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.`
The other day I was snooping around on some blogs looking for good books to read and somehow I found myself on Nicole Williams' blog. She just recently posted an excerpt of a flashback she wrote for this book, and the reason she posted it on her blog is because it wasn't put in the book. I read also that the reasoning behind that was because her and her editor decided the flashbacks would only set the book back which I don't agree on. I read the flashback then immediately picked up the book not knowing what the book was going to contain.
Reasons why there should have been flashbacks:
1. You would get to see firsthand the relationship between Conn and Scout. Throughout the book we hear how their relationship was damaging to one another but we never saw or heard stories of what really happened. Correction there was, I believe, one instance where we did hear of an instance but it was brief.
2. Scout described how each man was different than she remembered. That the 7 years she was gone so many things impacted their lives that they weren't the same men she knew all those years ago. I think it would've have made a bigger impact on the reader if we got to see how they were all those years ago. For me, I got a brief glimpse of the boys 12 years previous of this book taking place when I read the excerpt on her blog and so I think I had more of an understanding of how different they were because of the brief flashback.
3. Talking about making bigger impacts, if there were flashbacks containing John during his healthier years it would have made his slow demise even more tragic. Not that his disease or death wasn't tragic enough, but for me as a reader I love to cry in books and his death didn't make me cry.
4. I wanted to know what made Conn the way he was. Where did all his anger stem from. Why is he the way he was. Personally, there was such a question mark above this character and all I wanted to do was figure him out. I feel like flashbacks would have given us, the readers, some insight.
On the bottom of the Goodreads summary it has an authors note that says: "This book is a “sweet” romance that isn’t overly sexy." I didn't know if I would put this book in the "sweet romance" section because it didn't feel like a romance book. There was a little bit of romance in it, sure, but that wasn't the core of the book. The core of the book was the relationship between Scout and these three brothers. And shes definitely right on the fact that it's not overly sexy at all. In fact, I wouldn't really call it sexy at all. The only time I guess she would qualify it being sexy would be one brief instance she said they were naked but then it was like a fade into black scene. They never outright said they had sex but it was implied.
I found myself feeling like Scout throughout this book. She had this need to fix everything. Whether it be a human or animal she needed to fix them. I believe it stemmed from her helplessness to save her mom and therefore has a need to save everyone and everything around her. I don't relate to that in real life but when I was reading this book all I wanted to do was jump right in there and help make all the situations better and make everyone not sad/depressed. I think this is why the book made me so anxious because I was just waiting for everything to magically fix themselves really quickly but that's not what happened.
To most people I don't think they would have seen the ending as a cliffhanger but to me there was one. I wanted to know about the curse. I wanted to see if the curse played out or not. But I'm guessing Nicole Williams did that on purpose. She left it up to the readers to decide if the curse was actually real or if they just blamed misfortunes on the curse because they can't think of another reason why so many bad things would happen to them.
I didn't know what to expect when I started this book I honestly thought it was going to be some awkward 4 way love between her and the brothers. Like which brother would she choose type of thing. (I got this impression from reading the flashback excerpt on her blog, lol. I really suggest reading it!) I didn't expect to witness the struggles of 4 people coming to terms with their fathers impending death and all the other little troubles they had with one another. I think this was an alright book, if there were flashbacks I believe we would've gotten a better understanding of the characters but still, it was a good book.