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Our Review

‘Fate had screwed us over.’

Gitte: Wasn’t this story a surprising mixed-bag read! There was so much right with it, which kept me reading, yet there was also a part of me that felt cheated somehow in the latter part of this story. The writing was vivid, passionate and intense – the storyline felt original. I thought the characters were strong and imposing and their story touched my heart.

“I know I’m not supposed to care. But when it comes to you, what I’m supposed to be feeling has never seemed to matter.”

Stepbrother Dearest had a really likeable heroine who had a heart of gold and quiet strength and conviction. She’d get knocked down yet would spring right back up if her compassion was alerted no matter what. I absolutely adored Greta, when she loves she sure loves. As for Elec; well it took me some time to warm to this guy; sure he had a wicked sense of humour that had me in stitches and it was very clear that a tormented soul hid behind this bad boy tattooed façade. But wow was he an arsehole at times! My heart did break for him though so I have to applaud Penelope Ward because by the end this guy had me convinced. COLLEGES EVE TIT …. Yeah that’d only make sense if you read this book 😉

“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.”

I guess I’m just not sure how I felt about hearing Elec’s voice in respect to placement and the repetition. What did you think about this part of the story, Jenny? If it hadn’t been for this ‘issue’ I think I would’ve loved it more, though I did think the manner in which we heard it was quite unique.

‘In life he led me to my one true love. In death, he made it possible to find her again.’

The epilogue pulled it right back for me, it rocked and with this lasting impression in my heart, well, I actually enjoyed Stepbrother Dearest despite my specific misgivings. It was emotional, angsty, sexy and funny, so yes, I would recommend.

Jenny: Me too G. There was much I enjoyed about this story and the characters. The story itself was fun and flirty yet balanced perfectly with a decent serving of passion and emotion. Greta was a beautiful character and I have to commend this lady for her patience and persistence with Elec who at times really didn’t deserve her friendship or compassion. She was such a sweetheart.

‘He was hers. I was his. It. Was. Fucked. Up.’

Now I do love a cocky, arrogant tattooed arsehole but Elec did test my patience at times and like you G, I initially found connecting with him rather difficult. As we got to witness the exchanges through Greta’s eyes, Elec’s antagonistic behaviour towards Greta came across as obnoxious and somewhat cruel. As Elec’s pov didn’t come until later there was nothing to counteract Elec’s behaviour and I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever warm to him.

“You’ve always told me you wanted honesty. I just gave it to you. I’m sorry if the truth is a fucked up mess.”

I breathed a sigh of relief when Elec’s pov eventuated as I desperately needed to experience his emotions and understand his reasoning. Once his story came to light and his behaviour explained, my heart broke for him, and I was afforded the clarity of seeing through his bravado. As a result I found myself falling in completely in love with Elec. The introduction of Elec’s voice was brilliantly executed but I do agree with you about the placement and repetitiveness at this juncture of the story as I found myself skimming now and then at this point.

“You make me feel things, Greta. You always have. When I’m around you, whether it’s good or bad…I feel everything.”

That epilogue!  It KICKED ARSE!  Any reservations I may have had were laid to rest with an epilogue that melted my heart and left me swooning. What a fantastic end this story! I do have to point out that I personally didn’t experience the ‘forbidden’ aspect of this story.

“If I knock on your door tonight, don’t let me in.”

If anything, the relationship between Elec and Greta, felt more organic than forbidden but I enjoyed immersing myself in their story nonetheless. A definite recommend from me too, G!

**Reviewed honestly form an ARC copy provided by the author with thanks**

Synopsis

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+

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