Recommended Read, Review

Review: Refuge by Willa J. Brand (2020)

Heat Factor: Smoulder, smoulder my friends (but behind closed doors)

Character Chemistry: They just kind of systematically click on every level from the first moment.

Plot: Taylor is escaping an abusive marriage with her infant son when her car breaks down in Montana. When she’s rescued and hired by a local rancher, she ends up meeting the rancher’s wife’s brother, Owen, whose steady and secure nature is kind of exactly what she needs.

Overall: This book is SO well done–the worry over Taylor’s precarious and abusive situation, the warmth from the ranchers and the beauty of Montana…it’s really good stuff.

Continue reading “Review: Refuge by Willa J. Brand (2020)”
My First Smut

My First Smut: Time for a Stay-Cation

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, romance author Willa J. Brand talks about reading Gone with the Wind for the first time.

First romance novel you read:

My first (and still one of my favourites) – Gone with the Wind.

How old were you?

I was an early teen I believe.

How’d you get your hands on the book?

I snagged it in our local library. My mother was a librarian, so I had access to almost any books I wanted from an early age.

What was the reading experience like?

It was love at first read, of course. Scarlett is such a volatile character, I remember ranting to my family about her antics. I’m also a huge fan of the classics, Jane Eyre is front and centre on my home bookshelf. I have become quite an eclectic reader, loving everything from Tolkien to Nora Roberts, but Katie Scarlett will always have a special appeal for me.

What made the experience special?

I had such a visceral reaction to the characters, I think Scarlett was one of the first characters who I could never quite predict. I also went from loving to hating her several times through the course of the novel. It was such a roller coaster!

What role does smut play in your life?

For me, romance novels were my brain vacation. I have a bachelors degree, and I am now a busy mom of four kids ages six and under. In high school , university, and now as a mom, whenever I don’t have the capacity for a “heavy” type read, romances are my escape. I crave reading like I crave chocolate, and even when my brain is tired, a good romance is the perfect stay-cation!


Willa J. Brand is a pen name for my alter ego, and although she is much more creative than I am in my daily life, we share many of the same interests.

I am a wife, mother of four children and three angels, and lover of the outdoors. I have been an avid reader from an early age and lover of all forms of literature since before I can remember. Busy as life is helping out on our family farm and caring for children, I craved some kind of creative outlet, and writing was a natural fit for me.

I love all animals and enjoy working with cattle and spending time with my horses and dogs. In more recent years I have found a love for chickens that I never knew I had, and my flock is constantly growing!

My recent novel, Refuge, is now live on Amazon, and I am eager to hear from my readers.

Please feel free to reach out via the CONTACT portion of my site, or via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Thank you and happy reading!

Thanks to Willa for sharing! We look forward to checking Refuge – watch this space for a review coming soon!

Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us an email or fill out our questionnaire and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.