Book Review: Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

Stepbrother Dearest
Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary:  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+

More like a 2.5 star. I decided to try to read some of my very long backlog of New Adult titles and this one has me of a mind to go back on NA hiatus for another long while. I had high hopes for this one and there are so many rave reviews, I thought this one would be awesome for sure. Alas, it was not. From Elec being such a jerk as an adult that I didn't care any more about his childhood & teen box of pain and Greta not having the self-respect he told her to gather early on in the book, I had some issues with connecting to these people and their massive angst fest. Still, there were moments of well done here. I laughed out loud at some things and not because it was bad but because the characters were genuinely witty. I think this had such potential but it didn't hit all those awesome feels notes for me and sadly will have to be one of the books I think of when I lament the inordinate sameness of contemporary NA where characterization and plot are weak and angst is supposed to carry the story. My very short list of NA that falls outside of that, will remain shy this one.

I recommend this to anyone who wants an angst laden story. If that's your thing and it sweeps you away on with your toes curling (I've actually a few that I like just for that, but not this one), then this one may be for you.

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