4 out of 4 stars
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Brent Beckett is powerful, ruthless, and impulsive. When he sets his sights on soft-spoken Cass, she is putty in his hands. Cass is new in the small town and is flattered when she is the recipient of the handsome but abrasive man’s affections. Ignoring her best friend’s concern and the gnawing feeling of uncertainty about Brent, she agrees to be his wife.
Life quickly becomes a nightmare for Cass; Brent is abusive and domineering. He controls where she goes, who she talks to, and wants her at home cooking and cleaning—the perfect little housewife. If something isn’t to his liking, he has no qualms about punishing her with his fists or locking her in the pantry for hours on end.
One day while being locked in the pantry, Cass hears a voice coming from the other side of the wall. After her initial shock, she discovers that it is the voice of Ethan Beckett, Brent’s dead brother. Brent had faked his death, and he is being held hostage in the basement. Ethan is on the receiving end of brutal daily beatings. Cass and Ethan quickly bond over their mutual misery and develop romantic feelings towards one another.
Will Ethan and Cass find a way out of Brent’s house of horrors? Read the book and find out!
Her Brother-in-Law by Amy S. Porter combines an action-packed domestic thriller with the prospect of finding love in the most peculiar place. The novel is written from the first-person perspective. It follows Cass as she finds herself at the center of Brent’s sadistic game. Emotionally and physically weakened by the daily abuse she endures, she must channel her inner strength to break free of the proverbial noose around her neck.
There were many things to love about this book, but my favorite was the author’s ability to depict the plight of a woman who has found herself in an abusive relationship. In the beginning, Cass is lured by Brent’s charm and caring facade, while he masterfully chips away at her confidence by controlling and criticizing her every move. There were times throughout the book where Cass could have escaped, but due to her depleted self-confidence and being forced into submission, she was too afraid to leave. Often, I became frustrated with her for staying, but I had to remind myself that I was coming from a place of privilege—I wasn’t being controlled and manipulated.
Another thing that I loved about Her Brother-in-Law was the unconventional way that Cass and Ethan connected. They were both prisoners with a wall between them but were unable to be in the same room together physically. While they initially bonded over the anguish Brent mercilessly bestowed upon them, they had some lighthearted times where they were able to laugh at the impossible circumstances. One of my favorite parts was when Brent locked Cass in the pantry for accidentally burning dinner, and she and Ethan made the best of it by laughing about the burnt fish. It just goes to show, no matter the circumstance, when you meet the right person, love cannot be deterred.
There was nothing to dislike about the book; I wish there were a sequel because I kept thinking about the characters after I had finished reading. With that being said, I have happily chosen to give the novel a rating of four out of four stars. I commend the author for doing an excellent job of developing Cass’s character by showcasing her fragility and the unraveling of her self-confidence, and of course, the complicated love story that never wavered in excitement.
The book had very few errors and was professionally edited, and I would recommend it to mature readers. If you like thrilling books about dysfunctional families, don’t miss out on this novel. I would dissuade sensitive readers from choosing this story. It has some disturbing sex scenes, which could be triggering for some readers. The book is locked and loaded with profanity, so keep that in mind if vulgar language is offensive to you.
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