Summary: For Kennedy, graduation day will most likely be the best day of her high school years. Tormented by classmates, the time spent behind those four walls has been next to impossible, and all Kennedy has wanted to do is blend into the background and disappear. The only friend she has ever felt connected to and could depend on is her horse, Brave. All of that changes the day she meets Jesse Blake.
For Jesse, simply getting by has been his life for the past few years. Bouncing from foster home to foster home, Jesse was easily expendable and forgotten by the people who were supposed to care for him, unless he was breaking the law. That is, until his latest crime spree sends him away from the concrete jungle of Washington D.C. and to the sunny, small town of Golden Springs. It’s there Jesse can’t escape the looks from everyone who treat him like the delinquent he appears to be. All of that changes the day he meets Kennedy McDowell.
In a chance meeting, Kennedy discovers her father’s newest employee on the ranch is the criminal the entire school is talking about. It’s this working relationship with Jesse that allows her to finally discover what it’s truly like to have a friend she can talk to. It’s also how Jesse discovers Kennedy is nothing like the other people in town. Together, they will learn what it takes to finally Believe in Brave.
Source: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a huge fan of M.S. Brannon’s New Adult/Adult Romances and this is her first venture into YA romance. I was excited to see how she would write a romance without a lot of the sexual tension that her other books have and I didn’t know if it would still have any kind of romantic tension or if it was considered upper YA as a result.
Believing in Brave is definitely Young Adult and appropriate for most young readers. It’s more of a cute romance that remains innocent instead of the more mature romance that I’m used to with her books. The main character, Jesse, was a troubled kid and basically had one last shot at this person’s home before going to a juvenile detention center. The girl, Kennedy, was a shy, innocent girl who related more to her horse than the kids at school.
I enjoyed the novel, but I do like the author’s racier stuff a lot more. Believing in Brave was a bit to short and innocent for me and it was hard to like Kennedy when I’m used to Brannon’s other characters who would never let people walk all over them. Presley is by far the weakest character in her other series and Presley would’ve wanted to slap Kennedy for being such a doormat. However, I am intrigued and will likely keep reading to find out what happens next.
I’d rate this one more of a 3 or 3.5, but I’m raising it to 4 since I know the main reason I felt so “meh” about it was because her other series are so much better and more up my alley.