Review + Giveaway: Finders Keepers (#3, Lost and Found) by Nicole Williams

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Synopsis

His life has been a constant carousel of tragedy and disappointment, including his love life. Of course, applying the term “love” to Garth’s conquests is a gross misuse of the word. Some people were made to give and accept love, and others weren’t. Garth Black redefines the “others” category. He’s made a vow that the day he meets a woman who could sucker him into falling in love will be the day he runs away.

Garth’s plan has one flaw. What happens when he’s already fallen hard for a girl before the warning signs and red flags go up? What happens when the love he’s avoided his entire life brings him to his knees? What happens when Garth Black lets the dirtiest four letter word he’s ever known into his dark, lonely life?

This cowboy’s about to find out he can control some things, and he can’t control others. Number one on the what he can’t control list?

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My Review

I’ve read 6 books by Nicole Williams. Every single one has been 5 stars.  Every. One.
So, let’s just put it out there, Nicole Williams writes the kind of stuff I love to read. PERIOD. Emotional stuff. Heartfelt stuff. Well-written stuff. Angsty stuff. Plain ol’ good stuff. I had already fallen in love with this series, but when I began Garth Black’s story, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I liked him… a lot… but would it deliver as a story as much as Jesse and Rowen’s story did? Would I connect with it just the same?

That’s a HELL YEA, people!

Finders Keepers was so heartfelt and heartbreaking, that my emotions ran high throughout, really feeling everything Garth experienced, present and past. He’s that complex, flawed hero with a difficult upbringing that we can’t help but love… except he’s a rugged, rough-and-tumble, badass cowboy who dishes a hefty pile of daily snark that makes him undeniably and uniquely Garth.

“I know there’s a whole lot more to you than a big, black hat and an even bigger ego.”

Garth Black is different. A misfit. He’s arrogant, unrefined and closed-off, communicating only with his fists all while downing a bottle of whiskey. No one expects anything of him. No one needs him. No one loves him. Well, all but his life-long two best friends — Jesse Walker and Josie Gibson. But even with them, despite their history of ups and downs… and some pretty low downs… he feel as if he’s just a burden… a friend out of loyalty and obligation… a friend they simply tolerate. And with a drunk and abusive father, there’s just no sense of love and belonging for Garth.

“I went to that place within myself that was always angry at the world because when I was good and burrowed down in that place, I didn’t feel anything.”

He’s become an expert at being numb, upholding his infamous reputation of boozing it up and breaking women’s hearts. He shrouds his true emotions with his spite and sarcasm, keeping the walls he’s erected around his heart steady and solid. But… there’s something about Josie — always has been — that he can’t help but feel. Despite his consistent attempts to quell, squash and completely eradicate his feelings, they are ever present, able to penetrate his defenses and make him feel things he doesn’t want to feel.

“As much as I wanted to deny it, my walls had a way of crumbling when Josie was close by. My defenses, my actual ones, skipped off to la-la land when I was with her. That’s why I fabricated extra abrasive defenses with her. It was the only way to protect her from the giant mess I was.”

Getting into Garth’s head and heart was a heartbreaking experience. Years of letdown and neglect, he’s convinced he’s the worst kind of person, a villain undeserving of happiness and love. You can tell he’s intrinsically good and it really hurt to see him diminish himself to someone he isn’t.

When tragedy forces him and Josie together unexpectedly, he finds himself unable to repress his emotions. To Garth, she deserves so much better than him. With her so close, however, he finds himself flustered and confused. Josie shows him affection… treats him with care… supports him. He can’t figure out why. He questions who he really is and what he truly wants. Caught between doing the right thing and succumbing to his intensifying desires, his once-simple existence is riddled with complication.

“I’d never questioned anything and everything. I had all the answers. Lately I had exchanged all the answers for all the questions. I was drowning in an ocean of questions, and even though I knew the answers would eliminate the questions, I was afraid of what the answers would be. I was afraid the answers would do the opposite of set me at peace.”

To say I love Garth and Josie together is a big understatement! I love everything about them as a couple. They are so alike… so snarky, short-tempered and stubborn… never backing away from a fight. Josie continuously challenges Garth, her direct and pierce-you-straight-to-the-heart approach forces Garth to express himself, even if it is reluctantly. And just when you think you can’t love Garth any more, we see cracks begin to fracture his armor, his vulnerability and heart exposed. To me, there is nothing as heartwarming as seeing Garth finally be so honest and loving… so many times in an oh-so-Garth way (which I loved)… but also so many times where your heart just aches for him.

“Because you deserve better than my best. You deserve the man I can and should be. Not the one everyone else knows.”

We also get to see Jesse and Rowen a bit and I loved seeing their story advance some in the end. Admittedly, the last part of the book had me tearing up. I just feel really invested in this cast of characters and the way the story unfolds really moved me. Garth’s story is about so many things. It’s almost like a modern-day Cinderella story about breaking free from your past and grasping the courage within yourself to change for the better while staying true to who you are.  It’s about forgiveness, love and friendship and ultimately believing you can be better than the life you’ve been dealt. This entire series is so special to me. It’s honest, relatable, heartfelt, moving and just entirely unforgettable. LOVE <3

“Who we choose to love, and who chooses to love us has nothing to do with being deserving or undeserving.  It has to do with who you simply have to love and who simply has to love you.”

GOODREADS2

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About The Author

nicole williamsI’m the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that’s one tiny way I can make it so. I’m one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground.

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Giveaway

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Comments

  1. Bekah Smith says:

    Amazing give away.. thank you <3

  2. I’ve been wanting to read this series! Now I need this latest one! Thanks for the chance!

  3. I read the first and loved it. I really need to catch up on this series!

  4. Tammy Romine says:

    Looks like a good read…Thanks!!

  5. Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

  6. Jeimy Ortiz says:

    I love the LOST & FOUND Series. I love Jesse and now I definitely love Garth.

  7. Looks like a great series! Going to go check out book 1! Thank you!

  8. OMG I have absolutely loved this series, I can’t wait to read about Garth! 😀 he is so dark and sexy <3

  9. Amazing give away! I loved it 🙂

  10. Charice Mehring says:

    Looking forward to reading the series.

  11. Adrean Garcia says:

    Yay! Can’t wait to read it!

  12. Love Nicole Williams. This is the book I am reading next.

  13. Thanks”!!! Can’t wait to read it!

  14. Sara fuller says:

    Awesome giveaway!!

  15. Can’t wait to read! Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Thanks for the giveaway! Can’t wait to read.

  17. Looks good 😉 Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  18. i’m curious about this book because my friends says that are really good haha 🙂

  19. Love this author! Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. Thank you for the amazing giveaway 🙂

  21. I am looking forward to reading “Finders Keepers”. Thanks for this giveaway. 🙂

  22. Thank you for the great giveaway! 🙂

  23. Sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  24. Great giveaway!

  25. thx u so much for hosting this giveaway 🙂

  26. Eeeeeeeee! Garth’s story. I am going to read this this coming weekend. 😉

  27. Look forward to reading. Thank you for the giveaway.

  28. awesome giveaway! Thanks!

  29. Loved the first book and all of the Crash books! Excited to read Garth Black’s story and the second book too:) Thanks!

  30. cant wait to read it! thank you for this giveaway!

  31. Thanks for the chance to win! On my to-read list! I’ve heard so many great things about this series. Can’t wait to start it!

  32. Melanie Lowery says:

    Thanks So Much for the awesome giveaway. x

  33. Great giveaway! Haven’t read this yet.

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