Monday, August 3, 2015

REVIEW: Arrogant Bastard: A Stepbrother Romance by Winter Renshaw

26001775Arrogant Bastard: A Stepbrother Romance by Winter Renshaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description: 

The last time my father beat me to a bloody pulp was the night he walked in on me banging my step-mother in his bed. 

To be fair, she seduced me. And to be honest, I liked it. But to CPS, I was a victim. 

They shipped me to Utah where my estranged mother lived with her husband and two sister-wives. And that’s when I met her. My innocent, wholesome, perfect step-sister. Well, one of many. But Waverly stood out because just like me, we’d been fighting a losing battle our entire lives. 

Falling for her was a mistake, but shit, it’s not like I ever made good decisions. 

Fuck being “family.” I must have Waverly Miller, and I won’t stop until she’s mine. 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a full-length, standalone, HEA romance. Contains forbidden themes as well as religious undertones not meant to offend. Please be 18+.

Wow. So, this book isn’t your typical stepbrother story. I’ll be honest and say that prior to reading this, I didn’t read the FULL synopsis. I knew that Jensen was beaten by his father and sent to live with his mother, but it wasn’t until I read the Letter from the Author at the beginning, that I realized this also had polygamous relationships. I’d never read anything like this before, and can’t say that the polygamous part appealed to me, but it definitely set this apart from all the other stepbrother books out there.

The book starts out with a bang. Right from the beginning, you’re thrown into Jensen’s crazy world. He’s a fanatical preacher’s kid who had a bad home life. After getting caught in bed with his stepmom, by his dad, and badly beaten for it, he’s sent to live with his mom. But things just go from weird to weirder for him. He’s totally not expecting the situation he walks into. And he’s not expecting Waverly either.

Waverly was someone that was the good girl, she towed the line, biding her time until she could get to college and start living. But Jensen came along and changed things. Waverly wanted to really experience life but due to the secret nature of her family, she wasn’t able to. And while Jensen did help her really start living, he also threw a monkey wrench into the plans because even without proof of their relationship, her dad seemed to sense their closeness and used it to manipulate Waverly.

I think the biggest surprise in this book was how Waverly and Jensen were able to sneak around for as long as they did. With such a strict family, I think I expected it to be harder. I kept expecting there to be a breakup of some kind, and while that did happen, it wasn’t through the actions or choice of Jensen or Waverly. It came due to her dad separating them and sending Waverly away to become a sister-wife herself. It was an interesting twist and there was an even bigger twist with how she was saved from that fate.

This book was definitely interesting. It had a more “taboo” feel to it, but ironically, it wasn’t really the step element that gave it that feel. Yes, that was an issue for the characters, but it wasn’t the only issue. My only real issue with the book was the awkward time jumps that occurred. One was while Jensen and Waverly were in school…one page they were still there and the next, they had graduated. The same happened with their “summer camp”…one page they were just starting and the next, it was over. I realize that to fully chronicle the end of the school year and the “summer camp” it might have caused the story to drag, but the time jumps could have transitioned a little better.

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