Thursday, 29 January 2015

Mandy Lou Dowson - Stepbrother, Mine (Taboo Series #1)

*Contains adult themes
**Review by Susan

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

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?

So we meet Sophie, the never been kissed, sixteen year old on her mother's wedding day. Sophie had no siblings till that day. The mother-daughter relationship is clear to see and the bond they have is perfect. She was truly happy for mum as the perfect bride to be on her wedding day, with her daughter as bridesmaid. It was that day that would change the rest of Sophie's life forever. Meeting the handsome stranger, with no formal introduction, it felt exciting and new and as I can only explain it, inexorably mean to be. I could almost feel the static in the air reading about them, forgetting they were in fact teenagers.  
The inevitable happens when the two are introduced and it dawns on them that the attraction they felt should just be squashed, they were siblings now...well it's easier in theory. How could they create a sibling bond?  

"...I'm not your brother, I'm your stepbrother, which means anything we do with, or to each other is entirely legal."
"But hardly moral..."

A separation for a year another birthday would bring awful news, and rather than facing their attraction again, the pair cling onto one another through the worst news. We see them fall apart.

"....I'll always be here for you Soph....I'll always be your family..."

We meet the couple a number of years later, when Sophie is settled with her then partner and Logan is, well, Logan :)
But he continues to be the support he claimed he would be, he speaks to her frequently about her issues or bad dreams and frequent late night phone calls continue. He pulls Sophie from the darkest hours she has and reminds her of the good. He is the perfect, sometimes hilarious gentleman.

However when Sophie finds herself single, the first person she runs to is Logan. They reconnect not only emotionally but physically and it leaves Sophie feeling confused once again doubtful of others judgments and her feelings, rather than grasping onto some kind of happiness. She runs and this time Logan's hurt and resentment is clear to see. He reaches out but gets nothing.  

When the pair meet back up under a business contract they seem like different people. But the attraction is no less. However Logan's hurt is evident and makes him become a character difficult to like. Would he push Sophie too far? Would she be able to refuse the biggest contract her small business have ever been offered? Would he make her jump through hoops to fulfill the contract? 

The book was amazing. So completely different from the 'Moon Bound Series' but brilliant none the less. The characters were brilliant and although it was a hard read at points, it was a constant page turner and so emotional. All I desperately wanted was for them both to find their own happiness.  

Even someone close to Sophie can realise her feelings for Logan and I hoped maybe that would be the permission she needed to grant herself some happiness.  

A five star read and the same for my steam meter ;)

You can keep in touch with Mandy and news about her books on her Facebook or Twitter

Get your copy of Stepbrother, Mine here (UK) or here (US).

I was sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

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