by Jennifer Probst
Series: Billionaire Builders #3
Release Date: July 25th 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Find It: Goodreads • Amazon
Tristan Pierce left the family business to carve out a life of his own, but never forgot his passionate affair with the much younger, inexperienced Sydney Green, or the hurtful break-up that tore him apart. When he’s forced to return home and face his past, will he be able to carve out a future, or will lies ruin his second chance at love?
Sydney Green loved Tristan her entire life, but when he left, he took not only her heart, but her trust with him. Now that they’re together again, it’s time they both face the biggest secret of all….
This is a tough review for me to write. On the one hand, I thought this story premise was fun. I really enjoyed certain aspects of the story and certain characters, and outright loathed others. So be warned… this review will most likely be a bunch of nonsensical rambling. Let’s begin.
First off, I want to make it clear that I haven’t read any of the other books in this series. They are standalones, but they are companions. I’m not sure if these characters were introduced prior, so I’m just making it clear that this was my first look at them. I do want to go back and read the others though, after having met the other brothers. I have a feeling I’m going to really like them and their stories quite a bit more than this one.
Let’s start with Sydney since I really loved her. She was thriving in her career, and her ambition and drive were quite admirable. I loved how unwilling she was to give up. She was confident in her ability, and she fought for what was hers and what she knew she was capable of. Definitely had the go-getter attitude that I admire so much.
Then there was Tristan. Ugh. I couldn’t stand the guy from page 1. He did NOT make a good first impression. Or second. Let’s face it… I loathed the guy the entire book. From the very beginning I felt like he was playing games with Sydney. he would say one thing and do a completely different thing. He was leading her on, and he knew he was. He never seemed to really care about it. It was almost like he knew that she loved him, so he took complete advantage of that fact. I struggled with this attitude of his quite a bit. I never felt like he truly cared for Sydney, or that he ever truly would care for anyone… other than himself.
Sydney was’t perfect either. She was keeping secrets, a major one specifically, from everyone around her, including Tristan and his entire family, who basically raised Sydney as a member of their family. This is where the spoilers come in. View Spoiler » So Sydney has a daughter, Becca. She lies to Tristan (since he up and left her when she was pregnant and she didn’t have the guts to tell him she was pregnant and force him to stay and raise their daughter together) and doesn’t reveal to him that he is the father until his return, when Becca is six years old. I believe it was. So yeah, major punch to the gut. I would freak out if I were Tristan too. Tristan is obviously upset, and he has every right to be. But it’s his behavior from this point forward that really pushed me over the edge.
Let me just give you a quick rundown. He’s furious and starts bossing Sydney around, telling her how they will live the rest of their life together, no discussion. They WILL get married. When she doesn’t want to, he basically blackmails her into it. She WILL sleep in bed with him. She adamantly says no, but he refuses to accept this fact because of something along the lines of “Becca needs to see us as a normal family.” Blah blah blah. Are you kidding me?! At this point, Sydney should have run away. But no, she didn’t. Because she’s so “in love” with him. *eye roll* Though she did argue and try to stand up for herself with all of this insisting of his, she still crumbled at every aspect and kept letting Tristan call the shots. I couldn’t believe his outright abusive behavior. It completely disgusted me. Yes, he has every right to be upset… but he had NO right to act the way he did.
Oh, and then there was how he basically took over Becca’s parenting. I get it, dude… you’re the father now. But Becca is a child! She’s not property! She’s been raised solely by her mother (whether it was right or wrong, it’s what happened) her entire life. I didn’t get how all of a sudden Tristan demanded every aspect of her life now go through him. What happened to working as a team. It was just too much for me.
The part that was the hardest for me to grasp in this story was the ending. After Tristan’s abusive behavior for so much of the story, he finally realizes he’s being unfair, pampers Sydney to this day of romance, and she completely crumbles at this feet. Now all of a sudden they’re both completely in love and going to live happily ever after. I just can’t. I cannot for one minute buy this romance. It just ISN’T to me. I’m sorry, but this is such a horrible relationship between two people, there’s no way I could fall for their story. « Hide Spoiler
Something I truly adored in this story was Becca. She was quite possibly the cutest child I’ve read about in a story. She was a dancer, and a great one at that. She had such a spunky and fun personality. I loved her encounters with the brothers and how adorable they were with her. Even Tristan had my heart melting a time or two with his encounters with her. She was just so stinkin’ cute!
So, here’s the bottom line. Though I truly wanted to enjoy this one, and I really liked Sydney and the beginning of the story, the second half just killed it for me. I know a rating shouldn’t be based on a character alone. We are supposed to hate Tristan to an extent, I would imagine. But for me, this story just wasn’t realistic and relatable. It didn’t give me butterflies. I didn’t bring out any emotion for these characters, other than anger. I didn’t buy their relationship and I never felt the love between them. I’m disappointed in this one, personally. I was expecting so much more. And maybe if I had read the others first I would have felt their connection a bit more? I’m honestly not sure. I do want to point out that there are a lot of other very positive reviews on this book, so please read those reviews too. This book wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be for you. I’m definitely still going to read more by Jennifer Probst. I’m hoping to check out some of the other Pierce brothers, who I have a feeling will get in my heart more than Tristan did.
Have you read this one, or any of the Billionaire Brothers books? Which book/character is your favorite?