Branded by Tara Sivec

Published: January 12, 2015

Tara Sivec

I purchased this book on Amazon.

Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when all three of them become adults and move out.

“What’s the point of masks if you can’t use them to your advantage?”

Phina has a dark past. She has a dark present, and she is convinced she has a dark future. She carries her secrets alone. It’s safer this way. DJ flitters from a good time to a good time, always keeping his eyes on the next adventure. When a blast from his past blows back into his life, he isn’t prepared for the backdraft.

As much as I love the lighthearted romcoms, TSiv is known for, and this book is far from light. It’s heavy and deep and emotional. And I love that. The weight of this book, the complexity of the contents is anything but lighthearted.

Yes, there is some witty banter. And yes, there are excellent characters, which we know we can count on from Tara. But there is such an emotional rawness and human vulnerability in these chapters. The emotion and the hurt, the anguish, is palpable. It is all-consuming.

I love that Tara isn’t afraid to tackle trauma. That she fearlessly dives headfirst into the fire and doesn’t shy away from the residual aftermath. She isn’t scared to write the ugly and the brutal aspects of humanity and love.

These characters are all so vivid. They have so much depth and such sharp angles. But there is also such a beautiful vulnerability and a romantic notion that finding the one thing worth holding on to may be the last thing we expected.

While there are some scorching steamy scenes in this book, I love that that wasn’t the primary focus. The human connection, the need for understanding, love, and forgiveness are the focus.

Reading TSiv’s catalog of work has made my brain explode. The dynamic range this woman creates is insane. This series solidifies her talent and may be the best character development I’ve ever read.

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