One Step Closer by Kahlen Aymes
Published: October 15th, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Forbidden Romance
They only had each other, until one forbidden night ruined everything…
STEPSISTER. He hated that f*cking word.
When their parents got married, the only thing Caleb Luxan had in common with Wren Brashill was that they both hated their parents. When he was sixteen, Caleb discovered Wren's closely guarded secret and vowed to protect her: from that day forward she became the reason for every decision he made.
Jealousy and long-suppressed desire overpowered Caleb's fierce protectiveness and they spent one forbidden and unforgettable night in each other arms, but the aftermath left Caleb panicked, Wren heartbroken, and their relationship in shambles. In the time since that fateful night, he’d only seen her once and had only managed to make the situation even worse.
The sudden death of his estranged father calls Caleb home and face-to-face with Wren for first time in years. He is presented with a choice that forces him to confront the painful memories of his youth and his many regrets with Wren.
Like it or not, his father's last, hard lesson, will demand Caleb deal with his long denied emotions for Wren, or let go of her forever.
I HATE writing reviews like this, but not everyone can love all books. I want to state that there were a lot of positives to this book, but I had to be honest with my rating which is based off of how the book made me feel. I just could not get into this book, in fact, I almost DNF’ed it because I did not want to finish it, but I did speed read the last 50 % so that I could share my opinions on the entirely of this novel.
I struggled with was the writing style that Aymes chose for this book. It was written in third person, which I don’t typically gravitate to. It was really hard to become engrossed, which compromised the rest of the story for me. The characters emotions were told to readers rather than shown. At times it was confusing, with transitions between characters not clearly defined.
I will say that the biggest issue I had was the LARGE sections of internal dialogue. I would have to say that it was (or at least felt like) 75 % of the book! I like stories that rely on dialogue more than internal narration. The overall writing was not bad and I really want to pick up a different book by Aymes written in first person to see if it is a different reading experience.
I liked the characters in this book. Caleb was interesting and I loved seeing his dynamic with all the other characters. He was the deep brooding type that I would not categorize as a ‘people person’. He was mean to everyone other than Wren, his love interest, but I loved his softer side when he was with her. Wren was the typical damsel in distress, need taken care of female protagonist. I wish she would have had more backbone and was not so naïve.
I never really connected with the romance between Caleb and Wren. I wish that I would have felt the angst between these two because those are my favorite books, but I just couldn’t. The interaction between Caleb and Wren always felt forced and awkward.
I really wish I would have liked this book and think that it would have been a completely different reading experience if this would have been in first person. I think this is a book that some readers would enjoy, but personally, I just could not connect with the story, characters or romance.
“Why did love and pain have to be so f***ing indistinguishable? Like living things, yin and yang, one completely impossible without the other.
Like me and Wren.”
Also check out some of Kahlen Aymes’s other books below.