January 28, 2012
Two Brothers and a Bride by Elizabeth Harbison
Joleen is thirty and still working at the diner, something that her mother never wanted for her. But that's about to change, a rich oil tycoon by the name of Carl has swept her off her feet. A politician as well, he's searching for a wife that will appeal to the working class, and slightly overweight, down home girl Joleen is it. The problem is, he wants her to do an awful lot of changing for the position. When she agrees to spend the summer with him she doesn't know he'll be out of town and his brother will be picking her up and taking her to the family ranch instead. And there's some sparks when she seems his brother Jake that she just can't ignore. But she wants this life with Carl, or at least she thinks she can do the most good in that life. Joleen has to try to decide what she's willing to sacrifice to get what she wants.
The characters are pretty much what makes this whole book not the greatest. Joleen is completely bouncy and all over the place. Not to mention she's constantly describing herself as pudgy, chubby, etc. at only a size twelve while Jake is going all gaga over what he describes as her "hot" body. Either she has a poor self image or a size twelve got a lot larger than what I thought it was by the way she's described here. At least Jake has some sense where that's concerned. Unfortunately that's the only area Jake has sense though. I just couldn't understand the whole attraction/dynamic with Joleen, Carl, and Jake. I didn't see where the appeal was for any of them except for Carl, who's motives were selfish and completely believable.
The book is very fast paced. Too fast paced to make it believable unfortunately. While I like the idea of the two brothers wanting the same woman for different reasons, I don't think it was played off very well here. There was a lot more detail that could have been added to improve the story. Since the characters didn't have chemistry to me, it kind of fell short in the romance department for a romance novel. For a romance novel, there is no sex in this book. So its pretty clean actually. Hardly any bad words either. This is definitely part of the tamer side of the romance genre. Which is just fine, it doesn't have to have sex to be a romance. But if that's what you're looking for, you won't find it here.
Definitely not a good romance in my opinion. I've read several better, even put out by the same publisher.
Two Brothers and a Bride