Tuesday, October 25, 2016


"Amazing, Heartfelt and Beautiful! We should all have a Caleb in our lives!"
- Craves the Angst

TITLE: One Step Closer
AUTHOR: Kahlen Aymes
AGE GROUP: New Adult/Adult
GENRE: Romance
RELEASE DATE: October 23, 2016
PUBLISHER: Self-Published
PAGES: Approx. 326
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RATING: 4 Stars!

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.

REVIEWER'S NOTE: One Step Closer is an Adult, Romance written by Kahlen Aymes. I was gifted a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review through The Rock Stars of Romance.

4 Solid Stars!
Amazing, Heartfelt and Beautiful! We should all have a Caleb in our lives! 

The Review: 
I very much enjoyed this sexy, delightful, emotional book! Right out of the gate, you know you’re in for one heck of a ride. The angsts and intensity was palatable from the first sentence and forward. I loved the complicated relationship between Wren and Caleb and I got all swoony over how protective he was towards her. This is definitely going into my reread pile and I can’t wait to read more books by this author!

When One Step Closer opens up, Caleb is a grown man, but he’s remembering a past that's filled with both wonderful and painful memories.

Caleb Luxon is an angry young boy. Losing his sick mother and then watching as his father became estranged, sent him down a path of rebelliousness. And then once his father brought in the new trophy wife and her weird daughter, Caleb lost it. His only modicum of peace came from fighting and getting into as much trouble as he could, delighting in watching his father bail him out. He hated his new stepmother and he definitely hated her introverted daughter, Wren. 

Until the day he saw the real Wren and then life changed dramatically.

Wren Brashill hides behind a mask so that her pain won't be noticed and her mother won’t damage her more than she already does. She’s had no one to help her or tell her she’s worth something... until the day Caleb truly sees her.

A kindred friendship takes instant root. Then love blooms. But forbidden romance is just that.. forbidden. And Wren and Caleb keep their love for one another a secret.

Until... one forbidden night that changed everything once again.

Now, they are grown and thrown together through tragedy and life is about to make yet another dramatic change. And this time it’s all or nothing.

I loved how this story was told in past and present, giving us their story now, but allowing us to see flashbacks of pivotal moments during their childhood. Calebs protectiveness of Wren stemmed from the kindred spirit he found in her but he also fell hopelessly in love with her. She was younger and innocent and he had a desperate need to save her. And while he was saving her, she was saving him.

Wren had loved Caleb from the moment he told her to never hide again. He saw her for who she really was and he gave her a shield that allowed her to grow and bloom and be safe and loved. My heart broke for this girl. Her mother, the one person who should have always protected her, turned her back on her out of jealousy and vindictiveness but the moment Caleb stepped in, Wren found a freedom she’d never known. And love.

These two were so special together. I loved their interactions and I loved their passion and loyalty to one another.

The Good and The Bad... 
Caleb and Wren had some serious issues with talking things out. I get it. That night they succumbed to their passions changed everything about their relationship and maybe they didn’t fully trust the other one not to reject them, but I was a little confused by how close they were and then.. weren’t. Wren said multiple times she still trusted Caleb, even after she felt abandoned by him but she held on to words that should have been said and stayed away when she should have been tracking that mancandy down and smacked some sense into him. The same for Caleb. He’d been protecting her for years and then he just left. The emotional aspect made a weird kind of sense but he let his pride and fear rule him. It was hard and a bit confusing to watch them dance around one another, but it was also enjoyable because the angsts were right in your face and I loved that.

I did have issues with the catty girlfriend. Caleb was a strong, no nonsense kind of man, but he was also being a sucker when it came to Macy. It took him FOREVER to see her resemblance to Wren’s mother, someone he hated with all his being, and I hated that he let Macy get away with causing so much pain when it could have been avoided by him just manning up and telling her to take a hike. There was enough drama and angsts between them, they didn’t need the catty, money hungry girlfriend. Caleb was such a strong character and I understand the intense misery and pain he was in, but him letting Macy stay for so long made him seem weaker than he was.

The Wrap Up: 
There were a couple of plot holes and a handful of unnecessary conflict points to cause additional strain between the mains but overall I LOVED this read. I’m a huge fan of forbidden romance and this one was a beautiful, heartfelt journey to a phenomenal happily ever after. I loved that ending. The epilogue made all their trials and separation truly worth it.

Beautiful and a must read for any romance lover.

This new sexy stand-alone
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I'm a single mother of one daughter, Olivia. She's amazing in every way.

I was born in the Midwestern United States and educated at a private university where I received a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Business Administration.

I've always been creative with art, music, theater and writing. I decided to write a story as a way to build a network for a business venture. The reader support of my stories and my overwhelming desire to find out where my characters would take me, soon had the writing morphing the business. No one was more shocked than I. When readers began nominating my work for online awards, it took my breath away and only made me love it more. It soon became clear that writing was, and should be, my focus.

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