Title: One Step Further
Author: Felice Stevens
Publisher/GR Link: GR
Genre: MM Contemporary
Vice: Stutters, Dogs, Finding Love
Rating: 5 out of 5
Lock this book up: 4 keys out of 5. The sex is hot and supports the romance.
Cover Impressions: Adorable. Gives me all the feels.
Synopsis: 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.
Impressions: This was everything I wanted in a romance, and more. Alex and Rafe were both so hurt, strong, and complex that I couldn't help but love them both.
The emotions between them grew at just the right pace, and so as the reader, I had the pleasure of falling in love with them as they fell in love with each other.
Rae's past is so devoid of love, that it is totally understandable that he surrounds himself with animals to nurture and heal. Alex, not he other hand, seems so carefree and happy, but in reality he had the love of a family that he then lost, and so though both men are so alone, they are also so different in their experiences and their ability to connect with others.
This was a wonderful read, and it was so full of love and growth. I've read and enjoyed other works by Felice Stevens, but this one will have me revising some older reads and adding this author to the top of my auto-buy list.