Title: One Step Back
Author: Edie Danford
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 23rd 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Second Chance
Page Count: 300 pages
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
When you fall for a guy who’s about to become your stepbrother-do you listen to your heart and risk everything? Or listen to your head…and take one step back?
In high school I had a hundred reasons to steer clear of my soon-to-be-stepbrother, Joe Beneventi. He was a hothead, and I was reserved. His life was football, mine was academics. He wanted to be out and proud, and I desperately needed to keep my orientation secret.
But when we fell in love, my heart took the wheel, and I took every risk to be with Joe. Then one horrible night our secrets shattered. Joe disappeared-wrecking our families and breaking my heart.
Eleven years later, I landed a challenging job at a premier PR firm. And the hotshot publicist who’s been assigned to my first big account? Yep. It’s Joe.
Fate truly hates me because now Joe and I have three days to hole up in a Chicago hotel room and nail down a deal that could make or break our careers. He keeps distracting me, but I’m too jaded to fall for sexy smiles, bedroom eyes, and his impossible-to-ignore body. Except…
I like being close to him again. A little too much. Working together 24/7 is showing me sides of Joe I’ve never seen before.
And when we touch, being together seems like the only step worth taking.
So close! This book came so close to being a solid five star read for me. This is the good old “Unraveling Josh” or “Tru Smoke” Edie Danford. I loved a bunch of things:
The stepbrothers angle. This is a trope that I love and it was perfectly executed here. Joe and Asher meet as teenagers when their parents decide to get serious with each other. Both lonely and misunderstood for different reasons each, they hit it off immediately. First as friends, then as lovers.
The flashbacks. I usually don’t care about those in my books but I loved them here. Almost as interesting as the present and pretty necessary. It’s how we learn how much history there is between Joe and Ash. It’s almost an epic love story that goes far beyond a teenage crush. It was the real deal! I also liked that the flashbacks are not in chronological order. It made things even more interesting.
Second chances. This is another trope that I adore. Joe and Asher haven’t seen each other for eleven years. The way they broke up and drifted apart was a punch to the gut but meeting again after all these years brought all the angst and the feels.
Very solid characterization. These MCs were most definitely NOT perfect. But they were young and immature and in love, with the conviction they were never going to measure up ingrained into them. The author did a great job taking the reader through Ash and Joe’s struggles and way of thinking. I definitely wanted to punch Asher’s face once or twice but he more than made up for it in the end.
HAWT! So hot and sexy but romantic, intense and emotional at the same time.
The ending. HEA all the way. Really, it was the only choice for Joe and Ash.
The writing. I ‘ve said before I’m a big fan of Danford’s writing. It’s straightforward, sharp and sweet at the same time.
The reason I’m rounding down is that I felt that the story dragged a little bit at certain points. The details about their job take a lot of space but I was actually ok -even intrigued- with that. It was their inner thinking and monologues, and maybe some of the dialogue in the end, that ended up a little boring for me.
Other than that, I have no complaints. Recommended for everyone, especially fans of second chances.