Book Review: One Step Closer – #1 by Lisa Reynolds

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One Step CloserOne Step Closer by Lisa Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lisa Reynolds is an Irish blogger I follow. I read one of her books last year and was entertained by the wit and character relationships she created. Before continuing with that series, I wanted to try another one of her series to see which I preferred. While on vacation last week, I read the first book in the One Step Closer collection. Although the same tone and style were present in both books, this is a vastly different type of story but also one I enjoyed very much. I think I like this one slightly more…

One Step Closer is a televised music competition along the lines of American Idol and The Voice. It takes place in the UK and puts the contestants and the judges much closer together than I thought ever happened (could just be my ignorance of reality). When that happens, the plot becomes ripe with conflict and tension — both emotional and sexual. Wow, what a crazy dynamic went on behind the scenes and during the competition’s live performances.

We get to know all 5 judges and about 10 of the contestants, some more than others, as we get glimpses of those who fall out of the competition early and details of those who make it to the top 5. A few of the judges were monsters, of course, and Reynolds does a wonderful job making us dislike them. Near the end, a few have minor redemption points, but overall, the characterizations are strong and keep you interested in the action.

Relationships were key. Judges slept with contestants. Contestants slept with each other. Fights broke out. Contracts were signed. Blackmail happened. Secrets were unearthed. So much drama in such a short time period — I wouldn’t have survived, as if the producers asked me to spice it up for TV, I would’ve said ‘No thanks, this is me. Take it or leave it.’ Luckily, one contestant did just that, and so, Gavin was my favorite. That said, he made far too many snap judgments about the people around him, as did some of the others. Oddly enough, that’s probably a very accurate depiction of people despite my inclination to think it was too much to handle.

What it did was make for fantastic drama! Reynolds draws you in with the smoldering tensions and silly crushes until you can’t help but start to pair off characters. There are a lot to keep track of (each one has a voice and tells their story in alternating chapters), all with different personalities, but it’s a great start to the series. In the first 1/3, I struggled to keep everyone clear / straight, but Reynolds manages them well as the chapters unfold and we see which are the important ones to truly pay attention to. I’m very curious to see if the next book in the series focuses on a different group of contestants or the same group of people post contest. I could see it going in both directions, or even a combo.

I’d recommend this for anyone looking for a fun and indulgent read where you can get all angst-ridden about whether things like this really happen or not. I’m confident they do, but being removed from the industry, it feels shocking. Good drama – exactly what I like to read among my mysteries. Kudos to the author for showing such range in her writing style and genres.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


7 thoughts on “Book Review: One Step Closer – #1 by Lisa Reynolds

    lghiggins said:
    May 30, 2019 at 9:48 AM

    Good analysis, Jay. I am curious about the direction of future installments as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    Noriko said:
    May 30, 2019 at 7:51 PM

    Great review, Jay! I have never watched the show, but certainly sounds intriguing! Lots of drama, I guess!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 30, 2019 at 10:28 PM

      Yes, quite fun. The live shows are so immersive. I stopped watching after 10 years, but they are always fun competitions.

      Liked by 1 person

    lisarey1990 said:
    June 10, 2019 at 8:15 AM

    Thank you for your review James. Glad you liked it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    lisarey1990 said:
    June 10, 2019 at 8:21 AM

    Reblogged this on culturevultureexpress and commented:
    Thank you so much to James J. Cudney from This Is My Truth Now for his wonderful review of my first book in the One Step Closer series. Very much appreciated. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Jessica Belmont said:
    June 13, 2019 at 1:09 PM

    An interesting concept. It reminds me of a book I read last year that I can’t quite pin down the name of. I tend to start watching these shows when it gets down to 10 contestants. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

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