Monday, March 7, 2016

STEP BY STEP by Candace Calvert

Iola Goulton reviews Step by Step by Candace Calvert

Here's the short version from Amazon:

Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determined to move on, checking off one item after another on her survival list. Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point―“fall in love again.” At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death.

While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship. But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again . . . and sees her moving on with another man.

When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed. Will hope make the survival list?

My Review:

I started out really enjoying Step by Step, but then had that awkward moment around a third of the way through when I remembered I’d offered to review it for Suspense Sisters . . . but there wasn’t a lot of suspense. Oops.

I needn’t have worried. While Step by Step wasn’t a heart-stopping thriller like those by Brandilyn Collins or Terri Blackstock, or a puzzling mystery like Julianna Deering, it certainly ended up with more than enough suspense, from several angles.

There was the medical suspense of the setting in an ER room. There was the romantic suspense, of whether Taylor was ever going to realise Dr Perfect wasn’t (and therefore see that Seth was). And there was the underlying suspense: who is Sloane? Why does she have a problem with both Taylor and Seth? Who is chasing her? And how does this connect to Taylor? Or Seth?

So, yes, great plot. And great characters. Especially the animals. And excellent writing, with enough humour to break up the tension when needed—I especially liked lines like “Cross my heart, hope to pass a cholesterol test.” Recommended for medical suspense fans (or anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of blood and medical trauma in their fiction).

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About the Reviewer, Iola Goulton: 

I am a freelance editor specializing in Christian fiction, and you can find out more about my services at my website, or follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Tsu .

I love reading, and read and review around 150 Christian books each year on my blog. I'm a Top 25 Reviewer at Christian Book, in the Top 1% of reviewers at Goodreads, and have an Amazon US Reviewer Rank that floats around 2500 (and I'm in the Top 50 at Amazon Australia).


  1. Thank you for this review of my newest release--delightful and spot-on. My stories often are labeled medical suspense (even mystery--which is a mystery to me!) when, in truth, they are character driven stories of human relationships. But then, isn't life itself suspenseful? I try my best to offer readers action, humor, characters they can relate to, and a few sighs, tears, smiles. Thank you for your time in both reading and reviewing Step by Step, Iola. It's an honor to have you "scrub in" with my hopeful medical fiction.

    1. Thanks, Candace! Yes, I'd agree Step by Step was a character-driven relationship story. Unfortunately, that's not an Amazon category :)


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