Wendy reviews My Brother’s Keeper The First Three Rules by Adrienne Wilder. Published March 25, 2014, 280 pages.
Why I read this book: This is Reviewer’s Choice week here at Rainbow Gold Reviews.This is the first book in the trilogy. I read this trilogy when it first came out and my fellow reviewer Melissa, has just recently read it. We decided to do a duo review of the trilogy. So be sure to look for all three days of reviews as well as both Melissa and my reviews for two different perspectives on this wonderful trilogy.
The town of Gilford has a Big and Terrible secret hidden in the ground.
Infecting those it touches.
Exploiting their darkness.
Consuming their souls.
It’s hungry. It’s vile. It’s evil.
And it wants out.
Book One: The First Three Rules
Marshal Jon Foster lost his purpose and his sanity the day he saw the image of his dead brother. The distraction saved Jon’s life but cost the lives of innocent people including his best friend and partner. It was a price for survival Jon couldn’t live with and was sure he’d never understand.
Driven by grief and guilt he tried to escape his past by fleeing to a small town in the middle of nowhere. Only instead of peace, the memories festered.
Then the offer of a stick of gum from a stranger changes Jon’s life and puts him on a road out of the nightmare he’s trapped in.
Ellis Harper has lived the past twenty years isolated from the outside world and sole caretaker for his mentally disabled brother, Rudy. While Ellis loves his brother, he longs for a life he’ll never be able to have.
Shut away, his days consist of chores, endless cartoons, and games of Go Fish. A world that seemed to have no end until an innocent misunderstanding turns Ellis and his brother into a target for a town bully.
It’s a fight Ellis can never win on his own but thanks to a chance meeting with a stranger, he doesn’t have to.
What begins as a new journey in love for both men quickly unfolds into something neither of them could have ever imagined.
This story is about three men.
Jon, a retired Marshal who suffers from PTSD after a horrible event left his partner dead and him with a nervous breakdown. He struggles daily with his guilt and fear. He hears voices that tempt him to do terrible things and he sees his dead brother. I wanted to wrap Jon up in a huge hug, he’s a strong character for all his flaws. Then he meets Rudy. Rudy is mentally disabled, charming, needs constant supervision and has his own sense of innocent logic that he applies to every situation. He also has a little something extra. Rudy also has rules. In this book, we learn about The First Three 1. Don’t talk to anyone. 2. Don’t wander off 3. Don’t touch. I know you will love Rudy just as much as I do. Rudy is the reason that Jon meets Ellis, Rudy’s brother. Ellis has been taking care of Rudy since their parents were killed when Ellis was just twelve years old. He is the most steadfast character I’ve ever read and I could actually feel his anxiety and frustration, then his guilt when taking care of Rudy. My heart just breaks for Ellis when he describes his loneliness to Jon.
The story is very well written and in this book we get a peek at what a small town can be like in its bigotry and hate and the lengths it will go to in covering up abuse and torment to those they think are too weak to do anything about it.
The something “other” that’s introduced in this book is done flawlessly, I love the sense of the mystic, the good vs evil that is building.
The attraction between Jon and Ellis is sizzling and although it is maybe a bit fast, it works in this book. And the bedroom scenes are done very well with a bit of humor thrown in that makes it all the more special.
Please don’t forget to read my co-reviewer Melissa’s review for her perspective and check back tomorrow for book 2!
Melissa reviews My Brother’s Keeper The First Three Rules by Adrienne Wilder.
Why I read this book: When I read the blurb I was intrigued. Then I read the reviews of others who have read this book, and I couldn’t say no. I had to know what they were all raving about it!
This book had me from the opening page. Jon is a man on the edge, and through good luck he is brought back from leaping over the edge by Rudy, a mentally challenged man of 45 whose mentally around age eight or so. Jon suffers from PTSD after the death of his Marshall partner in a raid that went bad. Jon has also suffered over the years after the suicide of his brother – something Jon has not gotten over or received any counseling for. Through Rudy, Jon meets Ellis, Rudy’s younger brother and caretaker. Ellis has been taking care of Rudy since their parents died and has not lived a life for himself. Everything is about his brother and making sure he is taken care of and not sent to live in a facility.
The blurb give you the impression that their are supernatural events taking place and that isn’t really apparent in this first book. There are hints they are coming, but that’s for a future review. 😉
Book 1 is all about learning about Ellis and Rudy’s history, how they came to live alone, how Rudy became how he is, to give Jon and Ellis time to trust and then love each other. And we also see the town, which will make you angry and sad. Rudy suffers a lot from some of the towns people because of his mental disability. But it’s his heart that keeps you going. I couldn’t have stopped reading this book if the world was on fire!
If you want to read about two men finding their soul mate, you’ve got it in this book (trilogy). I think there have been no two men more fated for each other than Jon and Ellis, and the author, Adrienne Wilder, is extremely talented because she made me care about these fictional men. But they aren’t fictional; these three men could live in my town, or your town, or any town, which is what hurts the most.
Read this book, have the other two in the series ready because you don’t get the answers you need in this one book. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger per se, but it’s more than obvious the story isn’t over and that this is just the beginning.
I hope you fall in love with these men like I did. You won’t be sorry you gave them a try.
Where to buy: