Title: One Step Forward
Author: Tia Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 8th August, 2016
Genre(s): Healing, Cowboys
Page Count: 236
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Sam Becker, a horse whisperer, agrees to take one last job before retiring to his Texas ranch. It’s clear as soon as he meets the Taylor family in Kentucky that he’s in for a challenge. What he doesn’t expect is the way his own wounds reopen. He never really dealt with the suicide of his mentally ill wife, and he won’t be able to ignore that hurt forever.
Joshua Taylor and his horse, Calla, were a force to be reckoned with on the eventing circuit until an accident ended their careers. Most of the pain is on the inside, however, and Sam knows those injuries are the slowest to mend. Sam’s unique methods help Calla and, surprisingly, Josh, but he’s still lost without riding. Their feelings for each other come hard and fast, and Josh starts his first steps of recovery, but Sam needs to return to Texas eventually. Even if Josh is able to move past the accident, they’ll still have a long and difficult journey to make before they can be together.
This story was so not what I expected when I requested it for a review. I am a sucker for any healing story with damaged heroes and this book’s blurb piqued my interest very much. And then I started reading and I am like WTF??? There was nothing real about this story. Sam Becker is treated as a GOD who can work miracles not only with a horse but also with the emotionally closed off rider and he accomplishes everything by showing off his abs and tattoos and by singing songs whole day long.
There was actually no healing process here. Joshua Taylor’s insta love for Sam was too fast and unreal to make up for a good romance. Joshua is shown as a mess at the start and he magically heals himself and regains his zeal for life by falling for a guy who he barely knows, which is unbelievable and STUPID. I could not get over the insta romance to go through the entire story without a bad taste in my mouth. The plot was nothing but some hearts and rainbows and singing and rescuing some puppies. The entire healing part felt like a farce. The character development was a mess. Sam’s past and then his current feelings for Josh were too disconnected and I could not connect or sympathize with his character at all.
The ending was not that great and I was left unsatisfied at the end. A little bit more believable healing and a gradual build up to the romance would have made this story so much better. I cannot recommend this book.