Hog-Tied and Branded - Anita Philmar

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This review may contain snark and character bashing… You have been warned.

One of my pet peeves in romance/fiction/any literature is a plot that is completely resolved in one conversation. A book is not entertaining if the conflict stems only from miscommunication. (C’mon, people, we are ADULTS, we can speak our minds, can’t we?)

Unfortunately Hog-Tied and Branded‘s entire premise is What will he say when I tell him this? She hate me as soon as I tell her that. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU WON’T SPEAK TO EACH OTHER?!

This short story takes place on a Western cattle ranch, previously owned by Suzi’s grandparents. Clint leases the land from Suzi, and uses it to raise cattle and other livestock. I’m extremely taken with Western-themed books (who doesn’t like cowboys?), especially Western erotica, so I was let down when I discovered Hog-Tied and Branded is another flop that didn’t live up to my expectations.

Another aspect of this book that fell flat for me were the characters. I’ve stated that character driven stories need strong characters to keep the book entertaining, and Hog Tied and Branded proved my theory. No matter how much I tried, I could not connect with Clint or Suzi.

“I was Clint’s good-time girl. Hell, he never intended to marry me.”

It seems like some women (Suzi) operate under the idea that men don’t mean what they say, and that it’s their job to show them what they want.

When Suzi and Clint first start to date, he tells her upfront that he wasn’t interested in a commitment. She disregards this, and fall in love with him, and plans out a wedding, anyways. She just knows he feels the same. She then learns she has to work a three-month job out-of-state, and blows up when it becomes clear that he really didn’t want to marry her, after all. What a shocker!

She decides he was stringing her along, so she ends things and leaves. Three month’s later, she returns home pregnant from a stranger and hornier than ever. She decides they’ll have a fling, since now he really won’t want to marry her…

Except he does. He realized how much he loved her when she left, but he knows that she won’t want him after he tells her his secret. He knows this because of male tuition, not because he sits her down and discuss it with her… Communication is so last year.

Too harsh? Nah. These characters made me want to smash my head into the wall, but I refrained, because I can’t afford to lose any more brain cells, and reading this book probably didn’t help.

I was not taken with this short story at all. I wouldn’t recommend Hog-Tied and Branded to anybody, unless you are a fan of unimpressive characters, and flimsy plots.

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