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Four Steps

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  51 reviews
***GCLS Debut Author Award Winner 2017***

Alex Ryan lives a simple life. She has her farm in the Scottish countryside, and the self imposed seclusion suits her, until a crime that has haunted her for years, tears through the calm and shatters the fragile peace she’d finally managed to find.
Lori Hunter’s greatest love is the mountains. They’re her escape fr
ebook, 343 pages
Published August 15th 2016 by Ylva Publishing
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  204 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The prologue of this book grabs you and will send a shock of terror through you. All I could think was on my goodness that was absolutely, one-hundred percent, terrifying. The first chapter is a glimpse of everyone’s worst nightmare coming true. Grabbed your attention, right? Well, that is how this book goes, it grabs you and then tells you the story of Alex Ryan and Lori Hunter.

Lori Hunter is an interpreter for parliament in Westminster. Her day job of constantly and repetitively co
Farah ファラ
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ff-amore
Wendy Hudson navigates readers on an emotional journey. Plenty of ups, downs and shake ups that move you, whether it’s to amuse you, bemuse you or just shatter you into pieces. Four 👣 hits you at all angles - death, life, love, hate, rejection, acceptance and change to name a few. She tells the story with sadness, humor, steam and heart.

What I find so beautiful about this story is, the leads and the ease at which they connected even at such an early start, my adoration for them is in
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book starts with one of the most stunning prologues I've ever read. It is so powerful I'd expected the rest of the book to be a suspenseful thriller. Or at least, most of it. Turns out this is way more of a traditional romance and PTSD drama. The thriller part? around 15% at most. Unfortunately, you'll have to sit thru a lot of romance and drama before you get to the thriller.

Lori works as an interpreter in London, but she likes to hie away occasionally to the Scottish highlands. Lately, h
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: l-words
Detailed score: 3.5 but fell away at the end to lose its 'worth the round up' status

Usually I'm not squeamish about such things but I found this unnecessarily graphic / violent .

On the flip side, the romance was unrealistically instalove/ instadepth. Also felt multiple character arcs were introduced and then clumsily left hanging.

That said, it kept me turning pages and the prose was of good quality.

Just a bit grim to enjoy and too instalove to 100% engage for me. But st
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wendy Hudson’s first novel, Four Steps, has you emotionally involved with your heart racing and you are still in the first chapter! A horrific family tragedy occurs while you watch. Years later Alex Ryan and her Springer Spaniel Frank meet Lori Hunter while climbing in Scotland. They share a climbing hut for a night and spend the rest of the weekend getting to know each other.

The mystery and suspense slowly build for both the characters and the storyline. The past events become clearer as the y
Just a man's point of view
This is a story composed not by one, but by two narrative threads, one bright and one very dark. How these two threads combine and intertwine is the original idea of this book.
The bright thread is a nice, enjoyable love story between the two main characters, Lori and Alex, while the dark thread is a grim, violent thriller.
The author gives us a vivid image of the dark theme in the prologue, and then… no more. We are projected into a pleasant love story of two nice, lovely ladies. We l
Loek Krancher
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fabulous!

Wow, the prologue, what an entree! It has me immediately on the edge of my seat. This is a amazing story with a bone chilling thriller. Set in a beautiful scottish surrounding. I kept turning pages, curious and scared of what would happen next. It has intriguing twists and turns. I enjoyed this fast moving story immensely. A romantic thriller with colorful characters and an awesome love story. A book you won't be able to put down until the last gripping page. I'm really impre
Gaby LezReviewBooks
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Solid debut novel. A slow burn romance mixed with a bit of mystery that close to the end transforms into a page turner. Highly recommended!

See my other reviews at
Ameliah Faith
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Part Sweet Romance Part Scary Suspense

Lori is an interpreter who love hiking and dreams of working for the UN. Alex is a computer whiz who helps the police with cyber crimes, often involving children. She lives on her family farm and rarely leaves. On a weekend away they meet each other in on a mountain in Scotland. Before long feelings develop confusing the straight Lori and leaving the lesbian Alex with questions of her own. Just as they are finally drawn together, tragedy strikes
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't expect much from this book, but it was a great surprise. From Lori and Alex's first interactions I was already confident it was going to be a 5-star.

