I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what would happen if I fell in love with the anti-stepbrother instead?
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He told me to ‘settle, girl.’
He asked if ‘something was wrong with me?’
He said I was an ‘easy target.’
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.
Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.
I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what would happen if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?
This is a far cry from what I usually read, anyone who knows my reading taste, knows I don’t do stepbrother books. However, this blurb seriously intrigued me, so I gave it a chance and had a go.
Summer Stoltz had one night with her stepbrother and followed him to college. I don’t thinks she truly knew what she actually wanted but I don’t ever believed she loved him. I think she thought she was in love with him. It was a turning point in this book when she realised that. This book is not about her being in love with her stepbrother, it is about her recognising her value, her self worth and knowing that when she met the right person, it would be the person who loved her for who she was. I am so proud of her growth in this book as she started off as a naïve female in my personal opinion but she grew to be someone who put herself and her own happiness first. Rather than trying to please everyone else.
Caden Banks is a hot sexy man who is also Summer’s stepbrother fraternity brother. It took me a while to get that one to stick in my head but I digress. He takes an immediate shine to Summer and I’ll admit to smiling on more than one occasion when he was there for the moment she needed him. It was so endearing to see. Caden is stuck in the middle for a while because Kevin the stepbrother was sleeping with his biological brother Marcus’s girlfriend. There is no love lost between Marcus and Kevin, this took over a lot of the drama but you’ll understand why. Summer had to realise that her ‘dreams’ of Kevin loving her was not going to happen, and that the true person that loved her just as much as she loved him was right in front of her. Again, the moment she realises that I smiled so much, it was a testament to how much she changed as a person and changed for the better.
This title is slightly misleading in my opinion but at the same time I think it’s a good thing, people should go into this book assuming one thing and actually finding out it is a different premise altogether. I am not a stepbrother romance fan and I’m still not but this doesn’t fit into the stepbrother romance category, it fits in a romance genre. I think anyone who is looking for a slightly different read and a riskier premise will really enjoy this book. It has promise, it has potential and I thoroughly enjoyed every single second of it. I am rating this 4.5 stars because I felt the drama between Kevin and Marcus and Maggie was just dragged on longer than necessary but it is a solid enjoyable story which is the main thing.
He wasn’t looking at me any more. I wasn’t even sure he was really in the room.
I needed to leave this alone. He had given me the clues—looking away, his jaw clenching, pain like I’d never heard from him sounding loud and clear. My instincts were telling me to shut up, but I couldn’t. I had this burning need to know more about Caden. I needed to get in there, past his walls, and I wanted to understand him.
I wanted to help him.
Caden was hurting, and I wanted to take that away.
Caden turned his gaze to me now, and I felt branded by the pain I saw. His eyes were stricken. “Does it matter?”
“No.” My breath caught and held in my chest. I wanted to go to him, but I also wanted to slink away. I was stirring up his pain, but I had to know. “What happened, Caden?”
“Why do you have to know?”
“Because it’s hurting you.”
I made a decision, though I had no idea what the ramifications were going to be. I stood, my legs going numb and my stomach clenching, and I moved to his side. He leaned back, his head falling to the couch, and he watched me.
The need to ease some of his hurt outweighed the fear of what would happen next. Swallowing tightly, I stepped over to straddle him and sat down.
“What are you doing?”
He asked that softly, still holding his beer. I took it from his hands and put it on the stand next to the couch. Then I just sat there. He had to do the rest. I’d already made the first move.
I glanced down at his hands, feeling like an idiot. “What happened?”
“Why are you pushing this?”
I looked back up to find confusion warring with need in his eyes. He wasn’t pushing me away, so I sank further into his lap.
“You haven’t told anyone else about this.” It wasn’t really a question, but I saw the confirmation in his eyes. My chest tightened, thinking about whatever secret he held. “Please tell me.”
“No.” He shifted forward, and I braced myself, expecting him to push me away. He didn’t. His hands grasped the backs of my legs and lifted me so I was more fully on his lap.
I could feel him between my legs, and my breasts almost pressed against his chest. I waited. I wanted to see what else he’d say
“But not because I don’t want you to know,” he added. “Because it’s not my secret to tell.”
I nodded, my stomach doing somersaults now. “That makes sense. I can respect that.”
And there we were. His hands cupped my ass, and the pain in his gaze became something darker, something I felt too, something that began to turn off all rational thought.
“What are we doing here?” he questioned, his voice like a caress in itself.
I leaned forward, my gaze lingering on his lips. “I didn’t really think it through.”
“Still not thinking it through.”
“You’re okay with that?”
In that moment, the truth exploded in me. I wanted him. I wanted this—but it was more. I needed this.
I didn’t answer.
I closed the distance between us.