Step by Step

Step by Step – Candace Calvert – Crisis Team #2 – Tyndale House Publishers – Published 1 February 2016



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 thoughts

I loved By Your Side, book one in the Crisis Team Series, so I was really looking forward to this second book, Step By Step. I had high expectations and wasn’t disappointed by the great mix of medical suspense, action and romance.

Taylor Cabot is recovering from the death of her husband. After three years of grief and pain, she is ready to slowly work her way through her survival checklist for a new start at life. But a beautiful day at the beach turns to tragedy when a light airplane crashes into hundreds of people celebrating the San Diego kite festival. Onsite when the tragedy unfolds, Taylor, ER nurse, jumps into action. The day also brings Taylor back into contact with Seth Donovan, who responds to the plane crash as part of his role as Crisis Team chaplain. Taylor hopes meeting with Seth will be a short and painless reunion, but his solid approach to their friendship seems determined to question why she is removing herself from the crisis team and discover how she is really coping with her grief. The events that follow rattle Taylor, forcing herself to question both her past and her dreams for the future. This book had the whole range of emotions, everything from heartache to joy and hope. Nearing the conclusion of the story I had tears streaming down my face and by the end I couldn’t wipe off my smile. There was also a great mix of suspense and a gradual build up of tension. There are some pretty intense scenes, including the plane crash at the start, medical emergencies and even a car chase. But the focus of this book is emotional trauma, and there is plenty of it. It certainly made for an addictive read and a touching story.

The romance is incredibly sweet. Taylor is determined to move on, but keeps getting blind-sided by the people and events of her life. I loved Seth. Taylor describes him as a big, well-worn teddy bear mixed with a fearsome warrior. Messy dark hair in need of a trim, broad shoulders, leather jacket and lab pup in tow. Where can I sign up? But Seth too has a past, one he has struggled with and learnt from, and which helps him understand what Taylor is going through. Their friendship is complicated, and their road to a deeper relationship is neither smooth nor easy, but it certainly makes for enjoyable reading.

Step By Step is the second book in the Crisis Team series. While Taylor’s story started in book one, you could read this book as a standalone as all the necessary details are provided to make this a complete storyline. Though please note, it’s much more fun to read both books one and two in this fantastic series. I can’t wait to see which character will continue the story in book three (I’m guessing Sloane has quite a story to tell and I would love to see her get her own happily ever after). It was also nice to reacquaint with Aimee, Taylor’s cousin who readers might recognise from Candace Calvert’s short story The Recipe, which appeared in the anthology The Chance of Loving You. These little touches of a diverse and widespread community of hospital staff, law enforcement, first responders and crisis team members makes stepping into Step By Step’s world of medical action and suspense so enjoyable. I can’t wait for book three and highly recommend Step By Step.

The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

More information

Category: Fiction

Genre: Christian medical suspense.

Themes:  Grief, loss, nurses, medical suspense, ER, first responders, crisis counselling, hospitals, marriage, romance.

Published: 1 February 2016 by Tyndale House Publishers.

Format: Paperback, ebook. 400 pages.

ISBN: 9781414390345

Find it on Goodreads