Cover Image: One Small Step

One Small Step

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Member Reviews

An honest review thanks to NetGalley.  This started out pretty good, I liked this book up until the halfway point, and then it went downhill.  At 85% I couldn't take it anymore and started skipping pages like crazy.  The issue I had was all with Cam, she literally admitted that she was in love with Iris but wanted to make it work with her fiance because Iris didn't tell her she loved her.  On and on it went and it infuriated me that she wanted to swing from one relationship to the next refusing to do anything until she knew she had a relationship with Iris.  Cam after halfway through ruined any like that I had for this book.
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Stevie‘s review of One Small Step by M.A. Binfield
Contemporary Lesbian Romance published by Bold Strokes Books 10 Dec 19

I’m not a great fan of football (‘soccer’ to those of you in the US), although I do glance at what’s going on in the women’s game occasionally. I have, however, some knowledge of how the dynamics play out in the teams of the non-professional leagues, through conversations with friends and colleagues, as well as by making comparisons by how such things work in other team sports. This book really appealed to me because of the possibility of that dynamic being played out as part of the friends-to-lovers trope, and it certainly paid off on that score.


Returning to London after a month working away, Iris Miller is pleased to encounter a new work colleague has also joined her law firm’s women’s football team (there’s also a men’s team, but more on them shortly). Cameron Hansen is working in the finance department on a temporary contract and is only in London for as long as her fiancé is on secondment to his employer’s London office, after which she fully expects to return to the US. The two women quickly become friends, especially when it transpires that Cam shares Iris’ love of performance poetry and runs in the parks close to where they both live. While Iris is greatly attracted to Cam, she is also very aware that the closeness of their friendship has a fixed expiry date and that any romantic feelings she may harbour are unlikely to be reciprocated. On top of that, Iris’ last relationship, with someone who previously played on her football team, ended badly, resulting in hurt and betrayal.

Cam, meanwhile, develops a massive crush on Iris, which forces her to re-examine past feelings for a woman she was involved with in college, as well as her rapidly diminishing respect and regard for her often absent, emotionally distant, boyfriend. To be honest, he was my least favourite thing about the book. It was hard to figure out what Cam had ever seen in him, even when comparing him to Cam’s boss, the villain of the story’s main non-romantic subplot. I wasn’t particularly taken with Cam’s mother either, but her role in the story was more understandable, and she did give us plenty of insights into why Cam might have found herself in the situation she was in, unredeemable boyfriend notwithstanding.

On the plus side, I loved the various friendships between team members, and would be keen to see some of them reappear in other books. This was a fun introduction to the characters, the setting, and the author, and I’ll definitely be looking out for future books by her.

Grade: B
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One word to describe this book was intense. This is a classic example of a slow burn romance - the leads go from strangers to friends to lovers, veeeery slowly. But it works. The chemistry between them is so palpable, and there's one particular scene on a dancefloor that's so innocent yet so sexy at the same time. Be warned though, there's a lot of angst. 

My only criticism is that the author uses the leads' first names in dialogue way too much, and she often divides what one person is saying into multiple paragraphs, which makes it incredibly confusing and difficult to follow who's talking.

Overall an enjoyable read, I enjoyed the London setting and look forward to the author's next work.
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The old 'gay falls for straight who isn't so straight storyline' can sometimes fall flat but not this one. A brilliant first novel which hits all the right emotions. I liked both of the main characters, Cam and Iris, and felt the author treated Cam's male fiancé sympathetically rather than pitching him as the bad guy who forced his girlfriend into the arms of another woman. 

