Review: Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

Title: Stepbrother Dearest
Author: Peneloe Ward
Genre: Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Female


I have to admit, the first thing that got my attention to this book was the title. It sounds illicit and dirty and oh so tempting. I’ve never read Penelope Ward’s works before so I didn’t have any idea how the book was going to be. It turned out, this was a pretty good read.  The relationship might be weird, but not exactly taboo.

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

The story revolved around Greta whose life changed after her stepbrother Elec came to live with her family when she was 17. Elec’s mum had a job abroad for a year so Elec reluctantly had to endure living with people that he hated.

Elec was a problem for Greta because not only he was “So… fucking… hot.” . Yes, he was 17 with tattoos and pierced all over including you know where! But he’s also a major prick. He always had a problem with his dad and the only way he knew how to cope with it was by acting out.

Stepbother Dearest 1

Over time he learned to (barely) open up to Greta. But as things progressed he had to suddenly return home. The last night he was there, things happened and the aftermath broke her. After he left, it took 7 years and a tragedy to bring them back together and they were forced to face and resolved the unfinished business from 7 years ago.

The “one that got away” was suposed to stay away,
not come back and leave you all over again.

I absolutely love Elec. The moment he dropped that towel in front of Greta, I was sold haha! He may be an annoying little prick but he was very lovable. He acted like what a rebellious teen would. They were cute, playful and fun.

When the story progressed to the reunion the vibe changed. They were both grown up trying to be their own person, but facing each other again was a torment when they were trying to move on. From that point on the book was serious and angsty, but there were still cute, fun moments between them.

One of my favorite scenes was the “elevator truth” scene. It was beautiful, yet painful.

I love that we got a peek into Elec’s mind towards the end of the book and I love how it was incorporated in the book in that way. However, it was too much because it pretty much recapped everything from the moment they met until he left. I love that we got to learn about his past and his feelings/actions when they were apart (the New Year in NY scene was particularly moving) but the times when they were together and the same dialogue didn’t need to be rehashed.

Stepbrother Dearest 2

I do like Greta and what she did/didn’t do was admirable but there were times I wish she was more assertive. Sully was definitely one of the standout character in the book. Her appearance was scarce but every time it happened, she was front and center.

Overall, I really like the story. I love how their relationship progressed in a non forced manner and like I said before I absolutely love Elec. I think I might have found another favorite back up boyfriend.


This review is also available on Goodreads.


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