Reviews

RELEASE DAY REVIEW ~ THREE BROTHERS BY NICOLE WILLIAMS

I grew up with three brothers. They weren’t tied to me by blood, but our connection went beyond genetics or bearing the same last name. Our connection was forged the summer I turned thirteen, the summer my mom ended her life and left me in the custody of John Armstrong, a man I’d never met. Packing all I owned in a couple of boxes, I left the familiarity of the big city and headed west to Red Mountain Ranch, set in a lonely valley outside of Jackson Hole.
Nothing was as it seemed at Red Mountain—it didn’t take long for me to figure that out. John was kind to me but distant, as if he was afraid to let anyone get too close. His three teenage sons had their own devices for keeping love as far away as they could. The eldest distracted himself with cheap relationships that had a shelf-life of one night. The middle son threw himself into the rigor of running a ranch, and the third wielded cruelty and mind-games in his quest to keep people from getting close.
Time has gone by, and I’ve spent those years trying to forget the brother I’d fallen for—the biggest mistake of my life.
Finally, I’ve moved on. Finally, I’m back. But what I didn’t realize was that running away from the wrong brother meant I’d also run away from the right one. The one who’d been there for me all along, waiting in his brother’s shadow for the day I either would or could move on.
But a decade is a long time to wait. Has the brother I should have chosen all of those years ago moved on too? Am I about to discover that my biggest mistake wasn’t falling in love with the wrong brother, but failing to return the love of the right one sooner?
Does unrequited love have an expiration date?
I’m about to find out.
Author’s Note: This book is a “sweet” romance that isn’t overly sexy. Fans of Lost & Found will be interested in Three Brothers.

Nicole Williams is an author who has penned several of my all-time favorite books – namely the Lost & Found series – and there are some aspects I’ve come to expect in her stories that make them so enjoyable: a sweet and swoony hero that makes my heart go pitter patter, a lush, atmospheric setting that makes me want to dive into the book and never come out, and a captivating storyline guaranteed to never bore me. As far as these three things go, they’re all present in Three Brothers and for the most part I really thought this would be at least a 4 star read for me. However, I didn’t count on the last 20% of the book to be not so…appealing, hence I had to drop a star. There were a couple of 2-star scenes that made smoke steam out of my ears, and yet there were also many 4 or 4+ star scenes I adored, so rounding off to 3 stars felt appropriate to me.
7 years after leaving the one place she calls home, the heroine Scout is back in town as her foster father is dying and she needs to make amends with him. Of course, it also means seeing his three sons Chase, Chance, and Conn, the three boys who each have a special place in her heart. With Chase, she only feels sisterly affection and they tease each other incessantly. With Chance, he’s always been her best friend, her rock. And with Conn, he’s like fire where Scout is water. He’s the tortured bad boy she crushed on, lusted after and desperately wanted to fix, only to get badly burned. Now 7 years later, a more mature Scout is genuinely over him. This time, a truly beautiful and tender romance develops between her and her best friend Chance, who’s always loved her from afar. With him, the ranch that served as a symbol of so many bad memories is wiped clean.
I’m going to have to take this next paragraph and dedicate it to the hero Chance because he made my heart MELT. Honestly, I haven’t swooned over a hero this much for a while now, and sort of feel a little guilty for rating a book with him in it only 3 stars. Usually the really bad boys, the tortured ones like Conn would get my panties in a twist, but this time it’s the good guy who stole my heart. He’s sweet, but not overly so where it becomes nauseating. The quietly intense way he loves Scout really touched me, and he’s a guy you’d never have to question his fidelity or loyalty because protecting her and loving her is all that matters to him.
^^Seriously, I can’t even. In context of the book, it was even more swoony.
But alas, there were many issues I had with the story. First being that I NEEDED details about Scout’s past when she just moved to the ranch. I seriously can’t believe all of that was left out. Whenever she or the boys referred to past events and the devastation that was caused all around, I literally was tapping my foot waiting for someone to divulge details but none were given. It made the story feel like a chunk was missing. I need those details for the story to feel whole.
Another thing that pissed me off big time was the last 20% of the book. I’m not going to lay out what happens exactly as it’s a major spoiler, but it’s safe to say I was not a fan of the way things wrapped up (don’t worry, the hero and heroine are perfectly okay). A twist that came out of nowhere created extra drama totally not needed and then that finale…oh my god. I seriously felt like throwing up. All I’m going to say is that I think the author took the easy way out.
However, this book is probably the author’s most thought-provoking story yet and it certainly did make me feel. I actually think the blurb is misleading because aside from the sweet hero, nothing about this story was sweet. It was introspective, at-times depressing, and emotional. There are no steamy sex scenes but I actually enjoyed the book more that way. The lack of steam fit in perfectly with the pace and tone of the story.
Usually there’s this special spark in this author’s books that make me instantly fall in love with them, but sadly, it was missing in this one. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this story for what it was worth, and I would recommend reading it just for the perfect hero alone.
Three Brothers is a standalone romance unrelated to this author’s other books. Despite what’s hinted at in the blurb, there is no cheating and no love triangle.
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.