|by Courtney Marie|
Siblings Amir and Ameena have learned to depend only on each other, living through the psychological abuse of their Uncle Jabar, a gun runner in Sudan. They’ve learned to adapt in a violent environment, creating a way to survive under his roof. When their mother realizes the damage done to her children by the hands of her brother, she ships them off to start a new life in America.
However, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, especially if that side is the concrete jungle of NYC. The siblings quickly realize that America can be just as cutthroat as their homeland, so their skills are quickly put into effect. What started as a means to keep them fed and a roof over their heads turns them into a well-known kill-for-hire duo.Ameena enjoys the life she and Amir have built, despite the hard work she feels she constantly has to do to keep them going. Always the loner, she decides to let people in, but not everyone has good intentions.
Amir is juggling too many personal problems and demons to stay in their line of work, and he’s making moves to leave it all behind. Trying to balance between the person he’s always been and the person he wants to become leaves him blind to the real threat hiding in plain sight.
With both siblings busy trying to live their separate lives that are filled with their own drama, they don’t realize that together they’ve made a common enemy, and they’ve been living on borrowed time.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The story centered around a brother and sister duo who were in business together. After being liberated first from the violence in Sudan, then modern slavery once arriving in America, this lethal duo set about securing the slice of the American dream. This story touched on so many elements familial obligations, generational pain, mental illness, and betrayal with a healthy dose of murder. Whereas one sibling loved the underground business that initially gave them their freedom. The other longed to be rid of it. I loved the Gemini dynamic, because well I'm a Gemini so I definitely could relate to the duality the co-protagonists took on at times. I liked that the author didn't completely westernize the Sudanese duo. She gave us insight into their relationship with their mother and their uncle who helped hone some of their skills. We got a glimpse into their culture from a religious aspect as well. I really enjoyed Ameena's love for their work and how she handled herself in romantic "and I use that term loosely when it comes to her, "relationships". The story moved well. The siblings had great chemistry and worked. I would have liked some chemistry between Amir and his potential love interest. She was a bit player. I'm hoping the relationship will come together in the sequel. The author did a great job of creating suspense and keeping me engaged. Now the last chapter is where two unexpected twists came into play. I won't spoil it, but needless to say, I didn't see them coming. The only reason this was not a 5-star read was due to the instances of missing words in multiple sentences. They weren't bad, but enough for me to notice.
I'm so looking forward to the sequel in this crime thriller. I would definitely recommend this to lovers of urban fiction with suspense.
About the Author
Courtney Marie can usually be found reading or watching an action or horror-based movie in her spare time. Writing a novel was always one of her dreams, and with Love, Lies and Blood Ties, it became a reality. After serving in the U.S Army and going back to college to obtain a degree in Radiology it was time to work on her dream. A radiographer by day and writer in the wee hours of the mornings. She’s loves reading, writing, iced mocha lattes and anything worth a good laugh or adrenaline rush. She lives in Apopka, Florida with her husband and two children.