Review: "Stepbrother Dearest" by Penelope Ward

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

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+

My rating: 

I was in a pretty big book funk and this book got me right out of it. Didn't take long before I was laughing at what was happening and then crying and more laughing. It was one emotional ride that's for sure and I loved every second of it. 

Greta lives with her mom and stepdad Randy when Elec, Randy's son, comes to live with them. Due to Elec and his father's relationship it's one of the last places he wants to be, living in a house with his dad's new wife and her daughter. 
Greta wanting to make it easier for him tries to help Elec settle, but Elec isn't easy to get through to. Despite everything, even Elec's torment day after day Greta feels an attraction to him. 
They're both teenagers when they make that first connection, but it isn't long before they're out of eachothers lives again. 
It's years before they even see eachother again.

This was such an amazing story! Loved it. First time I've come across a story with characters having a past where I actually get to experience that past between them. I loved that it starts when they're teenagers, how they meet and everything that happens and then moves on to them being older instead of them just being older and the character only telling how it was or perhaps a flashback or two. 
Another thing that I can't get over is the way Elec's perspective were brought in without him actually being the teller, with him writing books, he of course has to write a book about his life and through Greta reading that, we get his story and see the first part of the story in his perspective. Throughout some of the first part I sat and thought this is a case where I would love to hear what's going on in his mind and as it turns out that did come, just later in the story.
I think I could talk a lot about my love for Elec. Complicated, tattooed, pierced, bad boy gone good and best thing, writes books. Greta has a way of handling him which is pretty impressive considering how he can be. She takes his torment pretty well and even gives back. The fact that the girl is a reader makes it even better and relateable for me, of course. Some of her thoughts are really hilarious and I could actually tell her teenage her and grown up her apart from eachother. 
I loved the taboo topic of the book, him being her stepbrother and they fall in love despite it all. 

An amazing story beautifully written! I was hooked from page one and had a hard time putting it down once I started. 

Also, you'll really love anagrams after this, haha. 

"Imagine you're watching Magic Mike, and the dvd gets stuck on repeat right before the first strip scene starts. That was watching Elec dance. "

"The heartbeat is the purest form of honesty. "

"I'd spend the weeknights reading until I fell asleep with my kindle on my face."

"Through death there was life. Through hate there was love. "

"In the same way that you can easily switch the letters of a word around to see another hidden meaning, such is life. A life can be defined by its hardships or its blessings. it's all a matter of how you look at it. "

About the author: 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers. She spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family friendly career.

Penelope lives for reading books in the new adult genre, coffee and hanging out with her friends and family on weekends.

She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 8-year-old boy, both of whom are the lights of her life.

Penelope, her husband and kids reside in Rhode Island.

She is currently working on her fifth novel and loves friend requests from readers!


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