“We’ve both had some tough times. But I have to believe they’re taking us somewhere good,” Seth confides to Taylor in Candace Calvert’s novel, Step by Step. ~ What ~ Second in the Crisis Team series, this three hundred-and-seventy-nine page paperback targets those who enjoy Christian romantic fiction. With no profanity except the use of hell in the eternal aspect, topics of illness, accidents, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. In this current-day story set in San Diego, California, emergency room nurse and crisis counselor, Taylor Cabot, is determined to move on from the past. Having lost her husband three years ago, she has made up a Survival List that she methodically checks off, everything except the last challenge: to fall in love again. Seeing Seth Donovan at the hospital she works at, she is torn, especially when he admits he knows something about the day her husband died. Being a chaplain to the chaplains, the crisis coordinator tries to help Taylor leave grief behind. While dealing with one medical crisis after another, the team helps survivors as they try to avoid compassion fatigue. Taylor, wanting so desperately to rid herself of the past, must accept it and those around her to find a future of happiness and love. ~Why ~ With the book’s focus on the crisis team, it goes into detail of the love and support volunteers offer when there is a tragedy. I like how the author tenderly discussed the aftermath of dealing with injury and death in a medical environment. Her handling of an older pet added to the sympathetic story. ~ Why Not ~ Due to the subject matter of dying and death and how crisis teams handle heart-breaking scenarios, some who have dealt recently with a loved one’s passing may be sensitive to its theme. However, it is written so that it explains the process of grief, hopefully helping a hurting reader to move on his or her life. ~ Who ~ As a former emergency room nurse, Calvert has written several novels about the medical field. Being a wife, mother, and grandmother, she lives in Northern California. ~ Wish ~ I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. With mentioning God sporadically, the book does not offer the eternal plan of salvation which would have been thoughtful. ~ Want ~ If you like engaging stories that cover overcoming the loss of a loved one, medical jargon, and Christian overtones, this is a quick romance that will keep you wondering where the main character’s life is headed. Thanks to Tyndale House for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reviewer’s honest opinion.
*My Thoughts* I discovered Candace Calvert's Medical Christian dramas when I first joined the Tyndale Rewards program. It was titled 'Life Support' and when I was done, I was surprised because I am generally squeamish with medical novels and I didn't know what to expect. I decided to add her to my list of authors to look for when reviewing books. When I realized the first book in her "Crisis Team" series involved a character I had read of in her earlier book, I was down. Obviously, I loved it because here I am reviewing book 2! If you're worried that this novel is going to be a "go for the doctor!" novel, you're dead wrong. (No pun intended!) Candace's experience as an ER nurse really adds a reality to this novel that a writer without that experience wouldn't have. I felt like I was living their experiences on the boardwalk, in Taylor's all white living room, petting Lucy the red retriever puppy,listening to Sloane's snarky comments. It was all so real, I felt like my real life was the book and I was leaving reality whenever I stopped reading! One thing about this book is that if you don't want to feel anything, don't read it. It's as simple as that. I felt every bit of the heartache going on in Taylor and Seth's lives. The redemption in the book had a Karen Kingsburyish feel that I found refreshing and the ending was truly stunning. Some people might consider the middle of the book a little slower then others but I thought it was the perfect pace for the story. I found the story to be woven with faith but not "preachy" in the least. Candace got the point across with grace and hope that will inspire you, just as it should. My one pet peeve: the cover. I opened my package from Tyndale with fervor, unwrapping a gorgeous cover that seemed soul deep and had my clinging to every page like a leech. It was so rich and pretty, just the cover had me swooning. When I went to review it however, there was another cover there as well. This cover was completely different with a guy that looked like "a biker dude" on the front when there was only one scene in the book featuring a motor cycle. By the time I got done ranting about how upset I was, my 13 year old non-reading sister was even upset about it. Maybe that's just me, but really, that first cover was soooo much better. Overall, I would say that this has easily made it to my "best books of 2016 list". It's even better then book one and I can't wait for Sloane's story! ____________________________________________________ *My overall thoughts* When I finished this book, my exact reaction was yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I did not feel disappointed in the least. _______________________________________________________ *My Rating* I give Step by Step by Candace Calvert... 5 stars!!