Former Navy SEAL Max Brannigan is a loner with a strong protective streak and an ocean of survivor’s guilt that drives him to take risks no sane man would take. When he gets the news his billionaire father died and left him a horse farm in Kentucky, he’s busy protecting a group of American military contractors in a war zone. The first moment he’s able, he’ll fly back to the US and dispose of the farm. What does a man like him need horses for anyway? Of all the things his father could have left him, this certainly ranks up there as the most bizarre.
Elinor Applegate lives for her horses, but life on the farm isn’t easy. Once-thriving Applegate Farm has fallen on hard times in the past few years. It was only with an influx of cash from her mother’s old friend that Ellie’s been able to keep the family operation going. All her hopes to turn around the business and buy back her rights to the farm lie on the hooves of a colt destined to greatness. She’s just got to get him there first.
But when sexy, ruthless, infuriating Max Brannigan shows up, Ellie realizes her troubles are worse than she thought. He knows nothing about horses—and he cares less than nothing about her dreams. To Max, the horses are useless and have to go—in spite of the fact that every encounter with Ellie only makes him want to drag her into his arms and kiss the fire right out of her. But Ellie will fight hard to keep her dreams alive, even if she has to fight dirty. Max has spent most of his life protecting people and assets from danger—but can he protect himself when Ellie launches a full-scale assault against the walls surrounding his heart?
Release Date: November 29, 2016
H.O.T. Publishing, LLC
7 Brides for 7 Brothers #5
Review copy provided by publisher
Max is the 5th book in the 7 Brides for 7 Brothers series, and while I plan to go back and read the first 4 books in the series, I can say from personal knowledge that Max reads well as a stand-alone story.
When billionaire James Brannigan died, he left each of his 7 sons an inheritance that had something to do with his and their mother's past. With Max, his father left him the deed to the Applegate Farm in Kentucky. Unknown to Max, his mother was a best friend with the original owner of the farm and she had a great love for the horses raised and trained there. Max, who is a former Nave SEAL, is now working as an independent contractor in war zones and is ready to get out and start his own protection service stateside. Max is so not prepared to meet Ellie Applegate when he comes to Kentucky to sell the farm and move on with his life. Ellie has been raised to run the farm and train the horses her entire life and thanks to Max's dad, she was able to keep the farm when her mom was sick.
First of all, I absolutely loved Ellie. She is such a strong character. She has had to work pretty much around the clock with almost no help to keep her farm and training facility running after her mom got sick. She has scrimped and saved to do everything in her power to keep the farm running while paying back to loan to Max's dad. She is also an amazing friend and employer to the one employee she still has. I also loved how she was willing to stand up to Max when he first approached her about selling the farm so they could split the proceeds equally. I love strong women, and Ellie had strength to spare.
Max and Ellie also seemed to connect pretty quickly. Yes they had really great chemistry, but I really loved they truly became friends before they became lovers. Ellie showed Max everything about the farm that she loved and even was able to find people and pictures to share stories about his mom on the farm. I just really loved watching their relationship develop from friends to lovers and absolutely fell in love with them as a couple.
While I wanted Max and Ellie to have no issues to get to their happily ever after, I knew that Max needed more time to accept what he knew he wanted in his heart. When Ian Black, yes that Ian Black, contacted him for a new mission, I knew he would take the job, even knowing how much it would hurt Ellie. OMG I wanted to cry when he left for his mission, knowing they loved each other. I also wanted to hit Max for hurting Ellie that way.
After reading Max, it made me want to go back and read the first 4 books in the series to see what James Brannigan had done for his other sons. I honestly loved their dad seems to making amends for not being their for his sons after their mother's death with each bequest. Fans of Lynn Raye Harris will absolutely adore Max, and new readers will fall in love with her voice.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (B+)