Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

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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. But things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night.

Then, 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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This book really surprised me! Not because it was amazing, not because the writing was unbelievable (so far the best writing of Penelope Ward’s Books that I’ve read), and not because it’s was steamy as hell! No, the reason it surprised me is that I’m used to reading a lot of friends to lovers story with Penelope Ward. Of course, I’m playing catch up with her books. I came to discover the awesomeness of Penelope Ward, and Penelope Ward/Vi Keeland, books!!! So maybe the friends to lovers books are more her recent books. But I sat down with this book thinking it would be a light, easy read. Boy was I wrong!! But, I was also unaware that I was about to read an absolutely amazing book!!!

The story starts out as young people in high school, but in no way is it young adult reading. Elec comes to live in Greta’s home for the summer. He is the son of her mother’s husband…her stepbrother. She looks forward to the idea of having a brother, as an only child. When he walks in the door looking completely gorgeous with all his tattoos and piercings, she starts to have physical feelings that she would NOT have for a brother. She smiles warmly and says “I’m Greta. Nice to meet you.” He said nothing. Then she told him he looked different than she pictured. He squinted at her and said, “And you look pretty….plain.” Poor Greta wanted to disappear. Physically he was her dream and in every other way he was her nightmare. But there, of course, is so much more to the story. The characters in the book have SO MUCH DEPTH…ITS BEAUTIFUL!!!!

So the book does eventually jump forward to when they are adults. So much happens to Elec and Greta in their lives. There is so much unsaid. I’m always screaming at these romance books…COMMUNICATE PEOPLE!!!! But this is what makes for such angst, emotion and drama, and I love every bit of it!!!! But the beautiful characters that Penelope creates are so endearing that they become rooted in your heart and you have a hard time letting them go when you move on to another book. And, personally, I’d say that in this book it has affected more than others.

Just beautiful…


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