Saturday, April 30, 2016

Step Brother Dearest by Penelope Ward ~ Ward

Source:  Purchased Audiobook

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+


I hesitated to read this book for a long time. I'd added it to my TBR pile and had it on my wish list but I'd always resisted. But I'm been in the mood to read what I want so as I looked through my lists to pick my next read, this one jumped out.

First, let me say that any concern I had about these being steps was immediately addressed. They never even meet until they're 17. It wasn't a growing up together kind of situation so any issue I had disappeared.

Then, there's that Elec is a total jerk issue. Yep, he is. But he also has some pretty big secrets that were so not okay for him growing up. And like Greta, I could see just enough of the real him to let a lot of it go. And when I discovered those secrets, my heart hurt for him. I loved him.

Greta is incredible. She tries so hard to help Elec even when he's awful to her. I loved how she brought out the real in him. I love that his mean became teasing. I loved that they cared for each other.

This is a hard story. Lots of missed chances and fate handing out a raw deal. But I couldn't put it down. Just like Greta reading a certain author in the book, it captivated me. I did need to consult with a friend that had read it at one point because their pain was hard on me. But I finished it and I'm glad I read it.  

It's a complex story with penetrating emotions that once you start will be hard to put down.  It's a story that talks about caring for people and doing the right thing.  It comes close to lines that shouldn't be crossed but it doesn't cross them.  It felt real.  Life isn't clear and easy.  It doesn't resolve itself in a summer or a even a year.  This book took years to resolve and had real life pain.  

When you want something rich and a little dark but will hold your attention until it's finished, then give in and read this one.


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