I always take advantage of free and bargain books and load my Kindle with them every chance I get. Sure, I get clunkers sometimes. (No, I won't review those. I don't believe in heaping pain on an author. There are many others who delight in doing that.)
Unfortunately, I don't read as much as I like to so some books have languished in my To Be Read stack for way too long. The book I'm reviewing today is one of those books that I picked up for free. I checked, and it's still free.
I started The Brands Who Came For Christmas by Maggie Shayne yesterday at a doctor's appointment, and I could not put it down. Office work, email, and such made me turn the Kindle off, but I got back to the book last night and didn't stop until about 1am when I finished.
What did I do then? I immediately went to the Kindle shop and downloaded Book 2, Brand New Heartache. I forced myself to turn my Kindle off then, but I plan to start Book 2 tonight.
Blurb from Amazon
Caleb didn’t know that one night of bliss last spring with small town beauty Maya Brand had resulted in a pregnancy, until the blackmail attempt arrived on his desk in an unmarked envelope, complete with photos of Maya with a belly out to there.
When he learns the truth, Caleb rushes back to Big Falls, determined to make it right despite what the scandal will do to his high profile career–the family legacy he had never truly wanted.
All he wants is Maya, and their child.
But can a girl whose father abandoned and betrayed her, ever truly believe in the goodness of a man who left town the morning after their one night stand? How can he convince her that he hasn’t stopped thinking about her since then, much less, do so with the whole world watching? He has to prove himself to a woman he’s not even sure he’s worthy of. But he has no idea how.
The Oklahoma All-Girl Brands is a six-book, small town, contemporary romance series with shades of HOPE FLOATS and YOU’VE GOT MAIL. Spin off of the bestselling Texas Brand Series.
I loved this book.
It was a true page-turner with compelling characters and a captivating premise. Each of the characters is distinctive and piques your interest so much that you can't wait to read their stories which will happen since it's a 6-book series. At the same time you look forward to reading the other books in the series, you're also hoping that Caleb and Maya, the main characters in this book, will make an appearance in subsequent books because they seemed so darn real and likable.
There was one really hot sexual scene in the book so if that offends your sensibilities, you might want to pass on this. Other than that, the rest of the book is sensual without being sexual. All in all, it's funny in places, emotional throughout, and shows character growth. In other words, it's like life.
Even though it has Christmas in the title and the climax of the book occurs at Christmas, I wouldn't necessarily have described this as a Christmas romance. In looking at the Amazon page for this book, the category is Western Romance. I wouldn't call it that either. So perhaps the author was being canny and chose a category that doesn't have as stiff a competition as Contemporary Romance. (For all you authors out there, maybe that's something we should research.)
I highly recommend The Brands Who Came For Christmas by Maggie Shayne if you're looking for an absolutely captivating romance.