Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope WardStepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward
Published September 2014
Genres: New Adult
Format: eBook
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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. But things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night. Then, 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.

17 year-old Greta Hansen will have to soon share her home with her stepfather’s son Elec O’Rourke. Elec is a true womanizer with extremely good looks and a hot tattooed body. Greta soons starts swooning over him (against her will), but Elec is the perfect bully of a stepbrother, until the two of them give way to their feelings and indulge into a night of passion just before Elec has to leave again. But they never maintained contact, even though Greta gave him her heart on top of her innocence.

8 years later, many things have changed… But when the two of them meet again, it’s not quite clear if the broken hearts were really mended…

Of course, one of the reasons I was keen to read that book was because of the stepbrother/forbidden factor. But it didn’t turn out to be that forbidden so don’t let it turn you off. All in all, I enjoyed this book despite a few caveats.

I really loved the first part of the book, which was all about the build-up of the sexual tension between Elec and Greta: how they tease each other (well mainly it’s just Elec teasing Greta) really makes up for some hilarious moments. I love the moment when it becomes clear that this is not sister/brother teasing but rather some sort of weird sexual foreplay. Even though Elec acted like an ass sometimes (especially when inviting girls into the room next to Greta’s), he still stays hot and intriguing and in total contrast to his naive stepsister.

Part Two of the book fast-forwards us to 8 years later, when Elec’s father (also Greta’s stepfather) dies and the two of them meet again at the funeral. Frankly, I really didn’t like the new Elec as he had become a real jerk.

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The ending came a bit to easily and too abruptly. There is a happy ending and a nice chummy epilogue, but the whole story is much to the expense of other people. I would have liked the ending to be more tweaked, yes – actually I would have liked to see Elec fight even more to gain Greta’s love. But then again she always loved him, so didn’t put up a fight…

In terms of writing, Stepbrother Dearest was really good and the fact that this was written in 1st person (from Greta’s POV) made it more intriguing. Not knowing the full story made it easy to want to read on and find out what’s happening next.

In the end, I enjoyed this book even despite of the few caveats.


Detailed Rating
5 Stars
4 Stars
5 Stars
All the feels
5 Stars
Overall: four-half-stars