Review: Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

“I thought about how ironic it was that this guy who’d done nothing but try to chase me away and intimidate me was the one person in the world I felt I wanted to protect”


I had this book on my TBR list since I saw the cover reveal so many months ago. I had never read a forbidden romance such as this. The ‘stepbrother’ theme wasn’t really something I was familiar with and once the book was released, the reviews were pouring in and they were incredible. I finally decided to push it right up my list and give it a go.

“I’ve been ready since the day I walked through the door, took one look at you and realized I was fucked.”

I’ll be honest, this book hooked me from the prologue. I finished it about 7 hours ago and I still can’t put my finger on what it was about this book that had me flicking through the pages at lightening speed. The concept intrigued me, the writing flowed really nicely for me, the angst level wasn’t as high as I was expecting but I was kinda happy with that.

Greta’s stepbrother Elec came to live with them while his mother was away. From the very second he walked through their door he was an arrogant, rude, broody male who’s gorgeous looks and bad attitude only made Greta want to get to know him more. He ignored her, brought girls home every other night, picked on her at every chance he got while at the same time he felt as though he had this protective instinct that kicked in every now and then.

After some time living together, they seemed to have moved past their differences and began to hang out on a nightly basis. Playing video games, eating ice cream and just beginning to really enjoy each others company. You could sense their attraction growing towards one another yet Elec was holding her at arms length, and she didn’t like it.

“You’re the only girl in the entire world that’s forbidden, and fuck me if that doesn’t make me want you more than anything.”

Things were starting to move forward when Elec was forced to move to be back with his mother. This is precisely the time when Greta’s life was turned upside down and she never thought she would see Elec again… Fast forward 7 years and a tragedy brings the two back together when neither of them were ready.

Stepbrother Dearest was a semi-angsty filled, forbidden love story that captured my attention and never really let go until the final word. At about 75% I had an “omg!” moment that had me wiping away a tear. This book really took me by surprise. There were parts that I absolutely loved, like seeing Elec come full circle. He really stole my heart even by 20%.

“Don’t do that.”
“You turned away from me. That’s my fault. I made you feel like I didn’t want you looking at me—that self-respect bullshit I fed you. Out of everything I ever said to you, that was the biggest lie, and I regret it the most. I’d started to let my guard down, and it freaked me out. I never had a problem with the way you look at me. My issue is the way it makes me feel when you look at me: things I’m not supposed to feel, things I can’t let myself feel for you. At the same time…nothing felt worse than when you stopped looking at me, Greta.”

*sigh* Some of the things he said just made me awww. There were times were I felt weird about the whole “stepbrother” thing. I realise that they’re not actually related. But like I said earlier, this was a new concept for me. At times I felt like I wanted things to be a little different, but by the end of the book, I was really really enjoying it all. The ending was probably my favourite part. Penelope Read gave them a wonderful HEA and that really did make me happy. It was totally ‘unputdownable’ like a lot of people had told me it would be and I’m so glad I finally gave this one a chance.

MY RATING: 4.5 Stars



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