The book starts off with a really intense prologue that sets up the mystery plot, but for the first half and a little more, the focus is almost entirely on the romance, which I didn't mind at all. They had so much chemistry and I found myself reading the cute scenes between them over and over again just out of amusement.
Lynne Phillips
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, the author has a very beautiful and descriptive writing style to the point I almost want to go hiking in the Scottish Hills and start sampling whisky. I really liked both the main characters and if I win the lottery want to build myself a home like Alex’s just so I can have parties like hers!

I really like the rest of the characters in the book also and am hoping maybe one day the author will write stories about their backgrounds so we can find out more about them a
Dec 01, 2017 added it
Shelves: romance, crime, lesfic
Four Steps
By Wendy Hudson

Clever title

My expectations were pretty high for this book and mostly delivered I was under the impression that Four Steps was well liked for the quality of the crime-mystery intrigue - while the book was good and well done, the crime-mystery aspect of the book was not stellar by my standards.

In this book, I found a well-developed romance wrapped up in a good cold-case-gone-hot subplot. The general writing quality is above standard, if uneven o
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was quite the ride. It's two different kind of books wrapped up together as one, a romance and a suspense thriller. For the most part it works, though some of the emotional transitions can be a bit jarring. I enjoyed this, but I had a hard time with the tension and the violence (the violence isn't excessive, I just really have a low tolerance for it). I'm definitely going to pick up something lighthearted for my next read.
Michelle Teichman
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book. I knew from the cover and the writer’s style that I was going to like it (having previously read an excerpt), but I didn’t know just how much it was going to take me away with it. I could see the mountains in Scotland, hear the horses, and even feel the emotions of the characters in my own gut. It was masterfully written and the plot was excellently executed. Wendy Hudson writes like a veteran author, comfortable with her story and her characters. This was the first time r ...more
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There's nothing more exciting than finding a new author that you love, and that is exactly what I have found here in Wendy Hudson's debut novel. I was drawn in from the first chapter of this book, and that's not an easy feat with me. Hudson does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life and making them feel like real people - people you want to hang out with! I was so impressed with the natural feel to the dialogue she created, and actually found myself laughing out loud at some of the ...more
Emma Sterner-Radley
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story has a romance vein and a crime vein and without ruining your read with spoilers, they obviously intersect in a clever way. This story doesn't pull any punches and the characters are really interesting!
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, lesbian, thriller
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's mainly a romance mixed with a bit of a thriller. Normally I prefer the romance to play second in a plot. But in this book I found myself totally engaged in the lead characters and their development from a chance meeting, getting to know each other to a full romance. I enjoyed it so much I did not want to put the book down.

The opening prologue is great. It catches the reader's attention and the mystery of a tragedy unfolds gradually through the sto
Victoria Adams
I got this book through a Goodreads giveaway and I really enjoyed it. I have to agree with other reviews, I loved the prologue. It was tense, captivating and beautifully written, playing on everyone's worst nightmare.

This book is a mix between a romance and a thriller which, whilst worked, wasn't really for me. It began and ended a thriller, but with a love story throughout the middle. I found the contrast a little bit too much as it felt like two very different stories.

That said, I
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new fan

In two days I have Read both books from Wendy Hudson. I can say I am definitely a new fan. The storyline in this one was very interesting and had me hooked from the beginning. The characters were believable. I would definitely recommend this book.
Velvet Lounger
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Four Steps is Wendy Hudson’s first novel and it’s a cracker. A slow burn romance with a threatening undercurrent of slow burn thriller where we, the reader, can see the two plots building, but the protagonists seem totally separate.