I enjoyed going along on their journey from friendship to love and I'd definitely read more from this author.
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I really enjoyed the story, especially all the angst. ANd the characters are beautifully written. Great job!
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Great book. A well-balanced story, with enough character development to work alongside the layers of angst. Iris and Cam were something of a perfect match and I really enjoyed their journey. I felt their pain and love in their lives and I rate this book pretty highly. Nicely done MA Binfield.
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I was worried at first that I may not get into this one because it felt like the plot had been done many times before (straight girl engaged to a man falls for lesbian). Even so it was very well written and I wanted to keep turning the page to find out more in spite of this. It didn't matter that the overarching plot has been done before the story inside of that was quite great. The connection and friendship that formed between the two MC's was so good and the most believable that I've read in a while. To me Cam and Iris were both very likable character's. Of course they both had flaws but they definitely brought out the best in each other. Also, I'm super into soccer and loved reading about the games and the team.
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I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this title. Unfortunately, this title archived before I was able to download it.
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One Small Step by MA Binfield 

3/5 Stars

"Where love is concerned, the smallest steps are often the hardest to take―especially when you’ve guarded your heart as carefully as Iris"


Although at times the story of Iris Miller seemed a bit long and dragged out a bit I found it good enough for a lazy day read. I found the chemistry between the two main characters good and interesting enough to keep going when at times I might have out the book down for a rest. 

Thank you #NetGalley and #boldstrokesbooks for this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this, especially all the angst. When Iris first lays eyes on Cam in the dressing room of the company soccer team, she is drawn to her. But it’s of no consequence because Cam is straight and engaged to Ryan. What neither of them expect is how quickly they find things in common and become good friends.

This is a really simple story with no real surprises but the characters are beautifully written. I like books set in London because it’s one of the places I can fully imagine as I’m reading. Cam and Iris talk all the time and it is engaging dialogue but their thoughts are just as interesting. It’s one of those books that you know will break your heart but you just can’t put it down.

If this is Binfield’s debut, I’m all in for future offerings.

Book received from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.
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This is a wonderfully written love story between Iris and Cam.  Lesbian falls for straight woman, but unbeknowst to the lesbian, the straight woman isn't so straight after all.  There is a lot of sexual tension throughout the book, until they both realize they feel the same for one another.  Throw soccer into the mix and you have a book for sport fans too!
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was OK for me. A slow-burn romance that includes angst in various forms such as bad breakups and the threat of infidelity. It took most of the book to get to the point where the main characters got together, and I just found the payoff to be anticlimactic.

I think part of the problem I had is that I struggled identifying with the characters. Iris and Cam both frustrated me. The communication between the two was poor, which isn't a knock on the book but the characters themselves. If that was what Binfield was going for, she achieved it. Unfortunately, it was a turn off for me.
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What a great romance. Just reminded me to always talk and say what I want and need. I enjoyed all the characters maybe not Jess so much lol. Warmed me up on a cold snowy night definitely worth it.
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🏳️‍🌈👩‍❤‍👩📚⚢ 🇺🇸👫🗂⚽️🇬🇧👩‍❤‍💋‍👩📖👭🏳️‍🌈

That’s in exchange of an honest review that I received (from BSB via NetGalley) an ARC of « One Small Step », MA Binfield’s debut novel … So, here it is !!! 

My rating : 4.5 ⭐️

I’m happy ‘cause, we’ve got a brand new and very promising author here… 👍🙃🙂😊

The story sets in the City of London, in the UK and focuses on Iris Miller & Cameron « Cam » Hansen. They met when Iris comes back from a several weeks long professional trip. During Iris’s absence, Cam has joined Iris’s law firm and her soccer team … Iris is still bruised from a relationship that crashed and burned, and all the meaningless hookups that followed, but with Cam’s arrival (Cam who even starts hanging out in Iris’s favorite bookstore !!) everything gets turned upside down … Cam’s beautiful, open, and forward .She’s also straight, happily engaged, and simply looking for a friend—or so it seems…


The Pros :
° the settings : the descriptions made in this book make me want to go back to London ASAP and take my time to really visit the city…
° the author’s humor & really good writting style. I’m impressed since it’s her debut novel … 
° the really great chemistery / connection between the MCs which, in the end, results in « hot » lovemakings and some poetry.
° a good evolution in time, no rush here .. 
° very down-to-earth situations & realistic deep emotions … You know what ? => The forbidden attraction between the MCs… all along, the novel made me think about one of my favorite lesb movie « Imagine Me and You » (even if the contexts are different). IDK for the others, but I think it could become a good movie, as a matter of fact, I’d love to watch Iris and Cam’s journey on a big screen.
° good secondary characters, (OK … I confess, I really hated Jess, Ryan got on my nerves and I don’t even want to talk about Cam’s Mum who’s mentionned a few times)
° the good dialogues
° usually, I don’t like football/soccer (like not at all), but I appreciated the sports in the book because it’s about the love of the sport carried by the players in spite of the lack of financial support (the « mercantile » side of the, mainly masculine football, is what made me turn my back to this sport I enjoyed when I was a child) … 
° the mix of English from the UK and from the US : soccer when it’s Cam, football when it’s Iris or even the explanation of vocabulary. Cam was not the only one perfecting her English vocabulary 😊 


