Review: Did I Mention I Love You? (The DIMILY Trilogy #1) by Estelle Maskame

Title: Did I Mention I Love You?
Author: Estelle Maskame
Series: The DIMILY Trilogy #1
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what sheโ€™s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t โ€“ her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.

My Review:
Eden’s world turns upside down the minute she steps foot in the Santa Monica mansion where her father now lives with his new wife and her three sons. Estranged from her father for three years (since her parent’s divorce,) Eden is hoping the summer will give her a chance to reconnect with her errant dad. But he seems intent on keeping his distance and she questions why he even asked her to spend the summer with him. She warms to her new stepmother and her two younger stepbrothers but her eldest stepbrother, Tyler, is the biggest douche to walk the planet.

Tyler goes beyond mean and moody into a category all on his own. Clearly troubled, he is hooked on alcohol and drugs and he has a very unhealthy relationship with the uber-manipulative Tiffani.

Eden gets sucked into his group, hanging out with his friends, and gradually starts to peel back Tyler’s layers. As she does, she realizes the guy is hurting, and without conscious thought becomes the only one to give a damn about dragging him back from the brink.

I was very impressed with Estelle’s character development in this book. For a young, debut author she did a stellar job. I have a sixteen-year-old son with hormones running amok and a serious attitude problem, and I found myself chuckling at some of Tyler’s antics and barbed comments because it nails the misunderstood teen boy so well. I’d like to clarify that my son doesn’t have any addiction problems and he is in no way as obnoxious as Tyler, but there were glimpses that made me laugh. In a nutshell, it’s very authentic and I was seriously impressed at how well his character was crafted. I also loved how she didn’t glamorize his problems.

Eden is a nice, sweet girl who is genuinely horrified when she discovers what Tyler is doing and what he is dealing with. She tries to help him and she is one of a few who tells him it’s wrong and he has to stop. She is the only one who seems to be able to get through to him, and he starts listening to her.

I love the forbidden nature of their romance and I was totally shipping them. I hated Tiffani, and wasn’t mad about Rachel or Meghan either. Jake was an ass, Dean was a sweetheart. Chase and Jamie were adorable. A great well-developed cast of secondary characters.

This book was chock-full of teen drama, angst, secrets, lies, revelations and betrayals and I just lapped it up. The pacing was perfect and this book held my attention the entire time.

I had some issues with the plot and the writing was a little amateurish in parts, which is the only reason I knocked off some stars.

A highly addictive series that will appeal to fans of YA contemp romance with lashings of teen-soap-opera style drama.

This review will appear on my blog in due course:

Actual 3.75 stars.

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