He told me to settle.
He asked what was wrong with me.
He called me an easy target.
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.
Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.
I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?
Okay, y’all…look at that cover. I do not know who the model is but to say I’ve been lusting over him for a few months would not be a lie. This cover caught my eye and I’ve been waiting for the book ever since.
We start by meeting Summer, who is starting college and it happens to be the same college that her stepbrother, Kevin, attends. Summer used to have feelings for Kevin, but that was before he betrayed her. Some wouldn’t call it betrayal, but I would because Kevin is just…I honestly don’t think every horrible word I can find describes Kevin. He’s just a manipulative user and just treats everyone like garbage. I mean, he truly does. Tijan did an amazing job making me hate Kevin. Like, just writing this post makes my blood boil again.
The initial scene is Summer covering for Kevin, but its before she really is aware of what’s happening and I don’t think she truly knows what Kevin does nor his reputation. But this is also when she meets Caden.
Sort of an injection here: I absolutely LOVED how Summer was portrayed. I appreciated how we, as readers, get to realize how attractive Summer is. She isn’t made into that character that is super hot but just doesn’t know it. And yes, Summer clearly is attractive but doesn’t know it. But that doesn’t mean she is wallowing in low self-esteem either, or total oblivion. Summer is sort of socially awkward and funny and just herself. I think if Tijan hadn’t made her character be that way, I don’t honestly think it would have been believable to see Caden being interested in her.
I also adored Caden. Another side note: this is my first Tijan book. I know, I realize the error of my ways and please forgive me. She is freaking incredible. Getting back on topic (sorry, I stalled out from having a mini fangirl moment). Caden has the reputation of being broody, a fighter, sort of a man-whore. But I love how Caden calls it what it is. If he wants to get drunk and have sex, he does and will. He just owns it. And not in a cocky way. Its matter-of-fact and truthful.
As the story goes, we see different situations happen, but Summer and Caden never really confirm anything. Its obvious they are together, but Summer isn’t sure of the actual title and while she sort of wants to know, she also goes with it. I don’t think until a very pivotal scene later does she fully realize that Caden does truly have feelings for her.
I feel like I’m selling this review a little short but only in the face of saving spoilers. Because I don’t want to spoil the last 20% or so for you. Which, for the record, had me messaging Tijan at like, 1:30AM and telling her thanks for ALMOST killing me but that my soul is slowly being revived. I want you to experience that for yourself. I was caught off-guard and she kills the ending.
I just adored this book. Anti Stepbrother is so good, I would recommend this to everyone. Summer and Caden had one of the most realistic connections and relationships that I’ve read about lately. I mean, we always see the characters connect, but this was different. This was that connection that you want to have, but just can’t because we don’t always have it with everyone. So stop reading my blabbing about connections, go one-click!