When I request an ARC for review, I don’t always know quite what I’m requesting or what I will get. I figured that this would be a trashy romance (I was right) with a fair amount of sex (maybe less than a ‘fair’ amount) and be along the lines of a fairy tale or fable (because of the “Once Upon” sub-title. I was wrong.
This very short book (it does not quite meet the requirement length of a novella but instead is novelette length) spends a chapter setting up a back story, a chapter setting up the present day, then a couple of chapters of will they/won’t they? And then finally a resolution.
This novelette comes across as mostly just a tease for a little bit of graphic sex at the end.
There’s nothing ‘wrong’ here. The writing is fine, the concept is okay. But it’s not satisfying. A little more time developing the characters and the story would have made this more interesting and presumably led to a better climax (pun intended).
I’m not sure what the purpose of the story is. I’m guessing that this is a ‘forbidden lust’ sort of book? Step-brother/step-sister? Related, but not by blood, so it’s a little strange but not totally wrong? The “Once Upon a Stepbrother” makes it sound like it’s a fairy tale, and there is a wicked step-mother involved, but there’s otherwise nothing fairy-tale or fable-ish about this.
For a short erotic tale, there wasn’t really enough eroticism in it. It’s all at the end. There’s no foreplay here. It’s set-up, character, sex, done. I liked the idea. The total destruction of art and passion within the young man was really interesting, and I would have loved to see much more here with him struggling to get that back with his stepsister’s help. But in 17,000 words, it just jumps around much too quickly.
Let’s hope author Rachel Kenley develops her natural writing talent and reels the reader in a little more with some story.
Looking for a good book? Her Frozen Stepbrother is an erotic novelette by Rachel Kenley that doesn’t spend enough time letting the story develop.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Her Frozen Stepbrother: A Once Upon A Stepbrother Novella
author: Rachel Kenley
publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
ebook, 58 pages