Genres: New Adult
Dan might be the enemy of my enemy, but I’m not sure that makes him my friend. He’s definitely not my ‘step brother’, no matter what everyone at school says. Honestly, I don’t know what he’s supposed to be to me. Or what he’s becoming…
Fact: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
In the yearbook, I’ll be Sophia Ramos: Valedictorian. Years of honor roll certificates, AP classes, and lugging around an obnoxiously large cello case are about to finally pay off. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll escape these decaying suburbs for a top university across the country.
The problem? A few years ago, my mom met someone just as broke, just as drunk, and just as impulsive as she is. Approximately five seconds into their relationship, they decided it would be an excellent idea for him—and his son, Dan—to move in with us. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t).
Now I share a house with none other than Daniel Cole. Even though Dan dropped out two years ago, he’s still the tattooed, bad boy, heartthrob, legend of St. Anthony’s Academy. He and I aren’t supposed to have anything in common.
Living together means war. First, Dan and I were at war with each other. Now, our rivalry is giving way to an unlikely alliance—two opposing sides teaming up against a common enemy: our respective parents.
Which is to say, we’ve been hanging out.
Question: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
Here’s the thing: My brain is a complex organ. One hundred billion neurons, each with an average of seven thousand synaptic connections to other neurons. My brain is my ticket out of here.
My heart, by contrast, is a pump. It moves blood around.
I know Dan is off-limits. I know I shouldn’t do something I’ll regret. And I know how much is at stake (my family, my future).
So why can’t I stop thinking about him? Those inscrutable jade eyes. The smile that can say a thousand different things at once. That tattoo curving across his abs…
Even though I know better, I feel that pounding in my chest. And it’s getting harder to ignore.
But if I follow my heart, I can never go back.
Answer: There is no such thing as an immovable object.
Defiant Attraction is a little gem of a debut book. While not perfect, it was good and I enjoyed it! I think it worked as a shorter book as opposed to being 300+ pages.
You have lots of classic story tropes colliding: step-brother (ish), wrong side of the tracks, rich assholes, drunk/abusive parents. Sophia is a dynamic character who is at that age when her life is before her but she has no idea who she really is. As things start to heat up with Dan, her world becomes less black and white and she realizes that she doesn’t have to be who everyone thinks or assumes she is. Dan is a great hero-kindhearted, protective, a bad boy with a heart of gold for Sophia.
The plot deals with some issues beyond just the taboo of the step-brother type relationship. Dan and Sophia’s parents are abusive alcoholics, Sophia is cyber bullied and basically kicked out of school for it, and Sophia is also dealing with a crazy ex boyfriend who can’t understand she isn’t interested. Through all this though, Sophia is an honor’s student, taking AP classes, and mastering the cello enough to get the Stanford orchestra to notice. So, while the tropes presented aren’t new, the dichotomy of all this together creates a compelling story about 2 characters you will love.
The writing is compelling and Torston weaves words seamlessly to create vivid scenes and evoke a lot of emotion. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story, but Defiant Attraction is one of the better debut books I have read!
- POV: 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: step-brother, abusive parents
- Triggers: View Spoiler »There is a scene where Sophia is assaulted by her ex (physically), and also a scene where Dan is physically beaten by his father. « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes with epilogue « Hide Spoiler
Wicked Beginnings by LA Cotton, Paper Princess by Erin Watt, Deeper by Robin York…then you will probably like Defiant Attraction!
You have me curious, Samantha! It seems as though this is well written and the premise sounds good, particularly with some of those socially relevant topics. I’ll have to check out this one. Great review!