Brother's Keeper

Rowan may be “well practiced in the art of avoidance”, but she wasn’t prepared to avoid love. A life filled with abuse, neglect, and insecurity kept Rowan from fully expressing herself except through her passion and talent for dance. Now on the verge of leaving high school and entering adulthood away from the ugliness of her life thus far, Rowan finds herself facing the one thing she never expected to find. Worse yet, he may actually feel the same way.

On the fast track to a successful law career with a corner office and skyline view, Logan was prepared to settle into a life he’d worked hard to build, however, that picture didn’t include falling for his sister’s best friend. One fateful night was all it took for him to look beyond the façade of the shy girl from the wrong side of the tracks and embrace the woman she has become. Embracing her means keeping secrets that could destroy him professionally, but it increasingly becomes difficult to deny the storm of attraction brewing between them.

I knew from the beginning, this story would be emotionally compelling. Rowan tells the tale of a little girl’s life being turned upside down after losing the most important person to her. Now as a young woman, Rowan has experienced a bad home life while having grown up witnessing her best friend’s idyllic one with her loving family. The girls at a young age form a lasting bond, but although there are suspicions, Rowan keeps the abuse a secret. It is that secret that Rowan inevitably forms a new kind of bond with the last person she thought would glance her way. Through this, Logan and Rowan begin a tentative companionship that develops quickly, but with enough detail to show the build of emotions. However, although the detailing was well done, it at times overshadowed the dialogue and in some instances became unnecessary to the plot. Much time is spent in either of Logan or Rowan’s minds and it helped to understand their character and I enjoyed the consistent switch in POV’s.

As to Rowan’s character, I was surprised to find her not a bit more hardened by her bad experiences in life. She’s very shy and sometimes endearingly awkward and I was rooting for her from the beginning, but it did start to grate a bit every time Rowan thought so negatively about herself physically. I also became increasingly frustrated with Logan as he tries to deny what he feels for Rowan while presenting her with a challenging attitude. With all that denied emotion, the explosion once it was released was raw and all-consuming, which created some very heated and sexually charged moments.

It is important to note that there is some violence in the story and the undertone is slightly sad and depressing, so this is no light read. Also, there are some intense sexual situations that some readers may objectionable, but all is consensual and both characters are of legal age. That aside, I was impressed with the amount of actual story packed into the pages. It runs a swiftly paced timeline all the way to the end where an epilogue gives us a bit of the future. I could wish for more of the happier moments, but the story feels real as is and I would definitely recommend for those who like New Adult stories with a sexy adult edge.

Book Blurb for Brother's Keeper

Trapped in a web of hate with no escape, a young woman discovers her attraction to the man determined to protect her may be her undoing. Will time run out, or will he find a way to protect her before her abusive father kills her?

When Rowan is awarded a ballet scholarship to Michigan State University during her senior year of high school, her life’s dream is finally realized. Having lost her mother at an early age and being subjected to the abuse of a destitute drunken father, she has known unimaginable loss and heartache and been left wanting for a better life—a life now within her grasp. But with one ill-fated phone call, her life is turned upside down.

Logan is Rowan's best friend’s older brother whose career is taking off as he prepares to graduate law school and move cross-country to the prestigious law firm that has offered him a very lucrative contract. When Rowan finds herself at Logan’s mercy after he inadvertently learns of the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her father, their lives become intertwined in a way neither ever imagined nor wanted.

In an effort to protect her, but with his own hands tied by her unwillingness to report the abuse, Logan strikes a deal requiring Rowan to stay with him whenever there is a chance her father might be on a drunken binge—which is often. For her agreement and cooperation, he will keep her secret. Soon, their time together weighs on them both, and they find themselves constantly tempted to step outside the bounds of their supposed platonic relationship. But there is no point. The devastating fact of the matter is their lives are moving in opposite directions—a relationship destined to die before it even has a chance to live.

The ever present clock plagues them both as it ticks off the days until they are parted. But one all important question remains—after he leaves, how will he protect her from a father intent on hating her until the day he dies … or the day he kills her?

Hot Explicit Romance - Anal Play, Intercourse, Graphic Violence, Physical or Sexual Assault

Night Owl Reviews May, 2013 4.50