Book Review – Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki




Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.



WOW! Where do you even begin!  I was captivated and sucked into this book from the first page to the very last and left wanting SO MUCH MORE!  This is NOT my normal genre, or something I would normally read but I thought I’d give it a try because I had heard great things about the book!  Well… I am so happy I decided to go for it!  I lost sleep over it (I couldn’t put it down!)… I lost fingernails (from biting them), and even shed a few tears!

This is the story of a commander who has taken over the judicial system and just made “the hole.”  There is no innocent until proven guilty… you are accused of a crime and then are branded one of the 7 deadly sins and put in the hole.  The commander is in complete control and has guards to watch over the sinners.

Lexi is the woman you meet who is so strong and courageous.  She is convicted of lust and branded and sent to the hole.

“They think I’m just a whore… not a real person”

There she meets Cole, her assigned guard, and immediately there is some connection between them.  Cole and his dog Zeus (whom I love by the way!) protect Lexi the best they can by not leaving her side and treating her like a human being!

“Are all sinners treated equally?” “Yes” “Then why are you protecting me?” “That I can’t answer” “Can’t or won’t?” “Both”

She is assigned a job at the hospital and this is where you meet Dr. Sutton.  Sutton tries to help protect Lexi and give her duties to keep her busy and away from other guards and patients who could hurt her because of her beauty and the sin she is branded with.  While Cole and Lexi are together in their rooms and learning about each other they become attracted to each other and realize they can’t fight it and they can’t live without each other… but what do they do when they know what happens if anyone finds out they love each other!

“Even if it was only for a day, an hour, or a minute… I would risk everything just so I could be with you.”

There are so many twists and turns in this book that keep you guessing what will happen next? How long can they keep her safe? What happened to her family? Who is the commander? Will they ever be able to be together? Will she make it out safely?

I was so nervous during some parts, heartbroken during others, and just sad for Lexi’s loss and then in the next chapter I was so proud of her strength she gained from her fathers words … “You can overcome anything… short of death.”  And from just her shear determination to survive and prove that she is worth more than this life!

“Whatever the cost, I’ll fight.  This is as ready as I’ll ever be.”

This book has the FORBIDDEN love story, the heart break, the strong heroine, the swoon worthy hero, the angst and everything in between to get you so caught up in the story you feel like you are actually apart of the story!  This is amazingly written and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone!