Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan
Published by Self-published on August 21st 2016
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He told me to 'settle, girl.' He asked if 'something was wrong with me?' He said I was an ‘easy target.’ That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks. I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.
Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.
I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?
Anti-Stepbrother caught my attention with the lure of a sweet yet heavy plot that was hinted at in the synopsis. It turned out to be the antidote I needed to calm my nerves. I had just finished (well almost finished) a dark book which left me craving a sweet, less bloodthirsty story-line. This story is a college romance, where step-siblings find they will be attending the same college. Summer gets the message early on that having her stepbrother around won’t make her life any easier. On top of family matters, she has the added hurdle of fitting in with new social circles. Unfortunately, she finds the two challenges hard to separate.
Two families, each with their particular issues and history, play a major force in how the characters adjust to college life and form new relationships. The romance is light, being more of a friendship for the majority of the story. The friendship is placed under pressure by the simmering tension which manages to surface occasionally. When they break through the friendzone, the heat levels rise and the steamy action is tame. There were the typical college YA/NA situations, which I expected, but these moments played out for what seemed like an eternity at times. Then there were other moments swiftly dealt with that I hoped would have been fleshed out further.
A potential romance triangle hung in the background but it rarely escalated beyond a nuisance factor. The friendship aspect was refreshing, but it seemed strange considering her friend’s reputation. The strength demonstrated by the guy she affectionately referred to as an a-hole provided a depth of maturity, counterbalancing the ongoing student antics.
A lot of the characters personalities came across as toned down. One character, in particular, has a medical condition revealed in a plot twist, but his traits were void of the physical or psychological impairments I expected. As this was a minor aspect of the story, it didn’t make a big difference, but it did leave me wondering why it wasn’t evident in his portrayal.
I am glad I read Anti-Stepbrother and grateful it lifted me out of the dismal head-space I was desperate to escape!
Lily’s Rating: 3 Stars
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