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The Rules of Burken

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  457 ratings  ·  139 reviews
Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.

He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.

He comforted her when their mom deserted them.

He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.

To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. S
Kindle Edition
Published April 11th 2019
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Traci Finlay Hi! This is a question I've been asked before, and the answer is two-fold. The first is more simple, and that is the fact that Charlotte didn't believ…moreHi! This is a question I've been asked before, and the answer is two-fold. The first is more simple, and that is the fact that Charlotte didn't believe Ian at first. She was in denial, even though he was swinging an axe at her, she was in a state of shock that left her unable to do anything but to just analyze "why?" And going to the police wouldn't answer that question for her. The second reason is a bit more complex--it's the same reason why thousands of women who are in abusive relationships don't go to the police--Stockholm syndrome. Folie a deux. Her mentality was skewed by way too many factors, some true, some lies. But that was her only reality. Charlotte lived a very sheltered life and was surrounded by mentally ill and manipulative people, so she didn't know up from down. All she knew was that Ian always won, and she always lost. And she applied that line of thought to going to the authorities, as well--Ian would somehow come out victorious and she would end up paying for it. She was a confused, naive, ignorant girl who didn't have a cell phone and didn't know whom to trust. Unlikely? Maybe. But sadly, there are way too many people out there who tolerate the abuse--both physical and psychological--and create excuses for their aggressors behavior without calling the police. The moral for her character arc was to learn to fight her own battles and to stand up for herself, not to rely on other people (including cops) to do that for her. I hope this helps, and thank you for asking! :)(less)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  457 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Shabby  -BookBistroBlog
I cannot explain the feeling of heavenly bliss I feel when my Dark Loving heart stumbles upon an author who isn't shy of staining her fingers Black with writing a story so dark, it should be cateogarised as "50 shades of Black". Having peeked into her dark, psycho brain, I seriously wanna camp inside it! This being her first book, I can already see her career graph on the up and up from now on!! Her extensive and meticulous research shows in her finely detailed scene settings. All the towns, cit ...more
4.5 Stars

Charlotte Stahl grew up idolizing her big brother and knew she could always count on him, especially given her family circumstances. Yet, on the day of her brother’s birthday, the stakes are raised as she’s challenged to a childhood game of Burken and Charlotte doesn’t have any choice but to run and hide.

“His grip on my arm tightens, and he pulls me closer until his breath hits my ear. “Don’t let me catch you.”

Told solely from Charlotte’s perspective, it quickly becomes apparent t
Genre: Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person - Female

Charlotte and Ian Stahl had been through a lot growing up. As kids, they played Burken, a modified game of hide-and-seek in the deep woods of Cadillac, Michigan. Now an adult, Charlotte agreed to play one more session for nostalgia. What she didn’t realize was the rules had changed, the goal turned deadly and it was certainly no longer an innocent child’s play.

This book intrigued me right from the beginning and got me clutching t
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs

Debut author, Traci Finlay, took me on a crazy and nostalgic ride with her release, The Rules of Burken. Strangely enough, this book is set 10 miles from where I grew up for the first few years of my life. Cadillac, Michigan was a place my family visited nearly every weekend, my brother was born there, and some of my family members still reside there today. I was impressed by Traci's accurate descriptions of the city and the historical research she incorporated int
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I loved the premise of it, even the plot, but the characters were a bit flat. What were their motivations, I wanted a bit more depth.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Buckle your seatbelts, dear readers, because Traci Finlay is going to take you on a chase that will have you running this way and that, sometimes looking over your shoulder and sometimes hiding from your worst fears.

Charlotte and her brother have played this game, Burken, since they were kids. The nature of the game is almost irrelevant; what intrigues you is why they play this sort of thing, particularly when they’re in their twenties. Why would a nearly thirty-year-old brother chase his sister
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

This was a great and intrigued read!It was a crazy ride, I was hooked and anxious to see what will happen!The romance isn't the central on the story and I did't mind at all!The premise was good and I was mesmerized!

It was fast paced, and I liked the writing!I thought had figured all but I was so wrong!It surprised me and this is good!

