Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: ONE STEP CLOSER by Kahlen Aymes @Kahlen_Aymes

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: ONE STEP CLOSER by Kahlen Aymes @Kahlen_AymesOne Step Closer by Kahlen Aymes
Published by: Self Published
on October 25, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.

my thoughts

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a good stepbrother romance. This genre isn’t for everyone, but give me anything just the slightest taboo, and I am ALL OVER IT! On top of that, ONE STEP CLOSER takes the stepbrother romance to another level and gives us a second chance love story as well. A second chance, stepbrother romance? This is a first for me and I enjoyed it very much! It was sexy, heartwarming, and frustrating at times but it had a sexy beast of an alpha male as a hero and it’s hard not to love an alpha male, right ladies?

Caleb and Wren were brought together at a young age. Wren was an awkward teenager with a horrible mother and Caleb was having a horrible time accepting that his father is moving on from his mother. Even though they were wealthy, it didn’t ease any of the pains of growing up. Caleb is distant with Wren at first, pushing her aside as just another awkward child, but when he finds out why she is so careful in her habits, he has this overpowering sense of protecting her forever.

A deal was made in the background that sent Caleb away from Wren, confusing her even more. When he returns from a school break, his possessiveness gets the best of him and he takes her, consequences be damned. Even though their chemistry and their bond are so strong, it doesn’t prevent Caleb from walking away…again. When a death in the family brings Caleb back, he is all too prepared to see Wren’s beautiful face, or is he? The feelings are still there. The protectiveness became more powerful. The pull between them, so much more powerful. There are so many factors standing in the way, but will Caleb be able to walk away again?

“You are so beautiful,” he said softly. “So fucking beautiful. I’ve wanted you, Wren.”

“For how long?” she asked in wonder.

“Forever,” he said simply.

This is one romance that will pull at your heartstrings over and over again. Caleb and Wren are characters that you will be glad to root for. The fight for their happily ever after is not a simple one, but in the end, it will be so well worth it.

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The only had each other…

Until one forbidden night ruined everything.

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excerpt

Caleb’s muscled frame was rigid and as Wren looked at him, she studied his profile, and could feel his coiled tension.  The fingers in his right hand curled into a fist.  “I was so mad.  So many times, I wished he’d been the one to die.”  His voice was full of pain, as the words tore from him.  “I fucking hated him with every breath I took.  You saw how much.” 

Wren nodded, though he didn’t see her acquiescence.  She knew what he went through growing up when they had formed an affable alliance against their parents.  She hated her mother at least as much as Caleb hated his father and she understood his anger and pain; then the apathy that became a welcome alternative.  They’d been unlikely allies against a common enemy. 

“Maybe I deserved his indifference.”

Wren got up and went to Caleb, standing behind him as he stood still as stone, and staring out the window.  Her heart ached with love and grief for Caleb. She wanted to touch him; to offer reassurance, to take away the ache in his voice and heart.  Without considering her actions, her arms slipped around his waist and she pressed up against his strong back and leaned her head against him, between his shoulder blades.

Caleb was massive in comparison to her, and she was like a flower curling around him.  Her hands fanned out against his hard stomach, her fingers finding the definition of his abs beneath his shirt.   “Stop, Cale.  I won’t let you do this to yourself.  Your dad wouldn’t want that.  None of it was your fault.”  Her arms slid fully around him and held him tight against her body. “I can’t bear it.  You’ve had enough pain.  Enough.”

Caleb sucked in a deep breath, the action bringing her even closer.  He could feel every curve of her body pressed so closely against his back.  He could feel her breathing, could feel how she shared his pain.  His hand came up and he ran the flat of his hand from her elbow down to her hand, and then wrapped his fingers around hers.

“When did you turn into the strong one?”

Wren’s arms tightened around him.  “When I met you. ”

“Oh, Wren.” Should he just spill his guts? Would it fix everything?  “I’ve got so much to say to you.  How long can you stay?”

She nodded against him, unwilling to end the contact between their bodies; needing the closeness as much as he did. 

He wanted to apologize for how he acted the last time he’d seen her, he wanted to say a hundred things… he needed her forgiveness.

“How long do you need me?”

In that moment a miracle happened; a sort of beautiful irony that taunted Caleb with it’s fragileness.  It was as if he’d never screwed everything up between them.  But would it stay this way?

How long do I need you? Caleb thought.  His heart raced to the point of exploding, and he wondered if Wren could feel it. 

Forever.

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About Kahlen Aymes

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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