When he was in high school, Asher fell for his stepbrother, Joe. The two became best friends and lovers, but while Joe wanted forever, Asher was more hesitant. Despite his love for Joe, Asher wasn’t out and he knew his father would take it badly. And Joe was so perfect — gorgeous, charismatic, charming — and Asher worried it couldn’t last. When things feel apart between them, Joe disappeared from Asher’s life.
Now, eleven years later, Asher is an up-and-coming PR guy on a new account in Chicago. And to his surprise, the L.A. team member he is supposed to work with on the project is none other than Joe. The guys have to work together, but there’s all kinds of tension — first of the awkward kind, but soon of the oh so hot kind. Yet even if the guys can work it out, the timing seems to be a disaster. Things aren’t going well for Joe at the job, not to mention that dating a co-worker and team member is a bad idea. And of course, the guys live in totally different cities. Yet the feelings between them have all come rushing back and Joe and Asher want nothing more than to be together. Now they just have to figure out how to get past all the complications and find their way back to each other again.
I recently discovered author Edie Danford and found myself charmed by the first book of hers I picked up, Professor Adorkable*. So I was thrilled to find that she had another release out so soon and was eager to check out this story as well. One Step Back is a little more angsty and intense than Professor Adorkable, but equally enjoyable. Danford just has a way of creating really appealing characters with some interesting layers, and Asher and Joe drew me in completely.
The story is told in both present day and in flashbacks. The current storyline flows linearly, starting when the guys wind up on the same project at work together and have to face their awkward reunion.The flashbacks jump around, covering Asher and Joe’s first meeting, first kiss, their ultimate breakup, and some events in between. I know not everyone is a fan of flashbacks, but they work so well here. In present day, the guys have a lot to work through before they can fully be together. So getting the flashbacks to their early years together not only gives us some much needed background on both men and their relationship, but it also lets us really feel the intensity of their connection. I had absolutely no doubt that the guys were meant to be together. They feel for one another so intensely and Danford makes that come through so strongly. Their chemistry sparks, but at the same time there is such a tenderness between them. When Joe calls Asher “baby,” it just made me melt (Asher too!). The question is never whether these guys are meant for each other, but how they are going to work through things to make it happen.
For me this story just felt lush and romantic, while also being sexy and intense. I loved these guys together and couldn’t wait to see it all work out for them. If you are a fan of lovers reunited stories, you aren’t going to want to miss this one. And for anyone who is a fan of romantic, sexy, and tender contemporaries with a bit of angst thrown in, definitely give One Step Back a try.
*Note: Just to clarify One Step Back and Professor Adorkable are not related stories or in the same series