Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Brandon's Bride

Brandon's Bride (Family Secrets - Book 3) by Lisa Gardner writing as Alicia Scott

Publication Date: 12/03/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0451465563
ISBN-13: 978-0451465566

(Received for an honest review from Signet)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Lisa Gardner (aka. Alicia Scott) on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

MacNamara's Woman (2013), Maggie's Man (2013), Brandon's Bride (2013) {New Edition Release dates}

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Brandon's Bride, courtesy of the author's website.


Three siblings searching for the truth about their family are about to find more than they bargained for…

For years Brandon Ferringer has sought to untangle the mystery surrounding his father's disappearance.  Now training as a hotshot—a seasonal wildland fire fighter—Brandon feels he’s on the verge of finally discovering the truth.  In need of temporary lodging, Brandon rents a room at a local farm, and is surprised when his attraction to the ranch’s alluring owner threatens to distract him from his mission.

Single mother Victoria Meese struggles to find time for herself in between raising her son, Randy, and running the Lady Luck Ranch. When she meets Brandon, she suddenly finds something to believe in again. But Brandon’s search for answers is about to turn dangerous, threatening their growing connection—and their very lives. 


Lisa Gardner is a well known crime novelist who has several books to her credit. A lot of people may not know that she started out her career writing under the pseudonym Alicia Scott with Silhouette Intimate Moments. Signet is now releasing three of the Alicia Scott novels as the newly renamed Family Secrets series. Brandon's Bride is the third novel in the series and the conclusion. Gardner's trademark sharp writing style and knack for suspense is definitely present, along with the sizzling romance and well defined characters of Alicia Scott. It's a great combination from a very talented author, that you won't want to miss.

What I liked:

Having been a fan of Lisa Gardner's writing for awhile now, I was somewhat skeptical of this series because I was worried it was before Gardner had honed her craft and might be less like the author I had grown to enjoy. But that was not the case. Brandon's Bride was still very much a Lisa Gardner-esque story. It still have all the urgency, the suspense and nail biting moments I longed for and it had something new, a little more romance and sizzle than some of Gardner's later offerings. 

Though I have not read the first two novels in the Family Secrets series, I am now intrigued to find out how the stories with Brandon's other siblings factor into the outcome of this one. Gardner did an amazing job of making this a stand alone novel, without giving too much away from the other books, while still giving the reader enough background to keep them from feeling lost. 

The characters in this book were simply enjoyable to read about. Victoria is a single mom with a young son to raise and a ranch to make successful. I liked the fact that Gardner did not make her into a hard woman. She had a lot on her plate and could have easily come off as bitter, but Victoria is anything but... She knew what she wanted and she wasn't necessarily afraid of it, but maybe a bit gun shy since her former husband turned out to be what I would call a dud!

Brandon is the real star of this book though. He hasn't had it easy. With the lose of his wife still much on his mind, he delves into trying to find out what happened to his father. I liked the fact that Gardner allows the reader to see that Brandon is seeking a lot more than just a reason for his father's absence, he is also looking for keys to learning about himself as well. I liked all of the information about Brandon's job as a hotshot and it was even more poignant considering this summer's tragedy with the deaths of nineteen hotshots overrun while fighting a fire. It brought a few tears to my eyes, but this part of the book was well written and gave insight into what these guys go through to serve and protect.

The romance was hot in this one and Brandon and Victoria's attraction was palpable even from their first meeting. I think Gardner did a great job of showing how two people with tragedy in their past can come together and have a shot at a great future. I thought the romantic elements were well done and did not take over the book. The balance was good and love scenes were steaming!

What I didn't like:

I may have had more sympathy for Brandon's father's past, had I read the other books. I 'm not sure. Max was a bit too over-the-top for me. His backstory was just a little to unbelievable. I was glad that Brandon and his siblings got the closure they needed with finding out what really happened with Max. But I did feel like it was a bit too much. 

Bottom Line: 

Other than that, I don't have any complaints about the book. It was good. It had good balance, great characters and the suspense was certainly present. I liked the fact that Victoria was drawn into the action and that Brandon got the closure he needed in more than one area of his life. It's a good one, don't miss it!

Brandon's Bride is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen novels. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Catch MeLove You More, and the International Thriller of the Year Award–winning novel, The Neighbor. Her FBI profiler novels include Say GoodbyeGone, The Killing HourThe Next Accident, and The Third Victim. She lives with her family in New England, where she is at work on her next novel.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Brandon's Bride by Lisa Gardner writing as Alicia Scott.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 24th.

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Jane said...

Really enjoyed "Maggie's Man," so definitely looking forward to "Brandon's Bride."

CrystalGB said...

I like that romantic suspense has a combination of romance and adventure.

Karen B said...

A little "hot" is always cool!

lag123 said...

It keeps me turning the pages.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I like the mystery and the sexual tension between the couple. Thanks for having the giveaway.


bn100 said...

not knowing what's going to happen next

Di said...

Romantic Suspense keeps me reading to find out how the couple gets out of what ever quandry they find themselves in.

Nancy said...

I like how they have time to make out with all the caous going on around them