I'm excited to see what else this author has for us!


Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-arc
5 Crazy Ass Must Read Stars!!!!!

What the heck did I just read?!?! That was some freaky, crazy, twisted story! I was literally on the edge of my seat while reading right from the start.
I started reading this Monday evening. I had to stop because books like this tend to freak me out When I picked this back up Tuesday morning, I was on the edge of my seat.
Just when I thought I had things figured out or I thought the story was going a certain way, Ms Finlay would throw me for a loop. She had my ja
Christine Brae
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hide and seek on steroids, little red riding hood with an ax and a sick, sick wolf. Review to follow.
Erica Russikoff
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edited
I am one member of a wife/husband review team. Here is the review from our book blog

He said:
If you’re new to following us, then welcome! Those of you who have been following us for some time have probably seen a trend in the types of books we review. They tend to be romance, or as Erica has shared with me, “New Adult Contemporary Romance,” which is not to be confused with the Fabio-on-the-cover romances…I guess. I don’t know. Man-brain.

Anyway, it’s been a little whi
talon smith
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I see you, Little Spider."

Other than the fact that this story was a little too far-fetched for me, I enjoyed the book as a whole. Not because of the plot, but because I really loved the pacing of the story and I think that is what sealed the deal for me. It didn't have any lulls and I didn't get bored and skim at any parts. It kept my mind busy and it kept the pages turning for me.

While reading The Rules of Burken, I liked having the constant anxiety of what was going to happen next. I felt lik
Brandi Aga
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was a tough cookie for me to review. It starts out strange and creepy, just how I like. Then quickly things become... different.

The story goes back and forth between then, when Charlotte was a child, and now as she is on the run from her brother.

Surprisingly, the before parts took some of the creep factor out of it and I started looking forward to the now parts. I just wanted answers.

It’s one of those you won’t be able to put down because you really want to know the truth and answer
Beth Roberts
I received an ARC of this from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you, Netgalley.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. That applies to reading books and to the main character of this book.

Charlotte always seems to lose, both at Burken and in life.

I wanted to get into this book. I did. However, at 70% I'm throwing in the towel.

Charlotte WANTS to be a Mary Sue victim. At 23, she is still being controlled by a psychopathic older brother. She's not allowed to date and app
After several days of hovering around the same %, I think it's time to give up.

The synopsis was SO FUCKING promising and I was really excited to give it a shot. But it's falling short in so many ways. The MC feels too juvenile and she simply isn't making any sense to me.

*sad panda*
Jessica Frances
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Rules of Burken was such an intense ride! It starts right off in a crazy situation, and each chapter from the past added to the tension for what was going on in the present. You saw a progression of what was happening to Charlotte and what she went through. I feel as though Charlotte’s maturity for a lot of it was much younger than her age, but when you put into consideration that her growth was being stunted and manipulated from an early age, that makes sense. The way the game played into t ...more
Lindsey Domokur of Crazy Reader Chicks
This book was, woah. There were so many twists, turns and WTF moments. The story resonated with me because of the subject matter. These people are real and live among us, charming their way into society. This book was creepy cause it can happen, has happened, and continues to happen. I really thought I knew where it was going about 22%, but that all went out the door. It was a book that is going to stay with me for a long time.
Lindsey Domokur of Crazy Reader Chicks
This book was, woah. There were so many twists, turns and WTF moments. The story resonated with me because of the subject matter. These people are real and live among us, charming their way into society. This book was creepy cause it can happen, has happened, and continues to happen. I really thought I knew where it was going about 22%, but that all went out the door. It was a book that is going to stay with me for a long time.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good bones, a bit flat

I loved the premise of this story! The first chapter will have you really excited to read something new. Unfortunately for me, a lot of the middle fell flat.

The story that Charlotte lives after the first few chapters feels disjointed. There is so much going on and at times I forgot the true beginning and who was involved. Also, Charlotte herself was a bit of a mystery to me. I never fully feel connected to her or understand her thoughts and motives. It could be intentiona
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a solid debut for Traci Finlay. I was on the edge of me seat wanting to get my hands on it as soon as she released the cover. The cover is perfect for this story and really ties in perfectly to everything.

