Branded as Trouble
By Delores Fossen
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Reviewed by PJ
Every town needs a bad boy, and Wrangler's Creek's has been gone far too long…
Getting his high school girlfriend pregnant was just one square in Roman Granger's checkered past, but it changed him forever. When his son's mother skipped town after the birth, Roman decided to do the same, baby Tate in tow, hoping for a fresh start.
Now Roman fears his teenage son is following in his wayward footsteps, so he returns home to Wrangler's Creek, aiming to set him straight. It's there he encounters Tate's cousin Mila Banchini, the good-girl opposite of Roman who's had a crush on him since childhood. The old spark between them undeniably never died, though Roman worries it'll only lead to heartache. But if falling for Mila is such a bad idea, why does everything about holding her feel so right?
Mila Banchini has a lot going for her. She's smart, pretty, a good friend, and owner of the local bookstore. She also has a wacky mother most people in town steer clear of and, oh yeah, she's most likely the only virgin over the age of 25 in Wrangler's Creek. Plenty of men (of all ages) are willing to help with her "little problem" but Mila's heart has always been set on Roman Granger. Too bad Roman fell for her self-centered cousin in high school. In the years since Mila's cousin left town, abandoning Roman and their baby son, Roman has hooked up with pretty much everyone except Mila. But now, after many years away, circumstances have brought Roman back to Wrangler's Creek and Mila intends to make the most of it while he's there, even if her heart does get broken when he leaves.
I've been intrigued by the absent Granger son, Roman since the first book in this series. We knew he was estranged from his mother, that he owns the Granger ranch but wants nothing to do with it, that he's a successful businessman in his own right, that's he's a motorcycle-riding hottie with a badass attitude and that he's trying his best to be a good father to his troubled son...and failing miserably. What we didn't know was what had happened in the past to bring Roman Granger to this point, why he'd never given Mila a second glance (or had he?) and why he never, ever, under any circumstances, had sex with a woman more than three times. I was more than ready to find out the answers to all these questions and more in Branded as Trouble.
Delores Fossen has become one of my go-to contemporary western romance authors. She creates wonderfully complex families and well-developed, likable characters, giving them challenges to overcome and journeys to love in stories infused with heat, heart, and plenty of humor. She isn't afraid to tackle serious topics - as she does in Branded as Trouble - but does so with compassion and hope. Her books are filled with realistic characters: some quirky, some serious, some annoying, some fun, some shy, and some oozing with sex appeal, playing them against one another like a well-tuned orchestra. I've enjoyed all the books in this series but Mila and Roman's story is my favorite. What can I say? I've always loved a bad boy with a wounded heart. And Mila, what a terrific heroine. I loved her strength, her compassion, and her determination to take control of her destiny and not settle for less than what she deserved.
If you enjoy western-set, contemporary romances filled with fun, sizzle, humor, and emotion, go no further than Delores Fossen's Wrangler's Creek series: Those Texas Nights (Sophie Granger and Clay McKinnon), No Getting Over a Cowboy (Garrett Granger and Nicky Marlow) and Branded as Trouble (Roman Granger and Mila Banchini).
Do you enjoy western romances?
Have you read any of Delores Fossen's books? Do you have a favorite?
Do you like your heroes with a bit of attitude but a vulnerable heart?
One person who leaves a comment by 11:00 (EST), August 16, 2017 will receive a print copy of Branded as Trouble from the publisher. (U.S./Canada only)
One person who leaves a comment today will receive a signed copy of Branded as Trouble that I got at the recent RWA conference. (U.S. only)