Happy Friday, folks! Author Elizabeth Finn is back and ready for another round of 5 W’s. This time, she’s going to share some information about her October 22 Liquid Silver Books dramatic romance: Brother’s Keeper. Hang tight, ’cause here we go.
WHO are your main characters?
This is the story of Rowan and Logan. Rowan is an eighteen year old high school senior ready to embark on life. She has been awarded a scholarship in ballet, and it is the break she needs. She’s lived a tormented life, subjected to the abuse of her drunken father, and her escape is finally within her grasp. She is pretty but understated. She has hidden her abuse from the world and it is when Logan discovers her abuse that their story takes off.
Logan is her best friend’s older brother. He is an accomplished law student preparing to graduate and move cross country after accepting a position at a prestigious law firm. When he discovers Rowan’s secret, he’s left trying to protect her though she refuses to report the abuse she’s suffered. Logan is dark and handsome. Mature for his age, and steadfast. He is responsible and strong, but she has him crumbling and fighting for her and ready to give up everything he holds dear to protect her.
WHAT tropes do you utilize in the story?
Damsel in distress would be a good description of their dynamic. She is definitely in need of a protector, and he fits that bill to a T. It doesn’t hurt that he’s brutally handsome and can’t seem to stop himself from falling for Rowan. Their relationship is definitely forbidden and is kept hidden to protect her secret and their budding romance.
WHEN is the story set and how long does it take to resolve?
This is a contemporary story that spans nearly a year. It begins in the fall at the start of Rowan’s final year of high school and Logan’s final year of graduate school. The story ends the following fall.
WHERE is the story set and why’d you choose that setting?
The setting is modern day Grand Rapids Michigan. I wanted a small town heartland type of feel. I wanted the strong familial bond of Logan’s family to be set in a place where it would feel genuine and simple. Grand Rapids is my kind of town. I understand the dynamic of that type of environment, and I needed their lives to feel small town and simple in that way.
WHY did you write this story?
I really struggle every time to find the inspiration behind my stories. I love Rowan and Logan’s connection. They have a long history, and Logan has practically watched her grow up. They should be off-limits to one another, and I’m not gonna lie, I love that forbidden dynamic. I also love that he’s older. He fits that protector bill perfectly.
HOW is this story different than the last one you wrote?
This story line is still a very gritty and real. It touches on very real and painful abuse, and I don’t sugar coat it or make it glamorous. I also don’t trivialize it, and I don’t think that subject matter such as abuse should be trivialized even in romance. But where my last book, The Devil’s Pawn, was gritty on an emotional level as well, this story is less so. Their compassion and care for one another is really pretty instantaneous and based on a long lifetime of memories with one another. They may refuse to acknowledge it and fight their building attraction, but it is a pure and innocent love. This differs from The Devil’s Pawn where the emotion was as gritty and harsh as the story line, and where that story ended up finding an innocent and true love, it certainly didn’t start out that way.
About Brother’s Keeper
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?
Excerpt from Brother’s Keeper
Logan watches me as I approach their table. My hands are shaking as I fill their water glasses, and by the uncomfortable look on Logan’s face, he’s well of aware of this fact. Amy is off in her own little world, looking around to see if anyone she knows is there. He says “Hi”, and I manage a “Fancy to see you here,” the fake casual tone of my voice a little too contrived and obvious.
Amy suddenly decides to join the rest of the world and finally acknowledges my existence. Not, of course, in any civilized manner. “Oh my God! What happened to your face? You look terrible.” Her words are as fake as her blonde hair and pathetic personality.
My embarrassment is palpable as I look desperately around for any excuse to leave their table. I find nothing and abruptly give a bizarre nod of my head before turning heel and heading back to the kitchen. Sometimes I just can’t act normal to save my life.
I realize, as I’m halfway down the corridor to the kitchen, Logan is behind me. I keep moving, suddenly sure I have some sort of food stuck to my butt and completely unsure what to do next. He makes that decision for me by catching up to me, taking me by the elbow, and pulling me into a small side hallway.
“She didn’t mean anything by that, Row,” he starts as he turns me to face him.
I open my mouth to object but then think better of the decision. He’s done a lot for me and insulting his girlfriend isn’t the best way to make it up to him. Besides, disagreeing with him will only put him in a position to make a choice between us. He will either support the mega bitch or me. He doesn’t owe me any allegiance, and why should I care anyway? It’s not like he’s my boyfriend. If he wants to be enamored with the blonde bombshell, so be it. Oh, who am I kidding? I do care, and I’m not at all sure I want to know how he would choose. I settle on the non-response, resorting to staring at the ground. I sense him staring at me, waiting patiently for my response.
“Why did you come here?”
“I wanted to make sure you got here okay.”
“Well, you can see that I did. Will you please leave now? The food here sucks and…”
“Why are you trying to get us to leave? We just got here, and I’m hungry.”
“Because, it’s … it’s humiliating being seen in this stupid outfit and having to work around you.” My eyes widen as I realize what I just blurted out.
Logan contemplates this as embarrassment burns through my cheeks. There are many long, awkward moments of silence where I know without looking at him that his eyes are trained on me.
“Well, I happen to like seeing you in this little getup, and having you serve me seems quite appropriate after the night you put me through.” And at that, he reaches his hand up to the front rim of my beret and flips it with his finger.
Looking nervously to his eyes, I see he is smirking down at me. He’s enjoying himself. I can’t help but smile back at him. He’s just so beautiful, and I wish again that I was one of the beautiful ones, too. Just once.
Elizabeth Finn is an Iowa native, where she lives with her husband and son. By day, Elizabeth is a Human Resources Specialist, but by night, she checks her professionalism at the door and immerses herself in the world of writing contemporary erotic romance. Look for more to come from Elizabeth Finn.