Originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/reviews/Apr10/boundbrandedandbrazen.jb.html
When Valerie McMasters’s uncle dies, she returns home to the Bar M Ranch, promising her youngest sister she will stay for a month while Jolene sorts things out. After that, Valerie is determined to go back to her life as a doctor in Dallas. The Bar M holds too many memories, and plenty of them are in the form of Mason Parks, foreman of the Bar M and Valerie’s ex-husband. The fire between Valerie and Mason has always burned bright and hot, but Valerie can’t be what he needs. Mason doesn’t quite agree with that assessment and he’s determined to seduce Valerie into wanting to stay at the Bar M – and with him – forever. But the decision has to be Valerie’s and Valerie’s alone. Will the lovers get their second chance at happily ever after?
I’m a complete sucker for reunion romances and Jaci Burton does it right in “Bound.” I loved how patient and understanding Mason is. There’s no doubt he loves Valerie, but he also knows he can only push her so far and that at some point she has to be the one to come to him. I definitely wanted her to, and because I was invested in their romance, I couldn’t stop reading “Bound” until Valerie and Mason’s erotic reunion was complete.
Brea is the ordinary McMasters sister. She’s not brilliant and witty like Valerie, nor is she tough and outgoing like Jolene. Brea would rather stay in and read romances when she’s not working on her computer. That doesn’t stop her from daydreaming about Gage Reilly. Brea watches Gage from afar while he trains horses at the Bar M. But will she be able to handle it when he focuses all that gentle dominance on her in the most delicious of ways?
“Branded” is probably my favorite story of the three. I love seeing a wallflower heroine come into her own, and that’s exactly what happened in “Branded.” Brea’s shy and a bit insecure, which endeared her to me. What I loved about Gage was that he sees Brea’s spirit and strength and encourages her to come out of her shell. “Branded” had a wonderful mix of character growth and romance. To me it was the hottest, most romantic story of the bunch.
Jolene McMasters has been pretty much running the Bar M for years. Her love of the ranch, hardworking nature, and take-charge attitude are a large part of what makes the Bar M successful. With the Bar M, Jolene has pretty much everything she wants – except Walker Morgan. For five years the two of them have been dancing around each other and with her sisters newly returned and finding love, Jolene isn’t going to wait for Walker to make a move forever. It’s time this cowgirl ropes her man.
“Brazen” is probably the most aptly-titled story of the three. Jolene is every bit as forward as the title suggests, but Ms. Burton never sends her over the top. I admired Jolene for her confidence, for knowing what she wants and going after it. She and Walker are a perfect fit, except for his refusal to get involved with his boss. Walker has his reasons (which I will not spoil) for resisting his attraction to Jolene. Still, I looked forward to him finding happiness with Jolene and I finished “Brazen” a well-satisfied reader.
Bound, Branded, & Brazen is a wonderfully sexy journey of three sisters finding the joy in home, family, and true love. It’s packed with Ms. Burton’s signature fiery eroticism, but it’s the heart more than the heat that makes Bound, Branded, & Brazen memorable. I adored this book and look forward to re-reading it again (“Branded” in particular) in the near future.