Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward


3 adorable stars!

First of all, every time I review a book with 3 stars I feel the need to explain myself and really, I shouldn’t. 3 stars are actually very good and shouldn’t be frowned upon. So there. This might contain minor spoilers.

Oh how much I enjoyed this book! I loved those two so much, even if they both could use a little shake to snap them out of it. I love stories with a twist or a little kick into them and of course I love forbidden stories, the chasing around, the hiding, being inside the main characters’ mind and see what they think of it, I just love it and this one had an extra kick to it because both MCs had this whole hate/love kind of thing.

First we’re introduced to Greta. Her step brother whom she’s only met once is coming to stay with her family for a while since his mom is going away on business. My first though was, okay, he will be a douchebag and indeed he was but what I didn’t see coming was the mouth on that guy! Elec is everything you could imagine. Bad boy, tattoos, dirty talking, the whole package. And of course, Greta is the opposite. And what do opposites do?

“Physically, he was my dream and in every other way, my nightmare.”

They attract and they explode when they come in contact. This was totally the case! Elec is the man-whore type of guy and how can Greta not be attracted to a hot mess like him? Rejection hurts though.

“You look different…than I pictured.”
He squinted at me. “And you look pretty…plain.”

Poor Greta, I really felt for her, being around the guy you’re developing an epic crush on is not an easy thing to do especially when that guy is slowly dating all your friends and he sleeps right next to you. Not an easy thing to do, so I get her attitude and the hurt, she went all teenager brokenhearted girl on him and they guy just doesn’t hold back.

“Have some self-respect.”


After the painful rejection to the unspoken thing between them – Elec is doing the whole, guy likes girl, guy pushes girl thing – they are both trying to establish a simple friendly co-existing and as time goes by they become sort of friends. The attraction remains an unspoken thing between the two, of course, so when they finally give in, it’s explosive and sweet in a love/hate unique way.

You can guess from there. They sneak around, testing this new thing but not for a long because Elec has to leave abruptly and go back home. This is were the story lost one star from me. Being eighteen and in love with your step brother is one thing. Being twenty-five, being apart from him for years with barely a text – through all those years is another.

The story did a huge time jump for me. I could understand a couple of years, or maybe four to five maximum but seven years later and one broken engagement for Greta and a soon-to-be one for Elec and a barely there contact was unrealistic.

After a family tragedy that brings them together after seven years, they both are at completely different stages of life and instead of being mature and act like grown-ups they tip toe around ‘the thing’ and unnecessary drama follows.

“You were the best thing that ever happen to me. I hope that someday I can say you were one of the best, but for now, it’s only you.”

I’m not going to spoil it – anymore than I might already have – but parts of this story didn’t fit in for me but overall, I loved the story and the cute games between them but most of all I loved the chemistry between the two and the genuine first love and of course the ending, that ending was amazing!





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