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Novel Review: StepBrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

Imran is an anthropologist who researches and writes on self-improvement.

Suspense Before and After

One day while browsing I stumbled upon the ad for the novel 'Stepbrother Dearest' by Penelope Ward. Because I had time in hand and was not in the mood to stream movies, I decided to read the novel. I am going to give an honest review now.

As its name suggests, the setting appears to be indecent. One could presume erotica and taboo inside the pages. Hell! The story reeks of incest too.

At first, I was in two minds, and my heart counseled me to pick a better option - something more valuable and enlightening. The other side of me, however, desired to begin reading at once. The forbidden romance the book should hold made my tongue stick out of my lips. Finally, I decided to give it a go and conclude the actual fate of the silly book (assumption) later.

I am debating with myself to reveal exactly how much of what I said above is true. Not that it's untrue. Just don't want to spill the beans and kill the suspense. Hence the confusion.

What I can confidently say is that I am stunned by the overall result, and I bet you will feel the same.



Elec is forced to live with his dad (Randy) for one year as his mother has to leave town for a business commitment overseas. As it is, Elec already hates Randy for cheating on his mom and leaving them both for the other woman, Sarah - the home wrecker - a lush (that's what he calls her), staying with Randy's dreadful family will only make his life more miserable than ever. So, he has decided he would ruin their lives.

Randy's daughter, Greta (a decent girl), wishes to welcome her stepbrother into the family and be nice to him. She is both apprehensive and curious at the same time. When Elec and Greta meet for the first time, there is this instant pull that hints exotic and erotic danger. Greta sticks to her plan and behaves cordially whereas Elec is disrespectful, insulting, and rude, which is how he had planned to behave.

Elec is a bad boy with a bold and rough disposition. He smokes pot and drinks alcohol at the tender age of seventeen. He is incredibly handsome, and has a beautifully sculpted body with rock hard abs, a pierced lip, pierced nipples, and even a pierced penis - I told you the novel has an unusually bold taste.

Greta is an excellent girl who is petite with an acrobatic body, a beautiful neck, and good manners.

On the first night itself, Greta accidentally sees Elec stark naked in the bathroom and cannot stop staring. Elec behaves like a jerk and doesn't hide his shame. Instead, he blabbers lewd remarks. Later, when Greta who is worried about his awful smoking habit hides his cigarette pack, in revenge Elec steals her collection of expensive panties. He pledges to return them one by one when Greta deserves to earn the pieces back. Meanwhile, there is invisible sexual tension rising between the two.

Other various characters (boys and girls) enter the story capitalizing insane and blaspheme feelings between Greta and Elec and thereby arousing the two. However bold, there is also a sweet side to their story.

And then sex happens on one desperate night before Elec must leave for home as his mother has returned early and needs him back.
Years pass but Greta and Elec are still caught in the past and cannot shake their crazy feelings away. It is not just sex or incest that they have had, their love has grown strongest over time.

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They have had multiple partners, but they haven't been happy. They long for each other and they ache for one another.

Meanwhile, the secrets from Elec's past surface in the present giving their story an interesting turn. It's truly exhilarating. The secrets have the effect of righting the wrong and defining their relationship as valid.

What kind of relationship Greta and Elec can have? Will it be possible for them to face the world with their ugly truth? Did they make the right or wrong choices? Should they really care? Were they lucky or unlucky? Find out yourselves in Penelope Ward's 'Stepbrother Dearest'

About the Novel




Contemporary Romance/Young Adult

Suitable For


Year of publication


Order of the Novel

4th Novel by the Author

My Thoughts - The Positive

  • Penelope Ward is an excellent writer. I was glued to her writing. I would say I have become her fan in just one reading even if that's too early to judge. What made me finish the novel willingly is the fact that it was not just sex under it. There was a story and a pleasing twist. I didn't want to finish the story fast, so I purposefully took my own sweet time finishing it off.
  • Even when burning strongly with carnal desires, the couple uses protection two times they have sex.
  • The third time they decide to go bareback as Greta is on pills. So, they are wary and careful not to make bigger blunders.
  • Elec has this habit to scramble the words spoken by Greta and come up with an alternate meaning. That's sweet and interesting. Example: "Scramble the letters of meal. You get LAME. Your meal=lame" Example 2: "Scramble the letters of Romance you get Cameron." Find out who is Cameron.

My Thoughts - The Negative

Well, the main hero, Elec, is a bad boy - very typical.

Why these bad guys have unbelievable good looks and amazing bodies? They are ripped and chiseled, impatient and ill-mannered, and into drinking, picking up fights, smoking pots, or even doing drugs? And all are especially promiscuous. Girls flutter around them like butterflies. Elec is no different. I think such guys sell well. That's why they are favorite to authors. I wish Elec was maybe a little different?

Mostly the story is from Greta's angle, but there is a part before the end in which Elec has penned down his autobiography and sent it to Greta. This is the portion the recaps what has happened between the two, and I feel it gets a bit boring. It's kinda too elaborative.

This kind of unnatural sex or even love between a stepbrother and his stepsister may have some curious hold in theory but sucks in reality. It's awfully gross and unacceptable and should simply not happen in real life.

My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (It's worth it. You will agree too after reading).

It's on YouTube too.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Imran khan

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