Friday, October 17, 2014

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

Stepbrother Dearest
by Penelope Ward

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Published by: Amazon Digital - September 28, 2014
Genre: New Adult
Rating: 4.5 Stars

You're not supposed to want the one who torments you.

Greta is a senior in high school when her step-brother Elec moves in with her mom and step-dad, Randy. Elec is an angry, angsty, tattooed youth. He's horribly mean to Greta, but the meaner he is, the more Greta wants to break through to him. Oh, and have I mentioned that she likes him as a bit more than a step-brother? The novel is a stand alone work that chronicles a span of 7 years, showing their beginning, their last fateful tonight together, and their unwanted reunion 7 years later. Every time these two get together, everything proper is turned on its axis.

I will admit that I almost put the book down after reading the first chapter. The way the author wrote about Greta's immediate sexual attraction to Elec seemed very elementary plot-wise and I was worried the rest of the book would be the same. My fears were TOTALLY unfounded and I ended up loving this book!

The character development of Greta, Elec and Randy was intense and thorough. I felt like I really knew who these characters were. They were real people. The interaction between Greta and Elec was electric yet realistic, while the anger between Elec and Randy was believable. I was rooting for Greta and Elec to be together and for Elec and Randy to make up. I wanted the best for everyone.

The author also had a very unique way of chronicling part of the story. Elec is a writer and she had Greta read an autobiographical story he'd written about his life thus far. That not only let Greta in on the secrets from his past, but let the reader understand things from Elec's side of the story. It was an intimate peek inside a complex man and I loved the way the author chose to tell it.

I want to share some quotes, as I think they will speak for themselves as to how good this book really is. I found myself bookmarking more than an average number of them as I read on my kindle.


"I never had a problem with the way you look at me. My issue is the way it makes me feel when you look at me: things I'm not supposed to feel, things I can't let myself feel for you. At the same time ... nothing felt worse than when you stopped looking at me, Greta."

"I'm not supposed to care. But when it comes to you, what I'm supposed to be feeling has never seemed to matter."


"You were the best thing that ever happened to me. I hope someday I can say you were one of the best, but for now, it's only you."

My chief complaint is that the ending didn't need to have the epilogue. It was a bit strange. The author gave the book the perfect ending, then seemed to randomly tack on another ending to that. I didn't think the epilogue needed to be concluded.

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