Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

This is my first book from Tijan and after reading the blurb I was very excited to dig in and just enjoy the book because it sounded so promising.
I was curious to explore the writing style and my attention was divided between a lot of elements: the plot, its dynamic, the characters, their relationship and the way all of them blended together.
To begin with, the plot sounded very interesting, mainly because I smelled a love triangle and wanted to see how things will end up.

Our heroine, Summer, was very confusing and complicated to me. She is in love with her stepbrother, Kevin, and for years she dreamt of being with him. After one night when they got drunk and had sex, she truly believes that Kevin will notice her and express his dying love for her. Wrong.. Kevin likes to date a lot, has a 6 month policy with all of his girlfriends and things get complicated when he hooks up with his fraternity brother girlfriend. The book begins this way, with Summer seeing Kevin and Maggie together and with all of the fraternity brothers almost discovering them. She is the one who helps him not get caught, but there, she meets Caden, who figures out what she did, but in the same time is captivated by her in an inexplicable way.Not to mention that he hates her stepbrother because Maggie is his brother girfriend.. Twisted.. I know..:)

After that night, they still bump in one another and strangely, they become friends, but the sexual tension is there, very visible, but non of them is willing to admit it.

As I said before, Summer=complicated and Caden=confusing. They really annoyed me at a certain moment, but Summer topped my list. She was obsessed with Kevin, but in the same time hanged out with Caden. She was not very mature, sometimes too immature, gave me mixed signals about her feelings and was a coward. That what annoyed me the most, because she couldn’t expressed her feelings openly and caused a lot of damage in the process. She was very unsure of herself, and this lack of conviction was passed to me as well, because there were parts in the book that I didn’t understand what was she saying or doing.

Caden on the other hand was OK for me. He was more willing to accept his feelings and was more mature when analysing things. In his relationship with Summer, he was the one with more background issues and focused initially on other things that were keeping him from loving her. His family problems were not helping him move forward, they just kept on making him hurt more and more. He built a wall and initially didn’t let Summer in, but he finally let her in, even if in the first place there were just friends.

What I enjoyed most was the way their love scenes were portrayed. There were not detailed, but the accent was not put on physical attraction, but on the way love it is used to heal wounds. Here I am referring to Caden, because as I mentioned before, his family issues were serious, and being with Summer gave him closure and made him forget. I enjoyed the way love is being referred to, used in a raw state, that managed to give our heroes the perfect intimate moment in which they could just enjoy each other company and express themselves.

But besides those moments, I couldn’t experience more of their relationship moments because they were not present. It was very difficult seeing them as a couple when the bounding moments were rare. Even the “just friends” moments were kind of non-existent, only spoken from Summer’s POV and without a lot of details..

But, even if this was present, the plot for me was flat.. Nothing really happened in this book, besides some things that didn’t imply a certain dynamic to it. And besides that, there were some parts in the book totally unnecessary, that referred to the drama Summer’s friend lived in their love life.. I like when a writer is describing certain aspects, but necessary aspects, fundamental one, not boring stuff that had nothing to do there and just don’t influence the story with anything.

To conclude, it was an OK read, but with a lot of loose ends and incomplete characters.. Good that enjoyed Caden and that made me raise the ratings a little.

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