BRANDED
by Vivian Vaughan

April 1997
ISBN: 0-8217-5630-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback
Rating:



Jacy Kimble is not a very romantic heroine when we meet her at the beginning of this story. Savaged by a scandal, she’s living on the edge of destitution and barely making ends meet for a family that is more hindrance than help. Her brother Hunter is on Death Row in Yuma prison for a murder she knows he didn’t commit, but also on Death Row is Trevor Fallon, Hunter’s best friend, and the man Jacy can’t forget. He’s also the man allegedly guilty of the murder that landed both him and Hunter in jail. Shunned from their home in Arizona, Jacy now ekes out a living in El Paso, caring for annoying relatives and irritating children. As you can tell, it took me a while to warm to these characters.


Once Trevor finds himself free, the challenge begins. The challenge to find out who is responsible for their five-year jail sentence, and the challenge to free Hunter. Also the challenge to overcome Jacy’s doubts and regain her love. Major challenges, and Trevor is up against more than he knows.


The plot is rather complex, and not as interesting as the interaction between strong-willed, angry Jacy and stubborn, determined Trevor. These two characters make this book worthwhile – their passion is fiery, realistic and sensual, growing steadily to a head between them in the most natural way. If it had not been for this marvelous romance, I probably would not have recommended this book, steeped as it is in intrigue, betrayal, and annoyingly obvious plot devices. It’s a testimonial to the power of the romance that I forgave both Jacy and Trevor for missing some very basic clues, and not asking some very obvious questions – I was too busy watching their love grow and bloom under challenging circumstances.


If you are a western romance fan, you will probably enjoy this tale – and if you’re looking for two great characters involved in a passionate love affair then this will fit the bill also. It might not make it to my keeper shelf, but it is a pleasant change of pace from swords, lords and Navy SEALS!


Reviewed in September 2002 by Celia.

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