Published by Independent on September 29th 2014
You’re not supposed to want the one who torments you.
When my stepbrother, Elec, came to live with us my senior year, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a jerk he’d be.
I hated that he took it out on me because he didn’t want to be here.
I hated that he brought girls from our high school back to his room.
But what I hated the most was the unwanted way my body reacted to him.
At first, I thought all he had going for him were his rock-hard tattooed abs and chiseled face. Then, things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night.
Just as quickly as he’d come into my life, he was gone back to California.
It had been years since I’d seen Elec.
When tragedy struck our family, I’d have to face him again.
And holy hell, the teenager who made me crazy was now a man that drove me insane.
I had a feeling my heart was about to get broken again.
Stepbrother Dearest is a standalone novel.
If you know me at all – you know that I am not the “taboo” girl, I hate the crazy drama plots, I love the nice guys and it takes a lot to impress me! I’m hard work! So when I read the blurb for STEPBROTHER DEAREST and didn’t hear the usual alarm bells *KLAXONS* I figured let’s go with this and take a chance – and boy was it the right decision. I bought it at 7:30 PM , started reading it (another thing that never happens, even my most anticipated books are collecting dust as I am the procrastination queen!) and at 1:50 AM I closed the book with a contented sigh, full of feels and swoon! Seriously never happens!
STEPBROTHER DEAREST is about Greta, almost 18; she lives with her mom and stepdad. After a couple of years of marriage, she is finally about to meet Elec, her estranged stepbrother who’s been living on the other side of the country. From day one, sparks fly, and not the good kind. Elec delights in torturing her by stealing her stuff, embarrassing her in front of her friends and taking every opportunity to be a jerk. Slowly however as Greta perseveres to get to know Elec and find out why there’s sadness in his eyes in his rawest and unprotected moments, they grow closer. However in all too short a time the bond is broken as Elec leaves for the other side of the country and it is seven years before they are in a room together again. The memories of hurt and pain and the feelings of passion and love are all still present and bubbling under the surface ready to spill over at any moment but is this special bond irreparable or can true love win?
First off, despite the blurb, this isn’t a taboo book, I definitely didn’t get that squicky vibe off it, Elec and Greta don’t met until they are 18 and only spend a matter of weeks together so if that’s a turn off for you DO NOT WORRY. If however you love sweet romances with awesome chemistry and great characters then you are in luck!
I loved Greta and Elec and there was an instantaneous connection with them both and I was eager to learn more about them.
Greta is such a sweet, kind soul who always looks for the good in people. There’s an air of innocence around her which is endearing without making her a Mary-Sue and I loved how earnestly she worked at making Elec feel comfortable in his new home. Elec- holy hotness! He just oozed charisma for me and I love his cheekiness and the hilarious moments that occurred when he teased Greta. There is also an air of vulnerability around him and it broke my heart as he opened up to Greta in those stolen moments and let her see the true Elec – talented, intelligent and compassionate. The wall of defence he’s had to erect to deal with a father who is for want of a better word brutal towards him was heartbreaking and I loved how the pair found solace in each other’s company.
The chemistry between the two is sizzling and Penelope Ward knows how to write steamy scenes. I could not put the book down, at the end of every chapter I was aching to read more, fully invested in these amazing characters and their powerful and unforgettable story. My heart thumped with emotion and I loved how the pacing never stuttered, always drawing you in deeper to the story.
A gut wrenching, beautiful and addictive story about love, courage and believing in hope in the darkest of hours. STEPBROTHER DEAREST is a must-read and one of my favourites of 2014!