Brightwater Trilogy // by Lia Riley

  • Last First Kiss
  • Right Wrong Guy
  • Best Worst Mistake

Sometimes I don’t really want to think when I’m reading.  This time of year can get really busy, plus I’ve spent way too much time being sick lately, so I’ve been doing a lot of fluff reading.  I started this series because I had the first book as a free Kindle book, and even though it was a pretty average read, I found myself wondering what was going to happen with the other two brothers, so giving me a free Kindle book and persuading me to buy the other two actually worked, even though I knew it was a gimmick.  :-D

All three stories take place in a small town in California, Brightwater.  Recently, Brightwater has become a popular destination because of a movie that was filmed there, so there are a lot of fancy rich people buying second homes here, even though the town still has that small-town rural vibe.

//published 2015//

In the first story, Annie is moving back to Brightwater after her divorce.  She has her young son (like around 5) in tow, and is here to get the family ranch ready to sell.  Because of the rich yuppies moving in, property values have skyrocketed, so she and her dad and sister are confident they can get a good price.  Her dad has always been a crazy hippy, and when Annie was in high school, she and her sister were made fun of by everyone for being “Kooky Carson’s” daughters.  Annie is stressed about being back in that environment, blah blah blah.

So this was a super stereotypical story, with a hunky cowboy next door who JUST SO HAPPENS to be Annie’s old high school flame.  But despite its predictability, it was still an enjoyable story, despite the fact that Annie was way over-the-top helicopter parent, like to the level that I had no idea what she was going to do when her son when to kindergarten, like she couldn’t handle having him out of her sight at all and seemed to think her only purpose in life was to be his mom, and it felt really strange.  She also was a little too vegan for me.

Still, I did like her romance with the hunky sheriff, whose name I am too lazy to look up, and felt like they had actually worked through their issues and were going to make a go of it.

//published 2015//

The next book is about the hunky sheriff’s brother, Archer, (I remember his name!), who has always been the wild guy.  We learn more of the backstory for the brothers in this book as well – their parents died in a house fire when the boys were really young, so all three of them came to live with their grandma, who is a crazy grumpy old lady who still runs the ranch.  But in this book, Grandma admits that she isn’t as young as she used to be, and she wants Archer to settle down and help her run the ranch.  Luckily, Archer ran into the woman of his dreams and is ready to actually settle down, once he convinces said woman that he is no longer going to be the wild guy.

Love interest Edie was really likable – she moves to Brightwater to escape a cheating fiancee who is also trying to blackmail her, and opens a little cafe.  I liked her and Archer as a couple as well, and really enjoyed the side story of Archer and his grandma.  Of course, it was nice to see the couple from the first book in the background.  (Sawyer??  I think his name may be Sawyer.)

//published 2015//

Finally, book three is about brother three, the oldest, whose  name is Wilder.  (I remember that one because I think it’s an awesome name.)  Wilder has been fighting wildfires in Montana for years, but at the beginning of the book has a terrible accident where he loses part of his leg.  Forced to return home to recover, and faced with the fact that he’ll never be able to fight fires again, Wilder holes himself up in a small cabin and becomes a hermit.  With nothing else much to do, he orders books from the bookstore in town and has them mailed out to his cabin every week.

Of course, the love interest works at the bookstore.  Through a series of events, she ends up stranded at Wilder’s cabin during a snowstorm, and their romance blossoms from there.  I felt like Wilder really had the most to work through, and liked the way that the whole story with the brothers’ parents’ deaths was resolved.  The series wrapped up nicely, and it seemed like everyone was definitely going to live happily ever after.

Overall, a 3/5 for each of these books and for the series.  They were pleasant for a one-time read to wile away the hours that I was stranded on the couch with a low-grade fever and a sore throat, but I don’t see myself returning to them again – not a lot of depth to these stories, and also wayyyyy too much sex, like I skipped large portions of each book.  I almost didn’t read the second book because it starts with Archer waking up with a total stranger in Las Vegas, and the whole scene was really uncomfortable.

It also made me sad that while each of these couples had plans to get married, that that wasn’t really how they ended.  I just don’t feel like moving in together is really a romantic way to end a book.  Romance books should end with weddings!  Not vague commitments and more convenient shagging.  Still, they were fun little stories even if they were incredibly predictable.

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