Harlequin Blaze, Jun 2009, $4.00
Brothers Trace and Eric Armstrong own the twenty thousand acres Wildwood Ranch near San Antonio. While Eric has been a marine, Trace has managed the spread by himself for the past six years. However, change is coming as Eric is leaving the service.
Former marine Jo Atchison works as the best wrangler on the ranch. She performs her tasks diligently and superbly demanding respect from her peers and her employer. Jo and another veteran Carter have had an on and off affair, but recently she wants it ended permanently. Instead, she, as does Trace, want one another and share a tryst, which goes against both their credos of work and play not mixing. As they fall in love, Carter insists it is not over.
BRANDED is an intriguing Texas ranch romance starring two captivating bothers and a wonderful female vet who lacks patience yet knows who got her six (butt) protected. Trace is a fascinating character as he drools over his wrangler and though he is elated his brother is coming home from the sandbox safe, he dreads the changes. Jo is his equal and more as she proves a better wrangler than any of his men including himself. Although the climax to the Carter subplot adds unnecessary tension and angst, fans will appreciate this character driven contemporary.