Review: 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. 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. 

**** My 3 Star Review ****

This is one of the hardest reviews I have written in a long time.  I was looking forward to this book.  Everyone kept talking about how wonderful this book was!  Then I read it.  Now, normally I would have given this book a two-star rating, but it had a few redeeming qualities, so I could not bring myself to give it anything lower that three stars.

The first part of the book was absolutely wonderful.  I was sucked right into the story!  Elec's wit and sarcastic quips had me giggling left and right.  His character was perfect as a teenager!  He was a player.  A bad-boy.  A rebel.  Wit, charm.  He had it all.

However, Greta was a horrible character.  I didn't like her at all.  Not one bit during this book did I like her.  In the beginning, I suppose I was supposed to feel bad for how Elec treated her.  I just couldn't.  Her character was so juvenile and wish-washy.  I honestly, couldn't stand her at all!  Elec was the only saving grace in the first part of the book.

Then I got to the second part of the book.  It started out okay.  Then came time for Elec's "point of view"... That did me in.  I had to force myself to finish the book.  It went from a pretty good book, with a heroine I couldn't stand (which can easily be overcome) to doing a complete nose dive.  Instead of being insightful, his "retelling" was the exact same as the first part of the book.  There wasn't any added bonus to it.  It was like rereading what I already had.  Now, had there been some deep feelings and other happenings we hadn't seen, then this would have worked.  But that wasn't the case.

I get that the second part of the story was them as adults.  So, we are to expect some changes in the characters.  Greta... she didn't change.  She was still the unlikable, wishy-washy character she was in the beginning.  Elec, he became too soft.  He lost his edginess.  So, by the time I got the the ending, I was left feeling disappointed and cheated.  I expected some real drama to unfold and then them finding a way to be together.  What I got was a bad-boy turned soft and a heroine who never grew up having an ending that didn't match the rest of the book.