Destructive Relations, Destined to Fail #1 by Hayden Hall

Destructive Relations is an enemies to lovers step brother romance with a plethora of lovely steamy moments. This book was popular with our reviewers!

From the blurb:

I’ve been the good son all my life. He’s been the troublemaker.

Parrish Turner has always been my ultimate fantasy. He was my gay awakening, my sweetest torture, and my forbidden fruit ever since my father remarried and merged our families.

And he never even noticed me. I was nothing more but an annoyance. The most I got from him was a growl or a bark. And it was enough to make me wild with desire. Until he left.

Now, five years after I’d last seen him, we’re back in the same house. Even worse, we’re in tight quarters, forced to share the same bed. Luckily, it's only for a couple of weeks.

But that is long enough for my will to cave in. Especially now that I’ve got nothing else to lose and Parrish is starting to tease me in ways I can’t even interpret. Either he's trying to bully me for fun, or he's flirting. With him, the two are never far apart.

He blurs the line between right and wrong. And I can’t resist the temptation that could only ever end in the destruction of whatever family we have left.

Destructive Relations is the first novel in the Destined to Fail series. You can expect forced proximity (only one bed), two young men who hate each other, forbidden love, heart, heat, humor, and a happily ever after. Make sure to use the Look Inside feature to read the content warnings. All books in this series are complete standalones.

Jacquie's Review:

"If there still existed any crack in my heart, I could feel it heal instantly."

Um, wow! Literally just finished and feeling a little emotional, which is rare for me.

I loved everything about Destructive Relations. The animosity between Levi and Parrish at first as Parrish blamed Levi, however wrongly, for being the golden child was so well done. It got mean but never really cruel. There was a fine line that they danced around.

The relationship was hot and heavy, and then heartbreaking. Loved it all.

That epilogue! Perfectly wrapped up.

Even hours later I'm still processing the book. I absolutely hated the parents and how they made Parrish out to be the root of all evil. They kept pushing the guys together, insisting they were family, but didn't see the disparity of the treatment they each got. The sister more than made up for it, even the aunt had her moments.

Rating: 5 Stars

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"I don't want anyone else to play with you like I do."

"Don't let them, then."

"We'll burn in hell for this."

Well Well Well...Wasn't this a deliciously steamy, forbidden step brother romance. I absolutely loved the sexual tension throughout this entire story. First, it's more of a tease than anything. Returning home after 5 years, Parrish doesn't plan on making any amends. He left his step brother Levi and parents behind in the rear view mirror, but he couldn't do the same with his beloved sister. If it wasn't for her upcoming nuptials, Parrish would be miles away, living his life the way he has for half a decade. On his own terms. No one there to constantly compare him to his spoiled, bratty step brother who could do no wrong. There may be a tad bit a resentment there. Ok way more than a tad.

For a long time Levi used to idolize his older step brother. Then, as he got older his idolizing turned into something much more worrisome for him. Lust. Want. Need. He craved Parrish's attention, yet that was one thing Parrish never gave him. Until the week of his sisters upcoming wedding. Parrish has made it his mission to torture him, however I don't think his plan turned out like he was expecting. Instead of making Levi hate him, it made Levi want him more, and there's little that excites Parrish more than a willing twink at his mercy.

This book was a bit kinky and the steam was freaking H-O-T. It was also quite emotional. Their parents like to make it out like Parrish is the bad guy, but it's the parents themselves who are the real villians of the story. They are self serving and cruel. Their children exist as tools for their social climbing and when Parrish refused to be that for them, they decided to rid themselves of the problem. Trash humans if there ever were ones. Thankfully Levi and their sister finally get this memo, though much family drama has to happen for this to occur. The epilogue was definitely the most romantic part of the book and I appreciated being able to see the sweet side of Parrish. It really solidified the HEA in the end.

Rating: 5 Stars

Sheena's Review:

I've read a few of Hayden Hall's books before, and I was intrigued by the blurb on this, so I picked it up.

I enjoyed it for the most part, even though I'm not sure I liked Parrish all that much in the beginning. Until we found out more about him and his story with his mother and stepfather. Honestly, those people were the absolute worst, they literally had zero redeeming qualities and it's a wonder Parrish turned out well at all with those people as role models. I'll never understand demonizing one child for the sake of another, it's super terrible and I don't blame Parrish for acting out. I wasn't sure at first about his treatment of Levi, the first time we saw them together was totally strange and I couldn't see how they'd ever end up together.

