Review: Stepbrother, Mine by Opal Carew (Stepbrother, Mine #1, #2, and #3)

Note: These ARCs were provided by St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Please be advised that this review covers all four parts of the Stepbrother, Mine mini-series by bestselling author Opal Carew. Each part will have a brief summary and review and then I'll put together my thoughts on the mini-series as a whole to close everything out. ^.^

Stepbrother, Mine (Part One)
After learning that her mother will no longer be paying for her graduate studies, Dana finds herself in desperate need of funding. Her best friend suggests an unconventional but highly profitable means to an end: putting Dana's virginity up for auction. When she's informed someone has already won, she's more than surprised when she comes face to face with the man who starred in her teen fantasies ten years ago.

This was a good start to serial, one that introduced readers to the two main characters and their relationship to one another. Dana's mother was once married to Mason's father. She was then sixteen and he was twenty-six. Even then, there was an attraction but the line was never crossed. When Mason leaves two years later, Dana can't help but feel abandoned by him and it's eight years before they see each other.

Mason is a Dominant, but his current crop of submissives bore him. Learning about Dana's plan to sell her virginity has him acting quickly, but his reasons for doing so aren't borne out of lust. There isn't a hint of his BDSM tendencies when he's with Dana because he still views her as very innocent in this first installment, but it's to be expected that it'll come into play in either or both of the next two installments. 

The story is intriguing, though it isn't as taboo as you would think since they are no longer step-siblings. Mason appears to have always been protective of Dana, but their attraction is even more palpable ten years later. The role Mason's father plays has me curious as to how it will all come into play as their story progresses. This was a very short and very quick read and definitely does the job whetting one's appetite.

Rating: four stars

Stepbrother, Mine (Part Two)
Mason has always done whatever was necessary to make sure that Dana was safe and protected. His attraction to her has never been in question, and while they may no longer be step-siblings, he knows Dana deserves a man who can cherish her and give her everything she wants. He also knows he isn't that man. But Dana wants to give him a part of herself that will make it even more difficult for Mason to walk away.

This second installment explains why Mason left the home he shared with Dana and their parents eight years ago and his feelings for her all those years ago are clearer. Readers also see exactly why Mason was protective of Dana when she was still a teenager and what kind of man his father really is. His first foray into BDSM is also brought to light here, as well as how that one incident affected both his life and Dana's.

Dana gets a tiny taste of Mason's need for dominance and control, and her reaction to it could be the very thing that either makes or breaks their relationship. Mason, of course, doesn't want his BDSM kink to touch Dana because he doesn't think she's the kind of woman that would welcome or understand it, and it's an integral part of his life, something that he appears unwilling to change even for the woman he cares for.

I was surprised by the re-appearance of someone from Mason's past and the role she currently plays in his life. I couldn't help but wonder if her being there was what it appeared to be or if it was a ploy to destroy Dana and Mason's relationship. So far, the story has continued to be entertaining, and this second serial is a read that anyone could finish in less than an hour. It certainly had me raring to find out how it all ends.

Rating: four stars

Stepbrother, Mine (Part Three)
Dana finally learns Mason's secret, but he refuses to taint her with any of it, pushing her away every chance he gets. But Dana is far more determined to show him just how far she's willing to go to remain by her side and get them to the happily ever after they've waited for for a decade. However, someone is determined that Mason and Dana never achieve the happiness they seek, no matter what it'll take to do so.

Once Mason decides to let Dana know about his being a Dominant and his need for BDSM, which explains why he doesn't think they'll work out in the end, he's determined to turn her off from the lifestyle she's now very curious of. The thing is, Mason has underestimated Dana and the lengths she's willing to go through to make him realize that she accepts everything about him, even his alternative sexual lifestyle.

There were times that I felt Mason went a bit too far with Dana, and while I understand that he was doing so because he wanted her to be the one to walk away from him, this was also an introduction to a lifestyle that she was unfamiliar with. Of course, curiosity mixed together with love can be a potent mix and Dana's determination was a strange combination of foolhardiness and courage. Ah, the things one does for love.

This third and final installment in the mini-series ties everything together satisfactorily and readers get to see if Mason and Dana's relationship is able to survive Dana's delving into the world of BDSM. She does, after all, seem to be more than willing to do anything and everything for Mason, even though she is somewhat willful and naive. Still, I came away from this feeling adequately entertained all throughout.

Rating: four stars

Each of the three serials were short reads and even combined, they won't take that long to get through. Mason and Dana's love story plays on the whole taboo step-sibling romance trend that appears to have exploded this year. The thing with step-sibling romances is that the individuals involved aren't really related by blood, and in the case of Mason and Dana, their relationship takes place after their parents have been divorced for quite a number of years. The attraction and connection between them was never really consummated while their parents were married, unless you count that one kiss they suddenly engaged in.

The overall story was enjoyable, though there were times that Dana felt more like a teenager than an actual twenty-six-year-old woman, and I'm not saying that merely because she was a virgin. Mason's feelings for her are far more tempered and it basically shows that he's got a better sense of control on his emotions. He's also very protective of her, often leading him to act abhorrently because he thinks she's better without him. There's a lot of sex in all three installments but still with enough romance to make you believe this wasn't all about lust. The Stepbrother, Mine mini-series gets an average rating of four stars. ♥

Release Dates:
Part One - 28 July 2015
Part Two - 04 August 2015
Part Three - 11 August 2015

Date Read: 09 August 2015

Learn more about Opal Carew here.

Purchase Stepbrother, Mine on:
Part One - Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Part Two - Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Part Three - Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Complete Mini-Series (pre-order) - Amazon | B&N | Kobo


Popular posts from this blog

Review: By a Thread by Lucy Score

Release Blitz: By a Thread by Lucy Score

Book Spotlight: Cherry Pie by Samantha Kane