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REVIEW: Brother’s Keeper by Elizabeth Finn

Dear Elizabeth Finn:

This book came up on a list recommending New Adult books.  It features a young female protagonist on the cusp of her majority and a young male protagonist attending law school.  Rowan has won a prestigious ballet scholarship to the University of Michigan which will free her from her abusive and poverty stricken home if she can survive the last months of her senior year.

Brother's Keeper Elizabeth FinnHer father is a drunken abuser and while Rowan has been able to manage to avoid major harm at his hands by learning his tells and avoiding him during his most inebriated state.  Rowan found shelter in the home of her best friend, Sara Harrington.  Sara’s older brother, Logan, has been the object of Rowan’s secret crush for some time.

Unbeknowst to Rowan Avery, Logan has feelings toward Rowan but has worked to suppress those feelings. After all, she is only 17 and she is his sister’s best friend. Furthermore, Logan has signed an employment contract with a firm in Colorado.  (Yes, I know, this is highly unusual for lawyers and law firms as most lawyers aren’t bound by a non compete because they are considered unethical per the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and even though this provided a significant source of conflict, I tried very hard not to let it affect my enjoyment of the story).

I liked the voice in this book but it is heavy on the internal monologue and while written in the first person present tense, it often narrates events in a summary fashion. Except for the sex.

When Logan is called by Rowan to come to her aid after a nasty encounter with her father. Logan extracts a deal with Rowan that she will come and stay at his apartment any time that she feels endangered.  Their closeness makes their unspoken attraction rise to the surface.

There is a forbidden aspect to this romance not just because of Rowan’s age (although he does wait until she is 18 to have sex with her) but also because Logan has a girlfriend who is conveniently presented as a trash talking, unfriendly bitch, and because of Rowan’s friendship with Sara. Logan, for all his decency, does emotionally cheat on his girlfriend and actually never has the decency to break up with her, choosing to blow her off when she called and eventually she stopped calling.  For some readers, the fact that this unofficial breakup occurs before Rowan and Logan have sex may be more palatable. I still thought he was a cheater.

Rowan is a virgin and Logan decides that she will remain one given that he is leaving her for Denver in a few months. So they do anything but which is kind of ridiculous.

The alternating point of view was used effectively and it was full of angst.  I wished that the feel of the book had more immediacy given that it was written in the first person present tense.   Additionally, I was surprised at how poorly edited this book was, despite that it was from Liquid Silver Books.  The word “taught” was misused throughout. It was misused so often that I began to doubt my own usage of the word and had to look it up.

  • “I pull her T-shirt over her head and see that her nipples are already taught and waiting for attention.”
  • “Those fingers stretched her hole, and seeing her fingers glide past the taught skin of her entrance”
  • “They are taught and tight, ready to be touched.”
  • “entering my mouth and stretching my lips taught”
  • “small pink nipples that are taught and hard as her body responds to my intrusive gaze”

etc. etc.

other errors included:

  • “She can be flaky, but she’s easy, no pun intended”
  • “I return to de-clothe her”
  • “She obeys me to a tee”
  • “he just as egregiously devours that nipple”
  • “He sees the look in my eyes, and sensing my animalistic prowess he drops his bags…”

I should add that I bought my copy at BooksonBoard with a copuon and it cost me around $3.50 which was $2 cheaper than at Amazon.  Given the accuracy issues, the grammatical and editing errors, and the lack of effective use of the present tense, I am giving this book a D even though it’s more readable than the grade suggests.

Best regards,




Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. MrsJoseph
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 12:17:51

    “Taught” *facepalm*

  2. Katie
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 13:35:43

    Some of these typos are interesting. Like, if a nipple could be taught, in what subjects would it excel?

  3. Shannyn Schroeder
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 14:03:09

    @Katie: Ha! That’s what I was thinking. Thanks for the laugh ;)

  4. JewelCourt
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 14:40:35

    I am failing to see any pun in the flaky/easy thing. Am I being dumb or is there no pun? (In my defense, I’m editing a technical document and just stopped by for a break. My brain is verrrrry tired.)

  5. LG
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 16:14:12

    @JewelCourt: Maybe, if you do a lot of mental squinting, it’s some kind of baking pun?

  6. Mary
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 17:50:16

    Is the error in the “he just as egregiously devours that nipple” sentence the use of the word “egregiously”, which means “obviously”, which is what I’m thinking, as it doesn’t make sense, or something else I’m not getting?
    I’ve recently decided that if reviews on here, or SBTB, or Amazon say that a book is poorly edited, I’m not going to get it, even if the story is supposedly great. I can deal with poor grammar on facebook and twitter, but not in my books! Just some advice to any authors, or publishing agencies. Readers aren’t dumb. We like proper spelling, grammar, and usage!

  7. Elf
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 09:16:21

    @Mary: I think it’s Jane’s background in legal – egregiously is used regularly to describe conduct beyond the pale. The definition is this usage is “offensive,” “flagrant” or “conspicuously bad.”
    “He just as offensively devours that nipple…”
    Hate it when that happens.

  8. Jane
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 09:53:06

    @JewelCourt: Yes, there is no pun there. Which is the problem.

    @Mary: Yes, egregiously. Elf is right. There are a number of instances in which Finn uses a more obscure, secondary meaning for words and I didn’t even highlight those but I felt the use of egregious to modify the verb devour was incorrect.

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