh! Callie will just buckle down, go home to Texas, retake the class and no one will ever know. However, when she arrives and walks off the plane, Callie trips and literally falls into Cole Keller’s arms… and she’s not that interested in leaving them.
Truth be told, Cole wouldn’t mind holding on a little tighter. But he’s the temporary Llewellyn ranch foreman, taking over for his Uncle why he recovers from an injury. And the one thing Cole’s uncle said: “[do] not fuck around with the boss’s granddaughter. The second was if I even looked at Callie Llewellyn cross-eyed, I’d get my ass kicked.”
And Cole is a smart man, so he’ll stay away…
But as he gets to know Callie and Cole get to know one other, oftentimes thrown into close proximity by her grandparents and Cole’s sister Adina, the two of them like each other. Eventually, they give into their attraction and even sign a contract that when the summer ends, they’ll happily part ways. But closer they get, the harder it is to let go.
I really like Callie. I love her sense of duty to her family and community… she’s willing to give up the career in creative writing she really wants to contribute to her family business. And interestingly, what I adore most about Cole is that he won’t let her. Sure, he’ll help Callie through her summer class and give her encouragement. But at the same time, Cole encourages Callie to pursue her heart’s desire, that there has to be a way to balance the two. I also love how brilliant Cole is, especially in IT and management. Most of all, he’s just a good guy who wants to take care of his sister and earn his success.
Of course I wouldn’t be me without giving you guys a teaser of the sexy times:
He pulled me on top of him, my hands against his chest, my legs straddling his thighs.
“No one has ever made me way up so hot and bothered that I had to get myself off in the shower,” I said. “I woke up wanting you. That’s never happened.”
He emitted a sound that was suspiciously growl-like, and then I was in his arms, his lips pressed against mine. He slipped his hand to my ass. Yep. This is what I desired. I gave in to the sensation of his fingers squeezing me tightly. He trailed his lips down my throat and brought one of his hands up to untie my shirt and push my bra down…
…He pumped his fingers inside me, rubbing against me, rubbing against that inner wall so hard it took only seconds for the muscles around his fingers to squeeze and the euphoria of orgasm to pulse through my body. It was as if I were coming apart, and his hands owned my body.”
HOTTTTTTTT, right?! Well, if only attraction was enough… though they want each other and even start to fall in love, there are still obstacles. She’s concerned that being with her might jeopardize his job at the ranch. He’s convinced that a ranch hand could never be good enough for her. *SIGH* But don’t worry… we get a very sweet HEA and it’s actually Callie’s grandparents that have a hand in making it happen! A little predictable, but charming nonetheless.
An hour later, I’d showered. My bones were tired as hell. But my cock was hard.
I texted Callie: Where are you?
Studying. And I’m not talking to you. Stop texting me.
Didn’t blame her for being mad. I’d been a jerk. But this thing with her had only been going on for twenty-four hours, and I was already twisted up. Might be best to let it go. But that wasn’t going to happen.
What are you studying?
I snickered. Come on. I’m sorry. I was an asshole. Why don’t you bring your books, and I’ll help you.
You don’t even know what it is.
I need to see you. We can just study. She didn’t text back. So I typed: You’re mad. So rant. I can take it.
WTF is wrong with you? You’re the one who told me you’d had enough. Then you kissed the shit out of me and took a phone call. And I told you I’m BUSY.
You wanted what I gave you. We’re not doing this on the phone. 30 mins. Bring your books and laptop.
Go F yourself.
I laughed out loud. Maybe it was a little sick, but I liked when she was all red up.
I shoved my phone in my pocket and took off for my uncle’s house. My sister was at her first slumber party. She’d become friends with one of the girls she’d met while helping Mrs. Llewellyn with charity work. They talked on the phone constantly. Her mother was nice, as was her father. The girl had spent the night at our house two nights ago. She hadn’t balked at the simple three-bedroom ranch house. They’d had fun and I hadn’t seen Addy that happy in a long time.
I’d talked to the parents again when they’d picked up her friend. Then before I let her go to the party tonight, I’d made Ads pinky-swear there would be no boys involved. And that she’d text me every two hours to check in.
I still hadn’t heard anything from Callie. So I sent her another text: Meet me at the ranch house. Please. See, I can be nice. Now get your ass over here.
The princess was about to go to a whole new school. And I couldn’t wait to play teacher.
I really enjoyed Branded, a sweet and smoking hot romance with a little bit of angst to keep things interesting. Go ahead and download your copy and give it a read!