The cons :
° as much as I understand Cam’s issues (I know that’s not an easy choice to make when you want to finally embrace the life you really want for yourself (to be yourself) when people have always decided for you until this moment), I found the part where she debates with herself and her « straight status », way too long … I struggled and, a couple times, I’ve been tempted to skip a page or two (but I didn’t ..)

If I had to make a very short and quite different version of my review, it’d be something like this :
- Did I enjoy this book? => Yes
- Did I find the characters believable? => Yes … They’re are realistic and very touching
- Is this book now included in my « must be re-read »-list? => Yes …
- Will I purchase the paperback? =>  No need… It’s already on my bookshelves !! 
- Would I read another book by this author? => Yes, yes, yes … the author has a good humor & a really good writting style. Since this is her debut novel, I find it’s highly promising for the next books … Can’t wait !!! 
- Would I recommend this book => Yes … and not just to the feminine football/soccer fans .. 

Hey guys and gals, you know that now it’s your turn to take one small step and go to London… So … Grab your own copy and make your own opinion …

Enjoy (or not) your reading … 😉

🏳️‍🌈👩‍❤‍👩📚⚢ 🇺🇸👫🗂⚽️🇬🇧👩‍❤‍💋‍👩📖👭🏳️‍🌈
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Sometimes, it takes a while to realize that you have simply been going through the motions and trying to live your life based on other peoples expectations. Cam and her fiancé Ryan are living in London when she becomes friends with Iris. Iris happens to work for the same company that Cam works for, and also plays on the same soccer team. As the friendship develops, Cam realizes how much she and Iris have in common and also realizes that there is more to Iris than meets the eye.
I really enjoyed seeing how the friendship between Cam and Iris developed. It is this friendship and mutual support that not only helps Cam realize how unhappy she is but also allows Iris to believe in love again. Would Cam be brave enough to make the decision to go against the expectations of her fiancé and mother in order to be happy? 
This is a very good read!
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Meh
Iris is still suffering from the after effects of a relationship gone bad.  She has locked up the part of her that wants sex and a relationship, believing she does not deserve to be loved.  She instead focuses on work and her football (soccer) team.  When she meets the beautiful American Cam in the locker room, she is immediately drawn to her.  Turns out she is not only the newest team member but a coworker…and straight to boot.  Cam is unhappy with her life.  She followed her fiancée to London when he took another job and while she loves it, she isn’t happy that her man is always too busy for her and she resents the hell out of him always making all the decisions and talking down to her.  She’s tired of always being the good girl and doing what everyone expects of her.  After striking up a friendship with the lovely Iris, she begins to see how truly unhappy she is and how attracted she is to her dear friend.  

This is a lovely and sweet tale but I thought it dragged at times.  I loved the tension between Cam and Iris.  I felt so badly for poor Iris!  She had so much to overcome and while Cam was a big help in her healing, she also caused her share of new pain.  Iris tried so very hard to do the right thing even though she was having a difficult time overcoming the past.  I got somewhat tired of Cam’s drama with Ryan.  He is a putz and it took her long enough to realize it and deal with him!  On the other hand, I can also see where she was coming from, no one likes to hurt the person they are supposed to love.    I was so relieved to see her stand up for herself and do the right thing.  The ending was a long time in coming and I felt sort of cheated because they skipped over some things that I would have liked to see, such as their teammates reaction to them becoming a couple. While it is not my favourite book, it was an entertaining read but a once and done one for me.
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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review of the story.

There is an old 80's song - It’s Sad to Belong by England Dan and John Ford Coley - that gives an idea of the theme of this story... being in love with someone other than who you are with.

