Wednesday, July 29, 2015

review || ONE STEP AWAY by Sydney Bristow


Self-Published | January 19, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Bedford Falls, book 1


Alexander Lawford is certain that his best friend is his soul mate. Only problem is that Marisa Moretti just doesn’t see him as boyfriend material. And when she gets together with her on/off boyfriend, a man who is convinced that he will marry Marisa, extreme measures are called for.

So Alexander meets up with a good buddy, a bad boy women can’t resist, and learns to use his razor-sharp sense of humor, big heart, and good looks to show Marisa what she’s missing. But will it be enough to captivate a woman who’s positive that her destiny lies with another man?

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{ review } .

This was one of those books that I had a little bit of a hard time with -- mostly because it's not set up like your typical romance:

Boy meets girl, they fall for one another, something happens and they fall apart, one of them realizes the mistake they made and boom, they're back together.

Even in terms of friends-to-lovers, this didn't quite fit the bill. There are a lot of side players that aren't necessarily key but they still have important roles: Alexander's sister, for one, who plays the part of Alex's wingman but also Marisa's savior (or rather, the one Marisa signals to call Alex so that Alex can save Marisa); Cassandra; Brad.


Two years ago, Marisa and Alexander met. Marisa is pretty self-driven, and not necessarily in a good way all of the time. Alexander is... well. Alex. He's a librarian, more or less, with a Masters degree. Stupid smart (pardon the oxymoron) but hiding a fighting nature. He comes across beta most of the time and he almost is obsessive over his desire for Marisa to recognize him as the man she wants. In his words, mind you, he could be a good match for her simply because she compliments him on his sense of style and they had comparable salaries... Yeah, not your best thought process, Alex.

I did like Kelsey, though (Alexander's sister who somehow manages to run stylized themed restaurants at a fairly young age). She was a bit of the comedy relief I needed at points:

"You're like a relief pitched," Kelsey said, looking disappointed. "You get call in to pick up the save. But it sucks that you never pick up Marisa."

When Marisa needs help, she calls for Alex. When a bad date goes wrong, she calls in Alex. When she's trying to get a guy off her back? Yep, she calls over Alex.

And Alex runs to her like a puppy dog.

I don't think Alexander had too much of a dating history; perhaps that was why he came across obsessive to me. He was the guy that girls never called back -- but when he finally did find a girl who wanted him to stick around, he was too hung up on Marisa to notice.

However, Alexander's alpha side does come out toward the beginning of the book when Marisa is going on and on about how she wants a certain type of man -- Alex finally snaps and says, look, I've rescued you four different times in 2 years, what's wrong with me? Marisa has her reasons for not considering Alexander a suitable match -- the main one she voices being she doesn't want to lose his friendship -- but there are other things that factor in, as well. While she doesn't quite say it in so many words, Alexander's lack of eye contact makes her feel he lacks self-esteem, and quite frankly, it annoys her. I personally don't understand how that sentiment can come across when you're talking about a friend, someone you care about at least a little bit...

I suppose in the end I had a hard time with Alex and Marisa not giving one another the true time of day, but somehow ending up together when all was said and done -- it takes more than Bears tickets and a sweet poem.

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