Review: Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan

Reviewed by Elise

Tijan is a prolific romance novelist and chances are you have come across one of her books. The title might be cheesy, the content is anything but.

Anti-Stepbrother is the story of Summer. Summer’s mother died and her father remarried the nurse who cared for her. This nurse just so happened to be the mother of Summer’s high school crush. Are you still with me? ┬áSo in summary Summer’s crush is now her step brother. The book starts with her going to college where he went the year before. Summer’s dad and new step mother are supportive and caring and Summer appears to have adjusted well to her new family.

Summer’s college days start off slow, making some new friends but with all the nerves and fears that come with new transitions in life. The notable exception is when Summer visits her step brother Kevin at his frat house. There she finds him in a rather awkward position with another man’s girlfriend and her heart is broken. Summer blindly flees and runs head first into the tall, dark and handsome Caden. Misunderstanding ensues and Summer and Caden have a less than desirable start to their relationship.

This is a classic friends to lovers story. Summer slowly realizes that stepbrother Kevin is a womanizer and unrepentant home wrecker. While this is happening, Caden slowly opens up to his friend Summer. Summer becomes more involved in Caden’s life, meeting his brothers, learning about the family secrets and becoming more attracted to Caden as the days pass.

Summer and Caden start a tenuous romantic relationship. Caden is burdened by doubts as he knows Summer’s feelings for her stepbrother. As the relationship progresses Caden’s surety about his relationship with Summer solidifies and he declares his love for her. This coincides with some diabolical planning on Kevin’s behalf and Summer realizing that she has not dealt with the death of her mother. Caden decides to give Summer time to grieve. The book, of course, has a happily ever after but not before stomping on our hearts a little.

Friends to lovers is one of my favorite romantic tropes. A well written friends to lovers story is the perfect way to spend a cold winter’s day, snuggled on the lounge and eating chocolate. A cliche, I know, but one I thoroughly indulged in while reading this book. A good story reflects life and for me, friends to lovers is the story of my life and I love reading it over and over.

There were a lot of things that were done right in this book. I liked that Summer didn’t fall victim to Kevin twice, I loved that Summer had a girl gang of friends that had their own petty dramas to keep the story from getting dull, and I love, love, loved that Summer took the time on her own to sort out her own grief and feelings. It brings me such joy to see women stepping up and getting themselves together. Granted Summer was fairly mopey and did rely on her family and friends to help her she didn’t get well again for the sake of a man. She did it for herself first and foremost.

There are so many Tijan books to chose from, why chose just one. If you’re in the mood for a bit of contemporary/new adult romance I can strongly recommend Tijan as a go to author despite some of the book titles.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Tijan
Release Date: August 22, 2016

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