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.

While the premise of this story seems very much about romance and love, to me that was only a small part of it. It's also about coming home, forgiveness, discovering secrets and saying goodbye. A lot of pretty heavy themes that will weigh on you, but done in a way that you'll gladly accept them. For me some parts reflected life perfectly. There are definitely the good moments, but it's not perfect at all.

Scout coming back after so many years is difficult for every man at Red Mountain. They all had a certain bond with her, and while they understood why she had to leave, it didn't make things easier for them. These boys are now men, and well a lot can happen in seven years. From the moment Scout enters the house, she realizes so much has changed and then some things not at all.

She has come back not for a happy reason, so while she tries to connect this family back together it just might be too late. So there is definitely that heaviness that hovers over everything that happens in this story, making it not a light read. Still you get swept up into their tales, and into their daily lives. While she can slowly pick things back up with John, Chase and Chance, it's different than it used to be.

It's interesting to see how they all deal with the changes and with Scout's return. She left one brother, but in return also turned her back to the rest of the family. Which to me was a bit difficult to understand. Somehow I got her need for a clean break from Conn, but it wasn't fair towards the others. Also as we never get into the reason of why Conn is so hateful towards the world, and what exactly happened between him and Scout, made him a difficult person to understand. The motivation for his behaviour was lost to me and left me disconnected from him.

As for the romance part of this book, that at times actually felt a bit bland. It's clear for me from the beginning how the other brother feels for her, and the way Scout feels for him. So that part was somewhat predictable. Though there were still plenty of other twists and turns that made this story so captivating. It's that struggle, the impending doom and all the high emotions, that made it so riveting.

The Author
I'm a wife, a mom, a writer. I started writing because I loved it and I'm still writing because I love it. I write young adult because I still believe in true love, kindred spirits, and happy endings. Here's to staying young at heart *raises champagne glass* . . . care to join me?

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