Review: Jake (The Seven Brothers of Elko #1) by Raeann Blake

Book Blurb

Christopher Davis Reardon's wife died young, leaving him with two small boys to raise on his own. Jake and Davis were typical boys, but good kids. Mr. Reardon lived to see them both grow into the kind of men any father would be proud to call his sons. Respect for others, right from wrong, honesty, and the value of family were among the many things he taught his boys. And teaching them about women was right at the top of the list, especially the right woman. He had a mantra that was repeated to both boys from the age of thirteen until they were grown men themselves. They still know it by heart.

"Son, you always treat a woman with respect, no matter who they are, what they do, or what they say. All men have lust in their hearts, so bed 'em if you have to, but treat 'em with respect. And when you think you're in love, you're not. Because when you are in love, you'll know it. When you really love a woman, she'll be the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about at night. When you really love a woman, she is your breath, your heartbeat, and your very soul. And when you really love a woman, you won't be lusting after any others because no other women exist."

Jake Reardon always understood what his father was saying. But he never felt the true meaning of those words...until he met Brinley Phillips.

Never mind that Tommy Joe Branden had "hands-off" signs posted all the way around her in big bright red letters. Never mind that she so completely believed in 'til death do us part that she was still hoping for a reconciliation with a man who would just as soon see her dead as not. And never mind that she lived and worked in Texas and had no plans on making Nevada her home. He practically felt his daddy nudge him in the back. Maybe that's why he stumbled off the edge of that cliff.

But when ghosts better left at rest raise their ugly heads, the path to that 'happily ever after' gets steadily more difficult and more dangerous. And just when he thought it couldn't get any did.

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Brinley is a computer programmer that also owns her own business.  She has turned over the running of her company to her friend and partner.  After the incident with her husband she works from home.  She has basically become a recluse.  Her long-time friend Tommy is worried about her and refuses to take no for an answer when taking her to Las Vegas.
Once there she meets up with some more old friends and someone new, Jake.  Jake owns a ranch near her friends and was once a Texas Ranger.  Brinley loves the Texas Rangers and is shocked to learn Jake used to be one.  She feels an instant attraction.  She hasn’t felt those things in a long time.
Jake is also shocked at his instant interest in Brinley.  She is full of life and light even though she has been through hell.  She becomes all he wants.
When both of their pasts come back to cause problems, Brinley loses a lot.  She refuses to stand in anyone’s way of happiness.  Jake has other ideas.
This book started out really well.  I liked Brinley as a character.  She seemed to be strong and smart.  Once she and Jake grew close, I liked her even more.  Unfortunately as the story evolved and she ran, I didn’t like how she reacted to things and situations.  Even though I liked the ending and how the author ultimately tied things up, I had lost my appreciation for Brinley as a character.

Jake and Davis were a fun pair.  I like how they teased each other and had a healthy brother rivalry.  They were great characters.  I like how they were gentlemen and strong.  They were definitely sigh-worthy.  I can’t wait to see them again.  I give this book a 4 out of 5.

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