Title: One Step Further
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: June 29, 2015
Alex Stern has it all; good looks, charm, a job he loves and everyone calls him a friend. He lives life to the fullest at a breakneck pace, in the city that never sleeps. But Alex is also a master pretender; not even his best friend sees the pain that Alex hides so well. Alex himself isn’t sure who he is or what he’s searching for, he only knows that he hasn’t found it yet.
As a veterinarian, Rafe Hazelton loves each animal that crosses his path; they don’t care if he stutters a bit or that prefers men. Their love is unconditional, but his life is still empty; they can only give him so much. New friendships convince him it’s time to break the wall of loneliness he’s hidden behind since childhood and discover what he's been missing.
Alex and Rafe forge a friendship that turns physical, and they both swear that the relationship will last only as long as the fun does. But when old heartaches come to light and secrets hidden for years are revealed, Alex and Rafe discover if they accept what’s in their hearts and take it one step further, the greatest reward is waiting for them in the end.
Foxy Rating = Four and a half Stars
*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
I have been eagerly waiting for this book to be released ever since I fell for Alex in Memories of the Heart, which was Micah and Josh's story. So when the ARC landed on my kindle I was doing the happy dance.
Alex is attending his best friend, Micah's wedding to Josh when he notices the quiet and unassuming friend of Josh, Rafe. He tries to make conversation but the shy man retreats quietly into his shell. Life and soul of the party Alex, shrugs it off and carries on regardless. But it is after the newlyweds are off on honeymoon that Alex and Rafe cross paths again. Looking after Lucky, Micah's dog, gives him an excuse to drop into Veterinary Surgeon, Rafe's clinic.
Rafe has always been an outsider looking in, whether this is due to his sexuality or his stutter, he has kept himself to himself and been alone with his sorrow. His parents never showed him any love and in fact have been a stranger to him for the past decade or so. His love for his animals is returned ten fold though and Rafe finds happiness in caring for them. However he has also lusted after Alex from afar for over a year but he knows he would never stand a chance with the hot and sexy surgery nurse.
Alex can always be found as the centre of attention, his happy go lucky and carefree attitude lures people all around him. But then Alex is also hiding his own sorrows and even his best friend Micah does not know his deepest darkest grief he has held onto for the last fifteen years.
I loved the gradual build up of the friendship of Alex and Rafe and how they both unknowingly gave each other the greatest support. But what was even more wonderful was the way the friendship turned into passion and then ultimately love. I was instantly in love with both these characters and felt the depth of their devotion and reliance on each other. The chemistry was easily established and gave a whole new meaning to hot off the kindle!
It was good to catch up with Micah, Josh, Lucky and the grandmas who made a cameo appearance. It was also good to see that Micah still had his grumpy ways but now he had Josh to pull his head out of his backside!
There was plenty of angst and sorrow to balance with the lust and passion to give an all round satisfying read. I much preferred this book to Memories of the Heart, as for me it didn't need to rely on the cheesiness of the fun factor in the grandmas. Here is was more a less a two header and didn't need any frills as the pairing were an engrossing story in their own right. Lots of drama from their past lives and lots of the happy feels coming through in the end and the epilogue. I am so happy that Ms Stevens gave Alex his own book. I just knew he would be a hit and he was. So well matched with Rafe too. I loved this book and a definite must read. Four and a half stars.
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.
But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.