The prologue is stunning, tense and terrible. It sets up the history, but also leaves us guessing. Hudson then cleverly drops the thriller; it’s a historical foot-note to Alex’s character, but with little current import. Over time we learn more, see more,
Fiona Montgomery
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Four Steps, a passionate love story, is also a tense thriller with a terrifying climax. London-based interpreter Lori, and Alex, who lives on her family's farm in the Scottish Borders, meet by chance in a Highland bothy. They hit it off, although one is in a relationship and the other doesn't know if she can love again. Horrific trauma, courageous friendships and flippant flirting all feature as the young women tease their way, literally, into new beginnings. The fledgling main romance (others e ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The prologue - i see everyone mention it in their reviews and must give a shout out too cause it grabbed you and sucked you into the book right away, really well done.
It ends with a bang and woosh the story takes us years forward, where we meet Lori and Alex.
Who, while hiking in the mountain run into eachother and end up sharing the same space for a night where they find themselfs talking like old friends.
Not wanting to loose contact cause both feel there is something special betwe
Katherine Jensen
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a great book from start to finish. The pacing throughout was great, as was the writing. I felt the characters were believable. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to any future novels from Wendy.
Margaret L. Hedman
I loved this book.

I Loved Four Steps by Wendy Hudson. Beautifully written. The storyline about Alex and her family is too sad. But the book is packed w/ action, romance, and great characters.
David Kenvyn
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a cross between a lesbian love story and a thriller. That does not give anything away. The Prologue leaves you with no doubt that something terrible has happened. Then the first three very short chapters, which describe the meeting of the women hikers in the bothy (a shepherd's hut) on a Scottish mountain leaves you in no doubt that there is an attraction between Lori and Alex. The question is whether these two themes will weave together to create a coherent story, and they do.
Aj Smith
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Before I had finished Four Steps I had bought Wendy Hudson's other book, Mine to Keep; that's how much I was enjoying this one. No mad shit, no one just happens to have been a nuclear scientist or secretly part of a crack commando unit back in the day, just people (including men and heterosexuals, perish the thought!) dealing with work and life and exes.

At this stage I will take a metaphorical breath mid-stream and point out that Ylva Publishing ( se
Betty BoomBa
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ff-thriller
Disappointed. 3 stars at best. No highly rated by one and all, yet I can’t for the life of me see why. It was, for me, a very frustrating read because the author can write, she has some great stories to tell, but for me, it just does not gel. If anything, it seemed to me, as though two books had been squashed together.
Let’s start at the beginning.
The Preface. Which is so long it really should be Chapter One. But hey. Scary, evocative, so full of promise. Loved it. Give me more of this! ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book just a couple of days ago and basically, I'm still flailing and trying to form a coherent sentence. So damn good! This deserves all of the awards and I'm blown away that this was a debut novel. Holy moly, what a start!

There's a mystery that is revealed little by little, mostly through flashbacks. There's a romance between the reclusive Alex and Lori, who's finally realising she has settled for something that's not quite what she wants. There's a cast of great cha
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quick review as I’m a little pressed for time but I couldn’t let this book slip through without saying how much I enjoyed it. It made a pleasant change to read a romance novel with a bit of grit. Wendy Hudson is a fantastic writer who had me gripped from the start. I’m not sure I necessarily would have picked this book up if I hadn’t met the author at a conference as I would usually be drawn to a more fluffy-romancy kind of cover, but I have to say that I loved it and can’t wait to read her next ...more
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have no idea how I missed reading this one when it first came out. I really did miss out though. This is the second book I have read by Hudson, and both were amazing. The beginning of the book is very intense, so as a reader you may think the entire book will be this way… not true. I couldn't put it down though. From page one to the end of the book it doesn't slow down. I enjoyed the relationship between Lori and Alex and it felt fluid and right from the beginning. This book is part romance wi ...more
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Wendy Hudson is an award winning author based in Scotland.

Her debut novel "Four Steps" won a 2017 GCLS Debut Author Award, was a Diva Literary Award Finalist 2017.

Her second novel "Mine to Keep" was a 2018 GCLS Finalist.

All her novels are set in Scotland among the inspirational landscapes that first inspired Wendy to write.

In her spare time, Wendy has a love fo
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