Release Date: September 23, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
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.
This book was so much more than what I was expecting. I've read several "stepbrother" type romances and I love them, and they are usually fun and romantic and sexy. Stepbrother Dearest was all of those things, but it also had such depth to it.
The build-up of their attraction at the beginning was fun and definitely sexy. I loved both of the characters. Elec was definitely a bad boy, which I loved, but he had deeper elements. I also liked Greta for the way she could handle him. There was tons of sexual tension between these two that was so enjoyable to read, but for me... the rest story didn't start until a few years later when they're both new adults and are brought back together by tragedy.
By this time, Greta has just started a career, and Elec is engaged to be married. I did find it a little bit unrealistic how sweet the fiancee was, but then again, if she'd been mean, she would have been stereotypical, so I guess I prefer her this way.
The road trip was my favorite part of the story, and that's all I can really say. Suffice it to say, these two had to find some common ground again, learn each other again, and figure out who they both are now after all these years. There are hurt feelings, sadness over the tragedy, and a lot of things working against them.
I loved the story though and I breezed through it pretty quickly. This was the first Penelope Ward book I've read, and I really enjoyed her mix of innocence, sexual tension, deeper themes, and beautiful writing. Good book.