Book Review and Author Q&A – Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

Posted 10/01/2014 by Jamie in Book, Review, Tour /// 0 Comments ///

Book Review and Author Q&A – Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward Title: Stepbrother Dearest
Author: Penelope Ward
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: September 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Book Rating:

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Related Books: Jake Undone, My Skylar, Cocky Bastard

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.

Stepbrother Dearest is a standalone novel. **Contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. It is only appropriate for adult readers age 18+

How lucky am I that I have been privy to read and review not 1, not 2, but now FOUR books by Penelope Ward. I think it safe to say I have a total girl crush on her and if she comes to a signing near Chicago, I may just run up to her and hump her leg….respectfully of course!

Within the first chapter we are quickly introduced to the main characters, Elec (love the name) and Greta. Elec – stereotypical bad-boy, has been sent to live with his dad and his new family, which includes the virginal Greta. At every turn, it seems Elec’s only joy in his new home is the unrelenting torment of his stepsister. Most of it has a comical, juvenile feel to it – name calling, stealing underwear, etc. Most of it the reader may easily relate to if she had a brother…except for the whole sexual tension thing going on between them.

The characters become more developed when the two grow closer and we see a bit more into Elec’s emotional state, although not nearly enough to know what is with his dad and the apparent emotional abuse. When the two share an emotional evening together, Greta utters the words that will break Elec:

“Show me how you fuck!”

*Cough cough* Oh my! I wasn’t weirded out about them being step-siblings cause I’m down with that taboo stuff. I was however more weirded out by my um, personal reaction to the fact that Elec was only 18. Read those parts feeling a bit pervy if ya know what I mean! Anyway… Elec and Greta share a blissful night together, but fate is a cruel bitch. Indifferent to Greta’s tears, Elec returns to California to help care for his mother.

Seven years.

Seven years with no contact.

Seven years of comparing every man to the love that never was.

Seven years until fate seems to have other plans and suddenly Elec and Greta’s paths must cross again…

Overall, I really liked the story. I think my opinion was a tad bit tainted because I had just recently read a book in which step-siblings started a relationship. That was the only similarity between the two books, but my mind did go back to that while reading. I found myself also thinking back to the author’s most recent book, My Skylar. In both these books my longing, my desire, my NEED to see the those characters together was so intense.

My only dislike with this book was reading Elec’s autobiography. I did enjoy seeing his point of view, and typically author’s may chose to do alternating chapters. However, Mrs. Ward chose to tell Elec’s POV via his writings and I just felt like I was rereading a good chunk of the book.

I can definitely see some similarities between Elec and Jake, from Jake Undone. Aside from the similar physical characteristics, both seemed to have these little quirks about them. Jake used to write little poems in origami bats and Elec has a knack for acronyms. I think it’s those little oddities that make Penelope’s characters feel more tangible.

Mrs. Ward, it seems you have done it again. Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

Exclusive Q&A with Penelope Ward

Who has been your favorite character to write thus far & why?

Jake from Jake Undone, because he is the whole package, really smart, sexy and sensitive.

Which of your books do you think would make an amazing movie / mini series?

Hmmm….probably My Skylar. It spans 15-years and is very passionate.

Each one of your books have had quite unique story lines / plots – how do you keep your ideas original with so many other romance books out there?

It’s tough. But if I can’t think of something that I believe to be unique, I don’t write it until I can. The ideas just come…and sometimes, it’s a similar story to others, but with your own unique spin.

What authors would you go “fan girl” over?

AL Jackson, Vi Keeland, EL James, Whitney G., Penelope Douglas…the list is endless!!!


About Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is the USA Today Bestselling author of Gemini, Jake Undone (A Gemini Novel) and My Skylar (A Gemini Novel). She grew up in Boston with five older brothers. Penelope spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family friendly career.

Penelope lives for reading books in the new adult genre, coffee and hanging out with her friends and family on weekends.

She is the proud mother of a beautiful 9-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 7-year-old boy, both of whom are the lights of her life.

Penelope, her husband and kids reside in Rhode Island. She is currently working on her fourth novel and last in the Gemini series, Jake Understood (expected publication January 2015).