Thursday, February 12, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: Stepbrother Mine by Mandy Lou Dowson!

Title: Stepbrother, Mine
Series: Taboo #1
Author: Mandy Lou Dowson
 Release Date: January 29, 2015

They were always taught that family was about more than blood, but when step-siblings Sophie Ellis and Logan Castle meet for the first time, their attraction is instantaneous. Forever trying to keep each other at arm's length, they discover that sometimes the best laid plans fall apart, when lovers fall together.

He's everything she's ever fantasized about, and everything she can never have.

She's all he's ever wanted, but never hoped to have.

Trying so hard to be his stepsister, she can't shake the attraction she feels.

He decides it's best to leave, but when circumstances see them reunite, and he discovers their initial attraction is still there after all the intervening years, he can't help himself. He has to have her.

Running scared, she cuts all ties.

Left behind, his bitterness grows.

When again circumstances force her back into his arms, her past comes back to haunt her.

He's determined to make her pay for leaving him.  

Desires are forbidden. Loyalties are tested. Hearts are broken. And in the end, is love strong enough to conquer all?

**This book is a stand alone. It is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18, due to explicit scenes, language and situations.

Here’s the deal….I both loved and hated this book. So for me, the best way to review this, and rate it, is to break it down in parts.

Part 1 – 5 stars

I really enjoyed this part. Nice set up of the wedding and a great intro to the characters. I loved meeting Sophie and Logan. Loved seeing them meet for the first time. I also loved the instant attraction they had prior to knowing that they were the new step-siblings. I loved the flirting that happened and Sophie’s embarrassing blunders. They had me cracking up.

Sophie was 16 and Logan 18…so I was wondering how the author was going to bridge the gap of ages until Sophie was an adult, and I got my answer…which brings me to….

Part 2 – 5 stars

I also really enjoyed this part. I loved seeing how Sophie and Logan were coping & fighting their attraction on her 17th birthday. I loved her birthday celebration that turned into a quasi-date night for Sophie and Logan when everyone else had plans.

Again, Sophie’s blunders continued, and she says they only happen when she’s around Logan. And I could see how that would happen. Both of them are fighting their attraction because they’re “family” and she’s nervous and that leads to some unfortunate…uh…incidents. They were hilarious (well, to me). Part of what I loved about the birthday “date” was the pizza on the bench in the park. And no, it’s not because it was pizza (anyone that knows me knows pizza is my go to food…always). I loved the scene because it was sweet and filled with the connection between them. And the end of the night was just heartbreaking when Sophie refused to go there because of their family connection.

Skip ahead one year and you finally have Sophie’s 18th birthday. Logan is done waiting, he’s finally going to claim the woman that’s claimed his heart. The dinner scene was probably one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, the night did not go as planned for Logan. Just as he was on the verge of spilling his guts and putting his heart out there, Sophie and Logan received some devastating news. This brings me to part 3…

Part 3 – 4 stars

After the horrible events on Sophie’s 18th birthday, Logan and Sophie stuffed their feelings into a box and went about life as sister and brother/best friends. They were both dealing with loss and they were there for each other. They helped each other through their grief, always turning to each other during hard times. I loved this part because it just reinforced their connection and deepened their relationship.

Both had finished college, got jobs and started their lives. Sophie was dating a complete douche canoe that didn’t deserve her. Man, I couldn’t stand him! I was actually surprised that she was still with him. I saw the twist with him coming a mile away. To be honest, I was hoping for it because I couldn’t stand him and I wanted him gone!

Sure enough, Sophie finds out he’s not the prince charming he pretends to be and she runs right to Logan. This is the part I’ve been waiting for! It met all my expectations and surpassed them! I loved Sophie and Logan together during this part. I loved seeing them together. And of course, now that both are single, those pesky feelings for each other start rearing their ugly heads. They still fought it but it came to a head and FINALLY! they got together…and IT. WAS. HOT.

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Unfortunately, guilt reared its ugly head (seriously, who invited guilt to the party!? It just ruined what could have been the best book ever!). So, feeling guilty, Sophie takes off, ignores Logan and with hurt feelings all the way around we jump forward another year.

*sigh* Up until this point, I was seriously loving the book. It had 5 stars written all over it for me. But I got ahead of myself. *humorless laugh* I actually had the thought of “Man, I’m on a roll with awesome books! I hope I find another one after this.” And I totally jinxed myself because no sooner did that thought cross my mind and this book took a turn for the worse for me.

Sophie was stupid for cutting Logan off completely. Logan… was a complete idiot. My issue came with the change in Logan. He went from a great guy that’s beyond hot and loves Sophie to a complete jackass. I actually wanted to go all QoH on him for his actions. It just didn’t seem like him. At one point, when he threatened the contract for her business, I had to put my kindle down and walk away from the book. I just couldn’t stand Logan at that point.

I was thankful that he seemed to come to his senses shortly after going home after his stupid ultimatum to Sophie. And I was especially happy that Sophie had a good head on her shoulders and turned him down. It would have seriously pissed me off if she had agreed to his awful deal. I was glad that she stuck to her guns and said no. I was also pleased to see that he wasn’t a jerk about her saying no and she still got the contract. And thus began the intricate dance of will they or won’t they. I have to say that I was beyond pleased with the party and how things went down. Yes, I wish Sophie hadn’t run from him…again…especially after that letter from her mom. But, I love the chemistry between Sophie and Logan and loved the scene where they FINALLY talked and got together.

This book was such a rollercoaster for me. I’m still not on board with the change in Logan. I get he was hurt and even heartbroken, but I’m just not down with the way he treated her. His only saving grace was that he realized pretty quickly how big his error was. But overall, I really did enjoy this book. It’s a solid 4.5 stars. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

*There is a HEA, this is a stand-alone* 

Mandy Lou Dowson was born and raised in a small town in Ireland, in 1983, and at this stage in life, she's pretty sure the town won't let her leave. Family is a huge deal to Mandy. She has three wonderful children (most of the time), and two Siberian Huskies who are each as naughty as the other – in fact, she's sure they egg each other on in silly cartoon voices when nobody is looking.


“Climb out the window and get covered in mud.”

“No, I did it last time. You do it!”

“R'uh, r'oh, here SHE is. Shhh.”


When she's not writing, reading, or plotting her next book -- or, you know, world domination – , she likes to relax with a few glasses of wine and some karaoke. You can usually find her procrastinating on social media of some sort, chatting to fans and talking nonsense.
Mandy started reading at quite a young age and her appetite for the written word has only increased with time. It would not be at all surprising to find her reading anything and everything from shampoo bottles to Edgar Allan Poe.
She is the author of three different genres of romance books. The Moon Bound series, which is in the Paranormal Romance genre, and is gathering rave reviews, and the Taboo series, which is Contemporary with a hint of the forbidden, the first of which has gathered very mixed reviews across the board, from one extreme to the other.

She has also made a foray into Dark Romance recently, with her first title in the genre, Retribution, releasing in Summer 2015.

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