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I Belong


Review: Bonded by Laura Wright

BondedTitle: Bonded

Author: Laura Wright

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Cavanaugh Brothers (Book #4)

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Format: Paperback, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451465091 (Penguin/Signet)

ISBN-13: 978-0451465092 (Penguin/Signet)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

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….

Quick & DirtyIt’s Blue’s turn for romance in this good, but not great, conclusion to the Cavanaugh Brothers series.

Opening Sentence: Some people might call it the hots, but if you asked Emily Shiver directly what her feelings regarding Blue Perez were, she’d probably say it was more like an . . . appreciation.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

It’s been a rough three months for Blue Perez Cavanaugh. First, he finds out his mother had an affair with Everett Cavanaugh, an affair that resulted in his birth. So that means he has three brothers, all of whom have plans for the Triple C that don’t coincide with his own. Then, the woman he had been falling for online turns out to possibly have something to do with his half-sister’s disappearance and subsequent murder. Suffice to say, life could be better. So when pretty Emily Shiver offers to give him a ride home when he’s obviously too drunk to drive, Blue takes her up on her offer and makes an offer of his own once they arrive at his place.

Emily Shiver has been obsessed with Blue ever since first laying eyes on him. So, despite not being one for one night stands, she can’t resist spending the night with Blue when the opportunity comes up. Fast forward to three weeks later, and Emily gets quite the surprise: she’s pregnant. Now, she and Blue have to figure out how they’re going to raise a child together when Blue finds it hard to trust anyone, especially someone of the female persuasion. Will they be able to work past their differences, or is their relationship doomed to fail?

I absolutely love this series, so I was anxious to read the conclusion. While it is a good read, it doesn’t quite reach the height that the third book did. A large part of that has to do with Blue. He has spent the past three books moping around because of his mother’s deception. While it is understandable given the short timeframe of the series, it makes it very hard to like him when he’s being so unlikable to every other character. Even in this book where he’s the hero, every sweet thing he does is often negated later by him continuing to act like a jerk.

As for Emily, she is a great main character. She’s sweet and strong, and her reaction to this pregnancy made me feel very connected to her as a character. She’s not afraid to put Blue in her place either, which made me like her even more. She just felt very real, and it was great to get to read her story.

Regarding the mystery of Cass’ disappearance and murder, everything gets  wrapped up here. It was great to get to see the brothers’ efforts to find her killer finally come to fruition. In my opinion, the resolution was very satisfactory.

All in all this was a good conclusion to the Cavanaugh series, but not a great one. Blue’s frustrating words and actions do take some enjoyment out of the story, but Emily’s likeability makes up for it mostly. This is a quick read, and fans of the series should enjoy this conclusion.

Notable Scene:

“Okay, I know I got a bit nuts in there,” he started with a heavy exhalation.

“A bit?” she asked.

“That pre-thing sounded scary as shit.”

“That’s because you know nothing about it. It’s pretty common. And if I do get preeclampsia, it’s not until later in the pregnancy.” She sighed, her irritation stripping away. “You don’t have to worry, okay? About any of it. It’s all covered. This baby will be fine. I have my whole family looking out for me. My mom knows all about this. I don’t need you -“

He felt himself go rigid. He looked away. Her words had cut him.

“Come on, Blue,” she said, recognizing her blunder pretty quickly. “I didn’t mean it like that. All I’m trying to say is please chill out a little. Everything is going to be fine.”

Fine. Fine. He sniffed. Was it? Christ, nothing had been fine in the past several months. Why should he believe that this would be any different?

“Look, I need to go,” she said, turning around and opening her car door. “I have work.” Before she slipped inside, she gave him a tight smile. “I’m glad you came. Really. But next time, maybe it’s better if I go on my own.”

He stared at her, flinched as the door slammed shut. And as the weight of her words sank in, and she drove off into the late-morning sunshine, his guts twisted with pain. It wasn’t the kind of pain that stemmed from a fist to the jaw, but the emotional kind – the kind that came from fear and loss.

And a moment of hope, shattered.

The Cavanaugh Brothers Series:

1. Branded

2. Broken

3. Brash

4. Bonded

crow4

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Signet provided me with a copy of Bonded. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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