As a devoted follower of one of my fave author's, Colleen Hoover, I also follow one of her fun Facebook pages called Colleen Hoover's CoHorts where it is essentially everything Colleen. What I love is that she actively participates in the fun on the page too. It definitely makes her seem like more of a "real" person to me rather than some of these other mega-authors that have "people" who operate their pages for them because they're, of course, waaaay too important to do that kind of thing themselves. Stuff like that keeps you humble, keeps you real. If there's one thing I've noticed from following Colleen's Facebook fan pages and her personal page, it's that she's real...and I appreciate that.
Anyhow, someone on the Colleen Hoover's CoHorts page asked for suggestions for other authors similar in style which had many ladies contributing. Most authors I had heard of and agreed with many. Lots of good ones were listed that I enjoy reading. One book and author, however, was mentioned a handful of times that intrigued me. Well, when I'm intrigued I have to find out more, so I HAD to purchase the book on my iPad immediately. Within minutes I was the new proud owner of Stepbrother Dearest, by Penelope Ward.
To be totally honest with you, I was intrigued because I thought it sounded dumb. Stepbrother Dearest? Puuleeeze! I just didn't actually think it could possibly be that good. The description didn't even sound all that great either; really, a stepbrother and stepsister give in to their temptations and get it on? That's actually kind of weird and sick. Well I learned (even though I totally should've known) that just as you can't judge a book simply by it's cover, you also can't judge it on the title alone. Hand to God, I LOVED it! I was completely wrong about it.
We meet semi-shy Greta, a high school senior, whose life is basically turned upside down when her step dad's estranged teenage son, Elec, comes to stay for the year all the way from California. He's dark, he's rude, he's brooding, and he's totally hot too! Greta can't help the attraction she feels to him but chalks it up mostly to teenage hormones and tries to ignore it. Unfortunately for her, Elec loves to goad her on. He finds all kinds of excuses to get her riled up and then, he kisses her and things begin to change.
Although Elec and his father don't get along, Greta doesn't really understand why until one night things come to a head and she defends Elec and protects him. In doing that, he begins to let his self-built walls down a bit and let her in.
Without giving too much away from the story, they have a romantic moment that stays with them even after separating and not speaking for seven years. Then, they see each other again due to circumstance. That wasn't supposed to happen. What they discover is so deep and profound. The way they relate to each other when they both let down their defenses and start being honest with each other and following their hearts is beautiful. This story is like a roller coaster in so many ways in how it led my emotions up and down and all over the place. I just couldn't get enough of it!
What I liked is that this wasn't a story about incest, which is what I initially thought it would be. There was so much depth and emotion in the story and it lived up to the hype I heard about it too.
This was my first time reading anything by Penelope Ward but I loved these characters so much that I'm definitely excited to read more by her soon!