Title: One Step Forward
Author: Tia Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 8, 2016
Page Count: 236
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 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 is the second attempt at a Tia Fielding book that’s gone wrong. At this point, I think I’ll have to cry uncle and accept the fact this author’s writing style is not for me.
I like the idea of this story: The horse whisperer and the broken rider. And I have to say, the first chapter describing Joshua’s depression had me hooked. Pretty riveting stuff. I have read a lot about mental illnesses, in a professional capacity and within the context of a romance novel and this stood out to me. Joshua’s dark time after the accident that left his horse and himself damaged in more ways than the physical was described in a very original, fresh way.
And that’s about all the positives I can say about this book.
As soon as Sam, the horse whisperer, shows up, Joshua is starting to heal. There wasn’t even a case of the magic dick to spice things up. People asked Joshua to eat and he pretended he did not even hear them. Sam asked and bam! Joshua is getting over his eating disorder. His family asked him to socialise with them and leave the 4 walls of his room and he flat out ignored them. Sam asked and Joshua practically ran to join the festivities.
Oh but wait, THERE’S MORE. Sam decides he loves Joshua. See, all his knows about Joshua is that he is skin and bones, scarred physically and mentally from the accident, and that he likes puppies. Who’s to say that’s not enough information to decide you love someone? So there’s insta-love and super cheesy flirting, along with the slow process of rehabilitating the horse.
It got boring very quickly, I’ll admit.
The sex scenes were not very inspiring to put it mildly when they came around 60% into the story. And then something completely unnecessary happens to create some extra drama and fill the page with updates on secondary characters pretty much until the end.