Title – Brave Enough
Author – M. Leighton
Publication Date – April 5, 2016
Series – Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #3
Is she brave enough to give her heart to a man she only thought she knew?
He was the most charismatic man I’d ever met. Strong, tough, brave. Bold as hell. Something told me Tag Barton could have anything—anyone—he wanted…and he wanted me. It didn’t matter that he was wrong for me in practically every way possible. It didn’t matter that my father would hate it.
I couldn’t resist him. Even if I’d known who he really was and what he was really capable of.
When he suggested we pretend to be engaged, I thought he was the answer to all my problems. He wasn’t. And, in his wake, he left nothing but scorched earth and me, just another casualty of my father’s war.
Can I believe him now when he tells me he loves me? Or is he nothing more than a beautiful, breathtaking lie?
Leighton serves up another delicious book boyfriend with Tag Barton in Brave Enough! This latest addition to the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series is smart, steamy, and surprisingly sweet. Tag and Weatherly had an instant chemistry that sizzled from the moment they met and carried throughout the entire story like static electricity charging the air and upping the emotional stakes of their journey. Their relationship is a whirlwind from beginning to end and it was impossible not to get whisked away in the romance of finding an escape and learning to let go on a beautiful vineyard. Tag and Weatherly seem like such an unlikely pair, yet M. Leighton makes them the perfect fit. Their journey is definitely a roller coaster of emotions, delivering passion and angst in a potent cocktail that will leave your head spinning. Tag and Weatherly’s story will have you falling in love (and wanting to drink a lot of wine) in no time.
“For once, I want to do something that’s only for me. No one else. I want to do something that’s completely spontaneous, totally irresponsible and entirely questionable in every possible way.”
I really enjoyed getting to know Weatherly and Tag. Both characters had a mystery about them that pulled me in and it was exciting to watch them unravel. Weatherly easily captured my heart with her feisty spirit and self-sacrificing personality. I adored the way M. Leighton grew this character over the course of the novel. The Weatherly we meet in the beginning of the novel has been polished and shined under the scrutiny of her high society father and finds herself being used as a bargaining chip for his business. By the time M. Leighton is done with her, Weatherly stands on her own, unafraid to live her joy out from under the shadow of her family name. Tag was utterly swoon-worthy with his easy charm, protective instincts, possessive nature, and proclivity for all things deliciously filthy. Initially, Tag seemed singularly hell-bent on proving something to the wealthy world he so despises but as his secrets unfold and Weatherly gets under his skin, M. Leighton develops this character into something more significant, exposing insecurities and a surprising vulnerability that made him relatable.
“No, I’m just saying that a life without love leaves rooms to love the wrong things. Money, power, influence. Those kinds of love can destroy you.”
I very much enjoyed the premise of this novel. Weatherly’s family issues and instantly dizzying relationship with Tag made her story prime for some major angst, while the secrets and deception added a component of suspense that had me anxiously waiting for all hell to break loose. This is where the pacing of the novel was a bit disjointed. The first half of the story moved at the relaxed pace of a sweet, sensual romance while the second half flew by in a flurry of surprises and unraveling lies. Although the change of pace definitely captured the sudden shift in Weatherly’s life at the various revelations about Tag, it did impact the natural development of the characters. Had we seen more hints of Tag’s secrets (even if just through his inner monologue) in the first half of the book, I think it would have made his growth feel more fluid and genuine. As always with M. Leighton’s writing, she expertly captures the emotions of her characters, relaying them to her readers in a way that makes them feel like your own. This story came to life as I read, effortlessly conjured by M. Leighton’s vibrant imagery and easy dialogue. Strong Enough was a sweet, surprising end to the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series and with each book in this collection, an exciting adventure all its own.
The final installment of the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous trilogy by M. Leighton is finally here! After feeling torn on how I felt after I finished the second book, I’ll admit that I was slightly nervous about how this one would affect me. I’m happy to say that Brave Enough had the perfect storytelling aspect that dug its talons into me, and wouldn’t let me go until I turned that last page.
“But you’re in my world now. Here, the only thing that matters is whether or not you want me to kiss you as badly as I want to. Here, we are all that matter.”
I really did love the storyline that was the driving force of Brave Enough. Weatherly had grown up prim and proper, so she sought some kind of freedom and to carve a piece of life for herself. On the other hand, you had Tag, who was able to pull out every inhibition that she had. In a sense, he was that guy ruled by his passions rather than responsibilities. Tag was able to give her a taste of the life she wanted, which made for the perfect dynamic between the two. These characters had some sizzling chemistry together with moments that made me smile and swoon, but also warmed my heart.
“Meeting Tag might be the thing that saves me.”
While I did love this hero and heroine, I also felt like I was missing some of the character depth that I know Leighton is capable of. I wanted more of Tag’s background, especially because we did receive chapters from his point of view. There is one scene in particular where he gets news from Weatherly, and it seems like a key moment for readers to really experience what he is feeling and the complicated emotions it would bring out. Yet, it’s skipped right over and we continue on with her side of it. As a curious person who lives through emotion, it left me feeling like there was room for a little bit more depth.
“I feel him as if he were still here, though. My body remembers every touch. My heart remembers every word. If only I could believe either.”
The first half of the novel, where the characters are getting to know each other and it’s leading to this big moment, was a giddy journey that I couldn’t get enough of. At around that halfway point, something happens that threw me for a bit of a loop because it felt a tad rushed so I was a little confused. However, that being said, M. Leighton weaves a tale that will certainly leave you intrigued. There wasn’t a major connection to the previous books in the trilogy so I don’t think you have to read them beforehand. Of all the books in the series, this one is probably my favorite. The storytelling that Leighton does felt so effortless and the characters are ones that complement each other so well, so you can’t help but root for them. Now that we say goodbye to the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous men, I’m curious to see where M. Leighton will go next!
Add to Goodreads
Don’t miss the rest of the series:
Strong Enough (Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #1)
Tough Enough (Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #2)
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author M. Leighton is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, Michelle finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction.
Having written over a dozen novels, these days Michelle enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you’ll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren’t roaming in that direction, she’ll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.