Friday, May 24, 2013

Brother's Keeper by Elizabeth Finn



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?

Wow oh wow!  This was the best book!  It started out great and I was pulled into the pages within the first 2 chapters.  I felt what they were feeling...every last emotion.  I couldn't put it down.  My house has seriously suffered today LOL.  The book did drag at parts but not enough to even matter.  There is a ton of steamy love scenes and let me tell you they are hot!!  I loved the writing style.  I loved the way the author made you connect with the hero and heroine.  She is an amazing author!

Rowan is 17 when we meet her.  She comes from a very poor background.  Her mother was killed in a car accident when she was very young and she was forced to move in with her father.  He is a horrible man who spins his time at the bottom of a bottle.  He is a violent drunk who has been abusing Rowan since she was little.  Her best friend's family have always sort of looked at her as an adopted daughter and made sure she has always had the things she needs.  They support her dance dreams and because of their financial support she is able to receive a ballet scholarship when she finishes high school.

Logan is Rowan's best friend's brother.  He is 24 when we meet him and finishing his final year of law school.  He is set on the path he has chosen for himself.  A path that will move him half way across the country upon graduation.  He is a controlling and possessive alpha male but at the same time when he falls he falls hard.

Rowan has a rather nasty run in with her father and in her usual way of escaping runs from the house and calls her friend Sara.  Sara isn't home and she ends up getting Logan instead.  He demands to know where she is and comes to pick her up.  He cleans up her cuts and bruises and puts her to bed.  The next day they make a deal against his better judgement.  For his silence she has to stay with him whenever she sees her father is at a bar drinking.  She agrees and we start on our journey.  We see right away that he no longer views her as his "little sister" and begins fighting his feelings for her in the very beginning.  The go on like this for months.  He never touches her until after she has turned 18 even though her desperately wants to.  When he finally gives into temptation  he refuse to have sex with her so they spend months doing everything but the full act itself all the while falling head over heels for each other.

She doesn't come home one night when he knows she should and he goes to find her.  He walks in with her on the floor with her father attacking her.  Once he gets her out of the house he demands that she move in with him permanently.  She agrees. 

The problem with their relationship is that they are both headed in two very separate directions.  He has signed a contract to move that he can't get out of and she has a scholarship she can't leave behind.  They continue their relationship knowing that it will end but neither being able to stop it from progressing.  She does break it off when he refuses to sleep with her one time to many.  It just about kills both of them to be apart but they somehow manage to stay away from each other until his last night in town.  

He takes her out one last time because he can't bare to leave her with the way things are at this point.  They both know that they are in love with each other at this point.  He gives into her final plea and makes love to her on their last night together.  He wakes up the next morning to find her gone.  He is heartbroken just as she is but he leaves to start his new life.  They are both miserable.  It's to the point that they are both running on autopilot and it's just not getting any better.  He has to fight the urge to call her and she is doing everything she can to keep busy so she doesn't have to think about him.  It's a good diversion but we all know how it is in the wee hours of the night with nothing to stop the thoughts from coming.

“I whisper every word she needs to hear and I need to say. I tell her how beautiful she is. I tell her she amazes me. I make sure she knows she is the most precious person in the world to me. I make sure she understands what losing her means to me and how impossible it is to imagine my life without her.” 

She has to return to her father's house to get something for school and he comes home and finds her there.  He attacks her and just about kills her.  It's to the point that they have to do emergency surgery to stop the internal bleeding and she's put into ICU.  Logan flies home as soon as his mom calls and spends 2 hours alone in the room with her and comes out crying.

“There is no denying I’m once again complete in her presence. This is my place. I belong to her and my place is by her side. And the absoluteness of that statement is profound, and it begs to rewrite my life.” 

“She’s beautiful—broken and battered, still the most beautiful woman in the world to me—the only woman in the world for me.” 

It's at that point he makes the decision that he can't be away from her.  He makes some calls and disappears to Detroit for several days then returns to Colorado the following morning.   She is heartbroken when he has to leave her again.  He doesn't return for weeks and she's all but given up hope and begun preparing to move to college.

When he returns he has told his family about them and he takes her to a house in Detroit and tells her that it's his house.  She realizes what he's done.  He has given up his dream to come home to be with her. 

“You don’t owe me forever right now, but God, I hope you’ll give it to me willingly some day.”

I loved the epilogue.  We find out that he married her a year later and they moved back to Colorado when she finished school.  She's pregnant with his baby and they are happily married.

It's such a sweet book and you can't help but fall in love with both of them.  I hated her father.  He's a horrible man and I would like to have known what happened to him for the horrible things he did to her.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great love story with a HEA that's amazing. 

My Logan/Rowan


Favorite quotes:

It doesn't matter how old you are, when you hear the word "snow day," life just gets better.

“She told me once that when she was with me she felt like the beautiful woman she never thought she'd be. I can't imagine what could ever make her think she wasn't beautiful enough to anyone, least of all me. She's the beautiful one. The most beautiful one in the world to me.”