Brand Me (Imagine Ink, #2)Brand Me by Verlene Landon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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***TRIGGER WARNING***
This book discusses issues of mental, physical and sexual abuse.

Love shouldn’t just make you happy, it should brand you.

Tori Reid thinks she has her life in order: a great job, her own business in the works, fantastic friends and family, and a boyfriend, Richard, who she thinks is the one (despite the fact he is technically married).

When he invites her on a three-month vacation to his family’s isolated cabin, she assumes it means he finally got a divorce and she is well on her way to everything she ever wanted, including a husband, kids, and a huge yard for her dogs, Sixx and Mars. But when she meets Michael, her expectations for the trip, and her future, quickly change.

Everything about Michael Brande screams quintessential playboy-personal trainer by day and lead singer by night. He seems to be relishing his newly-single status by jumping from bed to bed across the Florida Panhandle.

However, appearances can be deceiving. Reality doesn’t entertain the bored denizens of a one-horse town nearly as much as a tantalizing rumor traveling at the speed of light and changing with the wind. The mandatory three-month trip to Tennessee couldn’t have come at a better time. He needed to get away-now. Away from his cheating ex-fiancée trying to worm her way back into his life, the increasing tales of his “many exploits,” gym bunny bimbos and groupie wannabes, but mostly from his secret shame and taunting dreams. His life couldn’t possibly get worse.

Both are about to learn that some truths are painful, but sometimes, pain is necessary for salvation.

First let me start off by saying this is book 2 of the Imagine Ink series. I have not read the first one, but after I write this review I plan on picking it right up. Ok now that disclaimer is out of the way, I was immediately surrounded by characters in this book from page one without much qualifying of who’s who. But it did not take me long to sort it all out and get so engrossed into the story line I finished this book in one night. While I did feel the pang of not reading book one, it did not take away from this story. And there was much to this plot. Whew. Emotions ranged from heaviness and heartache down to airy light to fiery sexy. Richard “The Dick” was not missed when he got his exit call, although I was sort of hoping that his bubble would crash and burn way more than it did. Ah to dream that maybe in the next book? I warn you you have no choice but to feel each character’s pain and glory right along with them. I have never read Ms. Landon’s work before now. I will be following her progress closely, she just has a way with words. The point of view alternated between Tori and Michael, which is always a plus to know the other character better. You will get your HEA, maybe after tearing out your own heart, but rest assured it will come. Go grab your copy, and the first one if you haven’t already, and get busy reading. I know you are going to love it as much as I did.
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