Badlands Bad Boy (Texas Brand #3) by Maggie Shayne

BadlandsBadBoyAlter Ego or Ghostly Warrior?

Wes Brand is the black sheep of the family. But lately, he’s become friends with an old Shaman named Turtle who has hidden reasons for wanting to put Wes in touch with his Comanche roots. He convinces Wes to impersonate legendary warrior, Wolf Shadow, to drive archaeologist Dr. Taylor McCoy away from her dig site. His failing health provides plenty of leverage. But when the beautiful doc finds herself falling for both Wes and his ghostly alter-ego, Wes wonders how he’ll get out of the mess he’s made without ruining the powerful feelings beginning to grow between them.

Yes, some of this one was kinda corny and yes, some of the things that Wes did seemed totally out of character. Even though some of this one was a little far-fetched… at least in the beginning, I still loved Badlands Bad Boy. It’s those darn Brand guys, gals and kids. They pull me in every time. *sigh*

Wes may be the black sheep of the Brand family for obvious reasons, but that’s just the people from the outside looking in. To every one of his brothers and sisters, he’s their brother. He’s spent most of his life avoiding his Comanche roots and now it’s his turn to open the mind of another person trying to do the same thing. His love and respect for Turtle makes him do things that he would never consider.

If not for the magic in this one, I might not have enjoyed it as much. That aspect made this more than a simple love story. As crazy as it sounds, it made it more real. It also took me a while to really like Taylor, but once again, I have the Brands to thank for that. By the end of the story I was kind of hoping that readers would see more of Wes and Taylor because I have a feeling that their story is far from over.

Next up for the Texas Brand is Long Gone Lonesome Blues and I have no doubt that this one is going to be a heart breaker.

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Baddest Virgin in Texas (The Texas Brand #2) by Maggie Shayne

BaddestVirginInTexasJessi Brand always gets what she wants. And what she wants is part time ranch hand, part time deputy, and full time hunk, Lash Monroe. Unfortunately, her five big (really big) brothers have other ideas. And so does Lash, who had his fill of large families and overbearing “brothers” during his childhood in foster care. He’s a loner and a drifter and he intends to stay that way. 

Can the youngest Brand on the ranch handle six uncooperative males and land the man of her dreams? Maybe, but when trouble finds Lash and he heads off to face it alone, everything else takes a back seat, because the Brand family sticks together, and like it or not, Lash has become a part of that family. And when the cavalry shows up, it’s Jessi leading the charge. 

One thing I can count on when I pick up any book by Maggie Shayne is that I will be entertained. Whether her characters are wielding magic, out-smarting criminals or chasing cattle, they are all smart, witty and ‘real.’ This series is lighter than a lot of Maggie Shayne’s books, but it’s not lacking in substance and there’s just enough danger to keep things interesting.

The first book in The Texas Brand series, The Littlest Cowboy, set the stage for the series. It also gave the Brand family something they were lacking and that’s a strong woman to reign them in when needed. Whether they knew it or not. Chelsea filled that role well and her love and support for Jessie was one of the things I liked most about The Baddest Virgin in Texas.

Jessie may be the baby of the family, but that doesn’t mean that she likes being babied. She actually lets her brothers get away with a lot of it because she doesn’t want to hurt them. She’s more than capable of taking care of herself and she’s determined to prove it.

There was a lot more to Lash than anyone knew. He kept his feelings in check where Jessie was concerned because not only did he think she was too young for him, but he thought she knew what kind of woman she was. When he discovered that he might have been wrong, holding back the attraction he felt for her was close to impossible.

The Baddest Virgin in Texas divided its time between the brothers intimidating Lash and protecting Jessie, Lash fighting his feelings for Jessie, Chelsea trying to knock some sense into all of them and Jessie fighting for the man she knew she loved. Add to that some nasty family history and a search for the group of men stealing cattle, this one was a hard book to put down.

Needless to say, I’m kind of liking this series. The next book features Wes, which means Badlands Bad Boy is sure to be interesting. This series has been around for a while, but it’s been recently re-published.

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The Littlest Cowboy (The Texas Brand #1) by Maggie Shayne

LittlestCowboySheriff Garrett Brand has raised his entire brood of siblings single-handedly, and he’s done his best to teach them some values, to mold them into honorable, responsible, and trustworthy human beings. So when a baby lands on the doorstep of the Texas Brand, his first question is which younger brother is in for a butt-kicking? But the little fellow isn’t named after Ben, or Wes, or Adam, or Elliot. The little feller is named after him–Garrett Ethan Brand–according to the note his mama left behind. 

He’s still racking his brain to figure it all out, when a woman shows up at the ranch in the dead of night, spitting, fighting mad, and accusing Garrett of murdering her sister and stealing the baby! 

Chelsea is confused, heartbroken, and too mad to think straight, and the same trouble that found her poor sister is right on her tail. But of all the places she and the baby could’ve wound up, Garrett thinks this ranch is the best one. 

Because this is one family that knows how to pull together and trouble doesn’t stand a chance against The Brands of Texas.

I’ve been a fan of Maggie Shayne for a while, but somehow I’ve missed all her earlier work. I started reading her Portal series and since then she has found a permanent spot on my TBR list. To be honest, I didn’t even know that she had written a Cowboy Romance until this cute little cover popped up on my TL.

If you’re a frequent visitor to my blog, you know that Contemporary Romance isn’t my ‘go-to’ genre, but I do enjoy a little diversion from time to time and that’s exactly what I where I would categorize The Littlest Cowboy. It was a quick read and even though it was an early Maggie Shayne selection, there were still familiar elements that pulled me in.

This one had a little bit of everything. Alpha male cowboy siblings with a snarky little sister thrown into the mix, a sweet baby, mystery, danger and a couple of twists. Maggie Shayne does have a tendency to throw her female heroines into dangerous situations that I want to yell at them for, but that keeps things interesting.

Since I’ve discovered the Texas Brand series, I thought I might as well give at least one more book in the series a try. The Littlest Cowboy was still free at the time of this post, so it’s a no risk introduction. The next book in the series is The Baddest Virgin in Texas, and given the characters that it involves, it’s sure to be a fun one.

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