I'll admit I had that problem for most of the book, Parrish isn't all that nice of a person, he's absolutely horrible to Levi for most of the book although the chemistry and heat between them is there in spades. Could be the lure of forbidden fruit, but the chemistry between them was hard to deny. The scenes between them are HOT 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥, and I did like the growing relationship between them once Parrish got over himself a little. It's all very well written and I loved the ending with Levi standing up for himself and Parrish and those awful people they call parents being left with nothing. It was very satisfying.

This was a good read, and I'm glad I picked it up.

Rating: 4 Stars

SNik's Review:

First in series (Destined to Fail). Stepbrothers. Bully to lover. Slow burn. Close proximity. Dual POV. 

Kicked out 5 years ago, tattoo shop owner Parrish is back home for his sister’s wedding and ready to annoy his parents and his hated younger stepbrother. Levi had a crush on Parrish for years, but being held up as an example of goodness versus their disappointment in Parrish always caused him and Parrish to be at odds. Levi is far from perfect, he hasn’t told his parents that he dropped out of school, and he is ashamed to admit he would be willing to further their disappointment if he could be closer to Parrish. 

It was a struggle for the first half of the book as Parrish was not likable at all and constantly was taunting Levi. When they finally decide to risk their family’s censure in order to be intimate, there is a slow build to Parrish returning Levi’s feelings. 

Some steam, some personal growth and some standing up for each other to their family, Parrish and Levi struggle right to the end in order to be together.

Rating: 4 Stars

Reedkaye's Review:

I think I repeat myself when I say each book that is published by this author is better than the last.  This goes beyond that.  I love this story.  A couple with children get married and then the comparisons of children really begin. 

Harold and Margaret are the ideal parents for what you should not do.  After they marry Parrish can’t do anything right so he does his best to uphold that opinion.  On the other hand, Levi seems able to do everything right.  Levi is hoping to have a big brother but Parrish doesn’t really want a brother.  A lot of behaviors on all the characters parts led to Parrish leaving home.  

A few years later, Natalie, Parrish’s sister, is getting married and the whole family is back together.  Levi home from what most think is college and Parrish from New York where he has created his own life.  This togetherness brings out a change of relationships between the family members.  

There is so much emotion throughout this story.  I have known parent such as Harold and Margaret and the author portrayed them perfectly.  They cause children heartache their whole life.  The relationship between Parrish and Natalie is heartwarming.  They both did their best to look after the other and they really knew the real person beneath the public one.  

Levi and Parrish’s relationship takes a major change.  They actually start talking and find they have different feelings about the other than they had as kids.  

I like the way the author puts together all the pieces of the three children’s lives at the end.  Again, the emotion is so strong.  I’m probably in the minority when I say I don’t believe relationships between non blood relatives is wrong but for those that do this is not the book for them.  I’m really anxious to see what the next in this series will be.  I feel it will have to be outstanding to top this story.

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Sometimes themes come in waves and for me it seems like I'm reading a fair number of stepbrother stories, that being said, I absolutely love Hayden's take on Parrish and Levi's story... from the resentment and disdain that Parrish feels to the crush and hero worship that Levi starts out with... and how they both interact with the 'parents of the year'...

This is an emotional roller coaster and the story adds additional layers that help the characters grow as people, as well as in a relationship...  I know from reading some of the other reviews that some people struggled with Parrish's character, but I saw him as a lost and neglected little boy crying out for anyone to interact with him, positive or negative and that once he has love that he needs to unlearn those behaviours...

Rating: 5 Stars

Nicole's Review:

The cover of Destructive Relations was absolutely gorgeous and irresistible. And after reading the description I HAD to read it.  

Levi and Parrish are step brothers in what I could honestly say is one of the most toxic families I have read about in ages. Teenagers when their parents married, thrown together and expected to comingle and interact as a family, things were bound to go wrong. Impossible expectations pitted the two against each other and sets Parrish up to fail.  

Even in the time before the hop forward, there is some crazy chemistry. When they meet up again, the dirty game of cat and mouse is intense and steamy. I loved the slight BDSM feel to the scenes, it felt very true to the initial antagonistic feeling of their relationship. I really loved that we got to see Parrish's character development, and the scene where Levi defends him is probably my favorite part of the book.  

We get a very sweet HEA, but I still cannot stand the parents!

Rating: 5 Stars

Destructive Relations is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.