I had heard good things about Jianne Carlo and had been meaning to read something by her for quite some time now, so I could not resist when I saw this was up for grabs. I’m glad I did.
In very few pages, Jianne Carlo spins a delightful tale of love and adventure that transported me back in time. The author’s way of writing is wonderful as it easily and without unnecessary embellishments set up the time period and drew me into Étain and Brand’s world. It is a world of dreams, magic, dangerous heroes and treacherous enemies.
Étain and Brand are delightful. Especially, Brand. He’s intelligent, courageous, handsome, romantic, a warrior, alpha… He is dreamy and I fell in love with him from the moment he appeared on the page (I can still picture those blue eyes concealed behind a hood…). His character doesn’t fall flat, but grows with each turn of the page just like Étain’s.
When I first met Étain I discovered a woman who was highly intelligent but also ridiculously chipper. I wasn’t sure if I really liked her, but the author did a wonderful job of developing her character and I quickly warmed up to her. Even more so, when her magical gift was explained and the reason for her unnatural constant happiness came to life. By the end of the story, I loved her.
With such characters, it is not surprising that the love story is marvellous. Out of bed, they have a very natural and sweet rapport. Whilst, sexually, Ms. Jianne Carlo mixes up the alpha possessiveness with a young girl’s naivety and curiosity and creates sizzling scenes that had me aching for more.
Branded by Étain can be read as a standalone, for I didn’t discover it was the beginning of a series until I finished it. I’m happy there will be more to come, for I was indeed curious about some of the secondary characters.
Branded by Étain is a quick erotic fantasy read that left a good taste in my mouth for many days.
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