This book started out really strong for me and for the most part stayed strong throughout. There were a few times the story dragged for me and I almost got comfortable thinking it was all over even when I knew I still had half a book to read. I think those parts took a bit away from th
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
Wow. What a story. I’m really not sure how to write a review on this story.

As children Charlotte and her brother made up a game called Burken. Grown up now Ian wants to play the game again. Charlotte now finds herself running from him in. A dangerous game of Burken.

This is an intriguing twisted fast paced read that I highly recommend.

I rarely re read as there is so much books out there but I’ll certainly be re reading this gem. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author in the futur
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I know I've hit the jackpot when a book captivates me from the very first page. A twisted game of, Hide and Seek, if ever there was one.

Traci Finlay managed to pull me into the story so well it was almost as though I was watching it play out on the big screen.

Not only did I not want to put it down, but I also found myself grateful for train delays, if it meant I had more time to read this book.

To anyone about to read this, make sure you have some free time, believe me when I say you will want
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fast paced and intriguing read! It kept me guessing and I wasn’t sure WHAT was going on for most of it!
I loved the chemistry between the characters and the way I could relate to all of them...minus Ian ;)
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 ⭐️’s. I really enjoyed this book. All of the twists and turns, I had no idea what was going to happen next. Traci wrote with lots of feeling and as you read it, you feel it too. I recommend reading this book!! Arc provided
A.D. McCammon
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holy hell. I did not want to put this book down. I needed to know what was going to happen, to understand why. This story kept me completely enthralled from beginning to end. And that ending.... 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Traci killed it.
SP Drewry
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve restarted this review about four times. My struggle is real because there is no way to adequately gush about this twisted and addictive story until the author creates some kind of reader-rehab group where we can all get together and dissect the beautiful madness we have just read. A murderous father, a runaway mother, and a charismatic brother—the best a girl could ask for—who might be better at playing games than Charlotte ever thought.

This book works. It works because Ian is…brilliant. I
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I alternated between loving this story and absolutely despising it. Plot holes, suspension of disbelief so high it’ll give you vertigo, and the most infuriatingly insipid and ridiculous main character I’ve encountered in years.

Ian and Nikka were the only characters who made any sense. And Ian tried to kill his sister with an axe.

This storyline had some serious potential, and there were parts of it I enjoyed
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars ~ Reviewed by Anna on behalf of KindleFriendsForever

This debut novel had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning of the story and by the time I finished reading it I felt like I just got off from a rollercoaster ride. This is an impressive first attempt by the author and I am hooked.

Charlotte and Ian are siblings and Ian has always looked after her. At the age of twenty-four, Charlotte is still very close to her older brother who has been her rock ever since their mo
Avidez Literaria
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The truth will set you free, but sometimes… you have to set yourself free from the truth.”

It's fun to play with your brother as a kid. And when you have a whole forest in the backyard, the possibilities are endless. And when you become adults, and your brother asks to play in the name of the old days, there is no problem ... until he chases you with an ax and tells you to run for your life.

This is how Charlotte's life changes completely. As well as the reader’s. With a narrative that alternates
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow what a wild ride that was! This book was incredible and, at times, had me terrified to turn the page. I had to take frequent breaks just to allow my heartbeat to regulate. Well done, Traci! I hope this is the first of many!
Crystal Blanton
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I finally did it. I read The Rules of Burken. Well, actually, I listened to it. I was scared to go into this one because it's not my preferred genre, but knowing that Traci Finlay was the mastermind behind the words I knew I couldn't pass it up. I'm here to say that I'm glad I did.
I'm not going to give anything away here and am just going to tell you to one-click this now.

And for my romance genre lovers, there are some elements of romance inter-tangled into the story line. Which was a plus for
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Traci Finlay grew up in the Midwest and transplanted to Florida for college. She received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with a minor in English, met and married the love of her life and moved to Miami, where she currently lives with her husband, two sons, and two smart-mouthed dogs.

Growing up, she loved reading books, but had a particular passion for mysteries. Throughout her adulthood

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