** ARC received for an honest review**
Bad Romance written by Jen McLaughlin dips into the taboo topic of stepbrother / stepsister romance that has been pretty popular lately. The book begins with Jackson Worthington as an 18 year old boy who doesn’t get along with his family. His mother doesn’t care for him and his stepfather only wants to use him as he see fit in his corporate world. His best friend was Lily, his 15 year old step sister who he secretly loved. She could do no wrong. Lily toed the line with her father and never rebelled once.
Jackson wants to do what he wants in life and what he wants is to join the Army but that doesn’t fit into his step father’s plans. One night there is an encounter with Lily that gets him kicked out of the house. He finally gets what he’s always want, freedom, but it came at the price of losing Lily.
Seven years later, Jackson is back in the states due to an injury he received overseas. Jackson is fighting many battles. He’s suffers from PTSD, trying to get back to life outside of a war-zone, and figuring out what to do with the rest of his life. No one knows he’s home and he isn’t really planning on telling anyone but there is a chance encounter one night that brought Lily back into his life.
Lily has always been in love with Jackson. That night seven years ago when Jackson walked away hurt her. She spent time writing him only never getting a response. So she grew up. Went to college and got a degree in what her father wanted and is now engaged to a man she doesn’t want to marry all because her father wants it. She wants out but she knows there are people at risk of losing everything if she makes the wrong decision. Now with Jackson around she no longer wants to be good and follow her father’s orders. She wants Jackson but it could be at the cost of something she can’t afford.
Overall, this was an ok book. Jackson had many reservations when it came to Lily and rightfully so. She always does what her fathers says and never deviates from the plan. It was hard to connect with Lily. It seemed like everyone was walking all over her and she just let it happen. I felt that there were some loose ends that needed to be tied up besides the relationship between Jackson and Lily at the end but it was a nice quick read.
Reviewed by Susan for Itsy Bitsy Book Bits