A Single Step is a slow burner, in the very best sense of the word, as we follow Emma Grayson’s reluctant return to life after the devastating loss of her beloved daughter and the ensuing break up of her marriage. The first step back to the land of the living comes for Emma when she takes a job as stable manager on a large mysterious country estate. It’s through the friendships she makes here that she is able to reconnect with the world.
For me, A Single Step operates on two levels. Primarily it is the emotional journey of a woman, completely destroyed by the events life has thrown at her, to recovery. However, alongside this there’s an underlying tension that is simmering just beneath the surface, keeping the reader on edge until the climax of the novel, which sees Emma facing serious danger.
I think Georgia Rose’s real skill as a writer lies in her painstaking attention to detail. She creates in Melton Estate a world that is totally believable. Rose’s passion for horses is apparent in the loving descriptions she offers as Emma tends to the horses in her care. Despite knowing absolutely nothing about horses, I found myself totally caught up in Emma’s devotion to them. The way that Rose describes the emotional turmoil that Emma endures, particularly the death of her daughter, is so involving and heartrending, I found myself moved to tears.
I like Emma as a character, complete with massive chip on her shoulder and prickly defensiveness. Her true personality only comes out initially through her interactions with her dog and the horses. Emma’s love interest, Trent, is no less troubled than she is but the pair make a good match. Georgia Rose also gives us a likeable cast of supporting characters, all of whom I’m looking forward to following in the sequel.