Title: Branded As Trouble
Author: Delores Fossen
Series: #3 in the Wrangler's Creek series
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HQN Books (June 27, 2017)
Synopsis: 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 aunt, 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?
My Thoughts: My first book by Delores Fossen and certainly not my last.
The Good: The personal conflicts cropping up throughout this small town has a little bit of a Soap Opera feel to it but I loved every minute of it. I very much enjoyed most of the characters and their quirks. I felt the family connections between the Grangers and their extended family, including Mila, was probably one of the best things about this book. Although not completely parallel, the town reminds me a bit like Brenda Novak's Whiskey Creek or Susan Mallery's Fool Gold settings.
The Bad: One of my least favorite romance tropes is an older virgin. At 31, Mila and her virginity, seems completely weird. Barring a vow of celibacy while waiting for marriage or Jesus I'm not sure a woman remains a virgin to 30+ without having something seriously wrong with her. In Mila's case, she was just too picky she said. She had her heart set on Roman. Therefore she refused to do the deed until Roman came around and did the deed with her. Even for a romance novel this seems pretty far fetched. One last thing that bugged me a bit. Both Mila's and Roman's mothers seemed equally quirky. Mila's mom is an ex free loving flower child who thinks she's psychic and is rumored to put the stink-eye on people that cross her. Roman's mom is a widow of many years who raised 4 children and is more of a society icon in the town because the Grangers pretty much own the town. These women are polar opposites yet seem to have the same wacky impulses. It was a bit weird but not necessarily a deal breaker when it comes to the enjoy-ability of this book.
In a Nutshell: I really enjoyed this book and will seek out the rest of the series. If you like those small town feel contemporary romances please pick this one up.