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Monster Stepbrother by Harlow Grace: A Review
A lot of stepsibling romance books have been published recently. I guess there is a demand for such a theme. I don’t blame readers for wanting such a forbidden relationship. It seems exciting and romantic at the same time. I have read quite a few of this type of stories until I chance upon Monster Stepbrother by Harlow Grace.
Monster Stepbrother Synopsis
Four years apart, Maya and Oliver have difficulty dealing with one another after they are forced to become siblings following the marriage of their parents. At 12 years old, Maya cannot understand why Oliver pushes her away and seems to develop a severe bout of hatred towards her. Oliver at 16 years old chooses to direct his distress on Maya.
Few years apart, both have grown and matured in some ways. Maya at 16 is no longer the shy and gangly girl. She has become a vixen, fully aware of her attractiveness. Oliver has turned out to be more serious with life and he has learned to accept his new family. However, he is drawn to his stepsister’s good looks and lushness. It is even a struggle to pull her out of his system especially when Maya continuously taunts him. When things get a little out of hand, Oliver hesitantly runs off, leaving Maya in distress and self-loathing.
Two years later, Maya and Oliver finally succumb to their attraction but on agreed terms. Their constant interaction made them closer and acquainted with one another. Feelings are heightened and relationships developed. And this prompted Oliver to leave her for good to give her the freedom she deserves.
Three years after his depart; Oliver has an established career and Bianca as a girlfriend. Despite the stability of his life, his hunger for Maya has not died down. In the hopes of putting an end to his misery, he decides to get married. Upon hearing Oliver’s news, Larissa confronts Maya and tells her everything she needs to know. Secrets are revealed and grown-up Maya is left to fight for their love.
Monster Stepbrother – A Review
The personalities of the main and support characters are good enough.
The main characters are likeable and their development is as expected. However, the additions of their differing issues were not laid out well.
- Maya didn’t seem like a troubled girl. She was pretty normal to me and that was acceptable. The addition of her problems made her character veer off. I guess her issues were not clear from the start. I actually didn’t think she had concerns so the shift came off for me.
- Oliver is typical male in books – domineering, mysterious and attractive with a hitch. He is a guy swoon-worthy that will break hearts. Although his character has been well-played, I was expecting more from him. The title is “Monster Stepbrother,” so I expected him to be tougher and fiercer. There may be scenes that demonstrate the more vicious side of him but those are easily toppled by his weakness. I contemplated after reading the book on why the impact was not the way I expected it to be. I think it would have been best if Oliver’s POV started in the last few chapters to seep his cruel side before readers will get the story behind his actions.
The supporting characters have their own stories to tell but I like how the author subdued their personalities to highlight Maya and Oliver.
- Alec is a pleasant man who loves his daughter. He may have handled things differently but he is depicted as a good man.
- Larissa has been portrayed as a self-centered woman. However, she was redeemed in the last pages of the book. After knowing all about her, I was a bit disappointed that she was not vindicated soon enough. A change in her personality would have prompted important scenes such as meaningful conversations with Oliver and girl bonding with Maya.
- Quinn is a colorful and intriguing personality. She added spice into Maya’s boring character. I’m just glad she is getting her own story out soon.
- Bianca is the opposite of Larissa. You would love to hate her. I know I did. But in the last scenes, I can see her vulnerability. So, I guess she just shows her tough side and no nonsense attitude to hide her insecurities.
- Gerard served as a gauge to Oliver’s level of maturity. While Gerard remains playful, selfish and free, Oliver is the opposite – somber, considerate and subdued. It was good the author added this character.
The turning point in Maya and Oliver’s situation is a breath of fresh air. Most stories with this theme struggle the approval of their families and the society as well. This is expected of course. However, I must commend the author for coming up with a resolution that laid everything to rest. Monster Stepbrother has a happy ending without question.