Review – Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan

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Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Sometimes when you least expect it, love throws a curveball your way. It sneaks up on you and steals your heart and soul, brandishing you to its power with a force as strong as the sun. Books are like love; we get lost in them. We feel them. We experience them. We are under their spell. Stories seize us unpredictably as love does, becoming much more. Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan stole my heart and soul like the power of love, crashing into me with a force I never saw coming, but one that made me splendidly succumb to this story over and over again.

From the first few pages, Anti-Stepbrother intoxicated me where I was immersed into the college world. These charismatic characters quickly became my classmates and my friends. As my college days flashed before my eyes, I was thrusted back to a care-free time of university life with classes, books, frat parties, and first time love. I lived and breathed this book as Anti-Stepbrother seeped into me, extracting every emotion, stealing every piece of me.

The story started out slow but a burn built that beckoned me right into the flames as my heart caught fire, a slow burn seeping into my soul. My emotions were heightened, swirling around in my head like a hurricane, waiting to hit where they would flood…all over me.

Beautiful Summer Stoltz has lusted after her stepbrother, Kevin, ever since her father married his mother and they moved into his house. One of the most popular guys on campus, Kevin filtered through girlfriends like water. Summer chased Kevin to college, hoping to be his permanent princess. Instead, Kevin’s enemy, a tough and gorgeous guy who was more popular on campus than Kevin, caught her eye and Summer could not stop looking at the beautiful distraction named Caden Banks.

“I’d always had Kevin on a pedestal, and for the first time, he looked less than. He now stood against a guy who seemed more male in almost every way.”

I LOVE CADEN! Caden Banks is all man. Tall, tattooed, muscular, genuine, and intense in every way that people stay out of his way.

Summer doesn’t like the cocky Caden at first though can’t dislike him either as her emotions run rampant.

“I hated him. No. I only wish I did.”

Somehow, in harmony over what a douche Summer’s stepbrother Kevin is, an odd alliance and friendship form between the lower-classman, Summer, and the upper-classman, Caden. One is shy, inexperienced and awkward. The other is confident and candid. Together…they work.

“I’d come to this event a nobody, but suddenly, with the acknowledgment that Caden Banks knew me, I knew I wouldn’t be a nobody for long.”

I wanted to scoop Summer up into a hug as her self-confidence needed a big boost. Cayden and Summer become fast friends, hanging out together all the time and sparking interest on campus. Suddenly, Summer is significant.

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Summer is more reserved at first and appears meek, but Caden is the sun that makes her sprout, helping Summer growing from lamb to lioness. As Summer and Caden become closer, their friendship walks the line of love, confusing what they are…what they can be. That attraction brewing between them is building into something bigger.

“I looked at him and knew my emotions were shining through. If he’d glanced back at me, he would’ve seen everything I felt.”

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Chemistry charges like a bull, hitting Summer and Caden with a sudden urge, forcing them out of the friend zone. 

“I don’t know who started it, but it didn’t matter because we were kissing. His mouth was on mine. I was underneath him. I wanted to be more than underneath. I wanted to be with all of him…I just wanted to take his hurt away.”

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These beautiful and bare words cut straight into me like a knife. My emotions were scattered all over the pages.

“She calmed me. She quieted me. She made the anger go away.”

Caden is broken but Summer is the glue helping repair his shattered soul.

“I wasn’t the sun. I was just reprieve in the darkness.”

As Summer and Caden get closer, the past strikes hard like lightning, threatening their new-found friendship and budding love.

“He delivered a bomb to me and stepped back as it detonated. I felt wrecked, but could only nod, because in that moment, I would’ve have given him anything.”

The wreckage ruined me; my heart shattered as I hoped for healing and happiness. Hoping for Summer and Caden to heal each other. Praying that the dark knight and his princess would ride off into the sunset together.

“I broke for someone who couldn’t break.”

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Anti-Stepbrother broke me with a heavy hit to my heart where my tears bled onto the pages. Happy tears. Heartbreaking tears. Hopeful tears. The beauty in these words warmed my body and soul; I felt every word I read. Words that reached inside and grabbed my heart hard, tugging it the whole way where it stayed stuck in this story.

Tijan RUINED ME with Anti-Stepbrother in THE BEST WAY!!! Caden has my heart…THIS MAN IS EVERYTHING. THIS STORY IS EVERYTHING. My head was full of swoony sensations and so much goodness! I had not read a college romance that hit me that hard since Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster.

I did not expect to fall in insta-love with Anti-Stepbrother but I did. I did not expect this sweet and swoony story, Anti-Stepbrother, to shoot stars into my eyes and daggers in my heart but oh it did. I did not expect much of anything but got everything. Every tear. Every smile. Every laugh. Every gasp. Every beat of my heart. Anti-Stepbrother stole them all.

Anti-Stepbrother dug itself into my heart, penetrating it profusely and poignantly. I fell in love with this soul-searing story over and over again. I did not want to be done with my Anti-Stepbrother in a story I felt had only begun, one where the feels will remain long after the last page.


5 devastatingly beautiful stars 

View all my reviews


He told me to ‘settle, girl.’
He asked if ‘something was wrong with me?’
He said I was 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?


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