Publication Date: September 1st 2015 by Signet
About the book:
The New York Times bestselling author of Brash returns to the Triple C Ranch in River Black, Texas, for more cowboys, romance, and danger…
Ranch hand Blue Perez’s once simple life is spinning out of control. He’s discovered he has three half-brothers, and they’re not ready to accept his claim on the ranch. Also, Blue’s girlfriend may have betrayed him in the worst way possible. And after one evening of drowning his sorrows at the bar, there’s someone he can’t get out of his mind, a woman who says she’s carrying his child.
Following a night of breathtaking passion in the arms of the man she’s longed for all her life, waitress Emily Shiver is contemplating her next step. With everything that’s going on in Blue’s life, she doesn’t want to force him into fatherhood. Yet as hard hearted as he may seem, Blue can’t turn his back on her, particularly when she becomes the target of someone’s dark obsession....
Blue Perez abruptly found out he was also a Cavanaugh during the reading of Everett Cavanaugh’s will. Shocked, hurt and left with feelings of betrayal, Blue is extremely bitter over being lied to all these years, not only by his mother but by the man who treated him as a surrogate son. Add to that is the stinging betrayal Blue feels over the burgeoning romance with a woman he met online. In the last book, Blue finds out she’s actually Natalie Palmer (a seriously creepy woman!), and he also discovered she was in possession of Cassandra Cavanaugh’s diary which was never discovered after her murder years earlier. Being in possession of the long lost diary makes Natalie a top suspect of the murder, and Blue can’t believe he was fooled by this woman.
So, yes, Blue is bitter and his feelings spill out onto anyone around. His foul mood leads him to the Bull’s Eye to drink away his vitriolic feelings and he ends up sleeping with Emily Shiver. This one night stand has consequences but Blue doesn’t feel unhappy about them or how it ties him to Emily forever. That one-night stand is one of his best memories, even if he was drunk, and he wants more of the temptress he couldn’t resist that night. Little does he know that his attentions to Emily put her in harm’s way.
Emily has always had the hots for Blue, so when he made a pass at her after a night of drinking, she couldn’t refuse. Now Emily’s paying for that rash decision, but she doesn’t regret the life they created. Emily just doesn’t want to tie herself to a man only out of obligation. Blue may want to do right by her and the baby but he’s struggling with so many negative emotions she’s not sure it’s a good idea for him to be involved. Emily has a close-knit, loving family and while she can understand why Blue would feel the way he does, she thinks he should give his mother a chance to explain. Hanging on to that bitterness doesn’t do anyone any good. Worse, Blue won’t let her in emotionally.
I really liked Emily. She didn’t let an unplanned pregnancy derail her plans and she wasn’t bitter about it at all. Plus, she was prepared to take it all on her own. She had the sense to be cautious about Blue, and didn’t jump into something permanent with him just because of the baby or her overwhelming attraction to him:
“And I don’t want a man’s hesitation. I don’t want half a man’s heart, and none of his trust. I deserve more. Way more. And I intend to get it.”
I could understand why Blue was hurt, but I was getting fed up with his attitude. Yes, he was lied to but he needed to look at the whole picture IMO, talk to and get his mother’s side of things. I was happy when Emily called him out on his behavior:
“You need to let this go, your past, the resentment—every bit of it—once and for all,” she said. “Not for me, not for this baby, but for you.”
Even though I was frustrated with Blue, I was moved by his complete determination to be there for his child, and be a good father. I was happy that, even though he wouldn’t let Emily close initially, eventually his feelings for her overrode his hang-ups.
The Cavanaugh Brothers were served a horrific blow when their teenage sister, Cassandra, was abducted and murdered. The family suffered from feelings of guilt and their parents sort of checked out. Cassandra’s murder was never solved, but there were clues in each book that shed a little more light as the series went on. In this installment the mystery is solved, and I was happy to that this brought a measure of much needed peace to them.
While I did enjoy Brash (the previous book) a little more, Bonded was a good combination of mystery, romance, and suspense and a satisfying conclusion.
Connect with Laura Wright:
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