Illicit Reading Fun: Hot Stepbrother Romance W/ Rheanna of Cammo Style Love
by Madeline Iva
Hi Readers! Gonna kick of V-day week with a new mini-series at Lady Smut — Illicit Reading Fun! Spark your romance palate with some smoking hot books you might not have tried before. Today, Rheanna Christine from Cammo Style Love and I are talking about STEPBROTHER ROMANCES.
Let’s Address the “ick” factor and get that out of the way. Okay, so there’s the dude that’s part of your family that you’d never be into– EW! –cause he’s your frickin’ brother–full, half, step, and/or adopted. On the other end of the spectrum is the hot guy who came into your home for a couple years cause his dad was married to your mom for a few years. No, you didn’t grow up with him. No, he doesn’t feel like a sibling. He’s just someone you have a tenuous connection to. And if there’s chemistry there–strong sexual chemistry and feels—what then? It’s a bit gross and almost-incest-y in concept to go for it. Certainly winding up in a relationship for reals with your stepbrother is not something you’d rejoice in explaining to anyone else, or wanna shout from the rooftops, but feeling it can’t happen is just making it h-o-t-t-e-r. What are you supposed to do????
That, my ladies, is what Stepbrother Romances are all about.
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE EVOLUTION OF STEPBROTHER ROMANCE
I actually have no idea what the real origins of stepbrother romance are. But here’s the story I tell myself:
1995: CLUELESS is released and becomes mega-popular. There’s a huge scandal across the land that the heroine of the movie, Cher, played by Alicia Silverstone, winds up with her former step-brother, Josh, played by professional cutie actor, Paul Rudd.
In fact, no one minded at all that these two had once been steps years ago –and for her dad–several wives ago. What’s an ex-stepbrother? Is he still a relative? The big point is no one cared! And once people caught on that this was a remake of Jane Austen’s Emma, people could see this as a modern updating of that classic story. (In Emma, the heroine and hero have siblings who married each other. So they’re sorta related–by marriage. Clueless uses our modern world to create the same kind of situation.)
Fast forward to:
2007 – 2012 GOSSIP GIRL Serena, played by Blake Lively, winds up being a step-sister to Chuck, an ex-boyfriend. A high-school guy she had sex with. Then his dad dies. At the same time, Serena moves on romantically and becomes involved in Dan, played by eternal cutie Penn Badgley. However, they break up. However, Serena’s MOM has also moved on–to her old ex-flame, Dan’s DAD. They marry, and now Serena is yet again in a step-sibling situation with someone she once was boinking.
Did the nation go crazy? Nooooooo — not exactly, but Gossip Girl’s secret sauce was all about pushing buttons in order to create teen melodrama based on values that would make any right thinking parent cringe.
Moving on: 2012. Suddenly, just as Gossip Girl is shutting down, the stepbrother romance thing–which had been gearing up back as early as 2009 was a phenom. Stepbrother romance is a thing. By 2014-2015, it’s everywhere. It’s got all these variations and permutations. Yet Lady Smut–always in the know–has never talked about Stepbrother romances before. Well, at long last the time has come. Bonding with Rheanna Christine at the Washington Romance Writer’s Luncheon over the last few years, I asked her about some of her illicit joys in reading steamy romance and she named Stepbrother romances. Of course, since she is the blogger for Cammo Style Love–it should be no surprise to peeps that her fav flavor of Stepbrother romances is military. She recommended to me a book called STEPBROTHER HERO by Krista Lakes.
Here’s what Rheanna had to say about STEPBROTHER HERO and Stepbrother romances:
RHEANNA CHRISTINE: So, I stumbled across this book quite accidentally during one of my usual “free and cheap” searches on Amazon. I am a particular fan of military romance and this book popped up in the search. First reaction was horror, second reaction was curiosity. And I think this book came at a very pivotal time for me in my romance reading journey. At this time I was sticking mostly with sweet romance and faith based romance. I was really nervous about reading romance in general, which makes me laugh now. I read the back cover and realized that “stepbrother” was kind of a loose description so I decided to jump right on in.
MADELINE IVA: What have you seen around and about in our culture that makes the stepbrother thing just darn fine and not really ‘ish’ if you think about it–for you?
RHEANNA CHRISTINE: Well, I loved Clueless, but I don’t know that I really even picked up on that! I mean I knew they were related by marriage but it was such a far removed relationship. But that is really all secular culture can get away with I think. There will always be some things that are taboo no matter what. But in books I feel like you can get away with more. There was that weird moment in Star Wars that everyone always giggles about– [ The moment where Princess Leia kisses Luke Skywalker in front of Han Solo–only to have it revealed two movies later they’re twins. –MI] –as well as the satirical remake of The Brady Bunch where Marsha and Greg have a little kiss. One of the movies that always pushed the boundaries for me was in the movie CRUEL INTENTIONS. [Another high-school remake of a classic — Dangerous Liaisons–MI] Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a sex-obsessed high schooler that likes to get it on with her step brother. But its also one of those technically they are step brother and sister thing…so it feels just naughty enough to intrigue but not actually naughty.
MADELINE IVA: I really enjoyed STEPBROTHER HERO. Classic erom–the hero is smokin’ hot, and the sex is fabulous. I appreciated the struggles that they had–and I appreciated even more that they were all middle class with the real struggles that ordinary folks face financially. I felt this aspect was authentic and real–while still presenting us with the enjoyable moments, plot twists, and feels we expect out of romance. Is the key lynchpin of Stepbrother romances that they’re really not siblings — not in terms of time spent growing up together or emotionally?
RHEANNA CHRISTINE: So they only ones I’ve read are written like this–where they are related by a technicality. Krista lakes has a series of three books that are about the step brother romance. I just downloaded another one, by Selena Kitt called STEPBROTHER BEAST. Like Krista’s book, it popped up on my radar because it involves a military man as well. Krista does billionaire romance, small town, and even tries her hand a modern spin on Pride and Prejudice. She’s a great writer.
MADELINE IVA: Thanks for chatting with me, Rheanna! There you have it — readers!
And click on STEPBROTHER ROMANCE if you wanna buy a copy — I warn you though, I was only able to get a paperback and went into a bit of stickershock over the price. :/
Meanwhile, Rheanna mentioned a few other tasty novels you might enjoy, including another stepbrother romance–but also a few other fun suggestions.
Military: Worth The Fall
Dirty Little Virgin –this is an erom with submissive elements
If you wanna go down that Step-sibling rabbit hole–here are some Goodreads pages that will help you help you find “the good stuff”.