Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward
Published by Self-published on September 28, 2014
Genres: New Adult
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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.
**Contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. It is only appropriate for adult readers age 18+
Elec is a boy’s name I had never heard before. Using an uncommon name for a character has benefits. There is little chance of confusing the character you are reading with another nor is it likely to be a name a name of a person close to you, which can be awkward. What it does, though, is play havoc with my silent reading voice. Every time Elec’s name appeared in the story, it never sounded right.
The story begins with Elec coming to stay with his father and his stepmother and her daughter, Greta. Greta and Alec are both teenagers close in age who will be attending school together. While they are close in age, they fit into significantly different social circles. Not happy about spending time with his father or his step family, Elec goes out of his way to being obstinate, refusing to accept any hospitality from Greta or her mother.
Elec was a complex character and came across older than he was due to having to grow up fast. There is no question why he is highly sought after and the steamy scenes drove this home several times. The mystery to why he acted as he did combined with the forbidden appearance of the situation added to his appeal. His fondness for finding anagrams put me off. It was a strange combination paired with his bad boy exterior. It did resonate with the private side he only shared with Greta, but it came across more weird than it did wittily.
It’s no surprise when the chemistry between Elec and Greta surfaces but there is an understandable delay before it ignites. Time and circumstance are not on their side and it’s over just as quick as it began. Drawn into contact again, it’s as if the years they have spent apart never existed. Faced again with the choices of acting on their feelings or acting as they think they should throws chaos into an already difficult situation.
There are a lot of light-hearted moments that kept the story moving in the right direction and I did enjoy the story overall. When the story lost me was the retelling of events through Elec’s gift to Greta. For me, it provided little additional insight, apart from a few revelations.
This is a standalone book but there is another book available about one of the other characters which will please readers.
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