Saturday, May 9, 2020

Book Review: Step Brother Dearest

I know this title is making you stop and think, "God DAMN, Sara- what is wrong with you?!" and believe me, I felt that way myself. I'm using this as my "book I swore I wouldn't read" for a book challenge I'm in because this gives me all the uncomfortable vibes.

Imagine my surprise when I finished it and kind of loved it. I feel so gross but here we are.
Step Brother Dearest - Penelope Ward

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.

I have to start by saying that the only other book/series I've read that was anything like this was by Annie Stone and part of a series she did that was about a stepmom ending up with her step son after the husband/dad turned out to be an abusive dirtbag. That was a short trilogy but I really loved it and felt all of the feelings going through that so believe me when I say I was uncomfortable at best when I started this and quickly forgot all about it by the end and wanted Elec and Greta to end up together.

Penelope Ward is a magician like that, I swear.

OK, so in this book we have Greta, a virgin and totally inexperienced with boys. Her step brother (her step dad's son) comes to live with him and right off the bat he's an asshole to all of them but Greta is immediately attracted to him and she knows that it isn't necessarily "normal" so she tells nobody. Over time though, while Elec is still a jerk to her, they form a strained relationship. She's falling in love with him and she isn't sure if he even likes her but when he finds out he has to leave to take care of his mom, they both discover they like each other more than family.

Years later they come together over the death of Elec's dad and they realize that what was once between them wasn't a fluke and Greta has to deal with the jealousy of Elec having a girlfriend.

OK. You guys. I know the concept of this is really WEIRD and it is hard to get beyond the step thing but promise me when I tell you that in the end, it is a non issue and it'll be OK. I actually ended up really loving this book and finished it in three hours of constantly being interrupted because I couldn't stop reading it. I'm already a fan of Penelope Ward as it is so I was certain she wouldn't lead us down a weird path and she didn't. My heart broke for Elec when I learned all about his history. I wish Greta was a little more assertive in her feelings but I also understand why she wasn't, either.

I am giving this a solid 4 stars. I am knocking it down only because I felt icky for half the book and I wish there were more steamy scenes towards the end. Which makes me feel dirty and gross but here we are. HA!
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