Iris is a handsome, athletic lesbian who after her partner cheats on her, no longer trusts herself to fall in love again.

She meets Cam, an attractive American straight woman engaged to be married.

Cam is lonely and looking for a friend to help her navigate adjusting to life in London while her fiance focuses on his career and not her.

Chemistry is evident from the moment they meet, Cam is relentless in her pursuit of Iris as the friend she desperately needs.

They get to know one another slowly, carefully through work, soccer (football as they say in the UK) and socializing after games.

The plot moves smoothly - it has some slow moments - and characters are complex.

I reccomend this book as an intense but satisfyingly realistic story of two women finding friendship, trust and unavoidable sexual attraction.
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Infidelity is a tricky subject and it’s got to be an enormous challenge on the part of a writer to create empathetic characters who are navigating that line. Though physical cheating doesn’t actually take place in the book, the friendship is drenched in heat and emotional intimacy that a lot of people would still consider a breach in a committed relationship. If angst is your thing, this book has loads and no waiting until the 80% mark. It’s fully present from the beginning and I loved it. 

Cam is an American in London because of her fiancé and his work. While there, she decides to join her company’s soccer team and gain a few friends. Drifting is a good word for Cam, not quite unhappy but not in great spirits either. Gradually, she forms a tight bond with Iris, one of her teammates, and the feelings grow into a dangerous inevitability.

Iris is torn between living the life of a person with integrity and falling into her feelings for Cam. Both mc’s are distinctly written and I enjoyed the secondary characters as well, even the fiancé, Ryan, has his moments, thankfully not written as a villain or a victim. Smooth writing for most of the way and good layers of story. I’m looking forward to this debut author’s next book.
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Normally I don't really go for the books where one MC is straight but every once in a while I come across one that I do like. And this definitely falls in the category "like"! The two main characters are both likable, the struggles and obstacles believable and the connection is a solid one. I thoroughly enjoyed their journey from new American player on the company's soccer team to friends to more than friends. The supporting cast was good too, Cams' fiance was not written as the bad guy, which I like, but more accurately like an okay guy but people just drift apart or are together for the wrong reasons.
This was one of those romances where you can think: this could happen to me. Just normal everyday life and finding someone to share that life with. If you like romance and some angst, give this one a go.

 **Many thanks to Bold Strokes for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
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This is a perfectly fine slow burn romance as far as the pacing of the action goes. The two leads, Iris and Cameron, have a lot of issues to work through, and it leads to a very intense, if very elongated courtship between the two. So, when they finally do get together, it happens very very late in the book and that actually loses a lot of the payoff of all the other stuff that the author build up so painstakingly throughout the rest of the book.

Cameron is trying to navigate through a low point in her relationship with her fiance and moving to London for his job. She does feel neglected and hurt that Ryan doesn't seem to have any kind of time for her, and seems to be less considerate of her feelings than of his own. She then meets Iris while practicing for the first time with their company women's soccer team, and they hit it off immediately. Iris has some baggage in her past, and is a kindred soul that Cameron just can't ignore. This starts a rather intense and intimate friendship that set both of them reeling.

There's a lot of stuff going on here that makes for a good look into a person dealing with the end of their relationship, but is unwilling or emotionally incapable of letting go. I found it interesting that the biggest problem between Ryan and Cam is that they are dancing around the issues - Ryan is using his work and Cameron is using her new friendship with Iris. It draws a ton of stuff out almost painfully, and unfortunately Cam is just this side of selfish enough to drag Iris into the drama.

What I found both interesting and frustrating about the book is that all three people within this tangled up relationship share at least some of the blame for some of the emotional distress. Iris isn't clear about her needs with Cam. Cam is a terrible communicator and can't confront Ryan on his behavior and her feelings. Ryan seems to not really understand Cam, and is very bad at including her in plans that really should involve them both.

This has a ton of angst in it, which is fine. Like I said, it is a slow burner, but with both characters actually acknowledging their feelings to themselves, but not able to express it to each other, or to Ryan. There are some themes that it doesn't quite follow through on, and others that it hits on really well. Overall, though, I thought it was a little long and perhaps could have benefited from more balance.

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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