Four Steps by Wendy Hudson

(14 customer reviews)

$9.99 / E-BOOK

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Read an excerpt here: pdf | epub

Author: Wendy Hudson


In this lesbian romantic suspense two women find themselves in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands in a fight for survival as they build a formidable bond.

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 from the constant hustle and bustle of everyday life. Growing up was neither traditional nor easy for Lori, but now she’s beginning to realise she’s settled for both. A dead-end relationship and little to look forward to. Her solution when the suffocation sets in? Run for the hills.

A chance encounter in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands leads Alex and Lori into a whirlwind of heartache and a fight for survival as they build a formidable bond that will be tested to its ultimate limits.

Additional information

Publication Date

August 2016


epub (for Kindle Reader/Kindle Apps, for iBooks, Nook etc.), mobi, and pdf


92,000 words




978-3-95533-691-2 (mobi), 978-3-95533-692-9 (epub), 978-3-95533-693-6 (pdf)


Ylva Publishing

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14 reviews for Four Steps by Wendy Hudson

  1. Michelle


    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 reading a book that I actually wished I could show up at their party and join in on the drinks and the laughs. The characters are fleshed out well and we are fed pieces of information about them in perfect pacing. From the very first interaction with Alex and Lori, Hudson builds just the right amount of tension, and I even laughed out loud at some of the clever dialogue both between Alex and Lori and also from their friends. Four Steps pulled me in immediately, and I read it every spare moment I could over just a few days. I could have kept on reading about Alex and Ryan for hundreds of more pages. That being said, by the end, it felt like I had gone on such a long, wonderful adventure with them that it’s hard to comprehend that the book really only covered a month or two in time. I was thoroughly impressed with the story, the writing style, the character development and the dialogue. Hudson had me hooked from page one, and I would recommend this book to anyone who just wants to read a good piece of fiction. I am really looking forward to see what Hudson comes up with next. A 5-star novel through and through.

  2. Lynne Phillips


    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 and have little updates on Alex and Lori also.
    This book was very easy to read and kept me turning the pages to a great ending, I can’t wait to see what the author does in the future.
    I highly recommend this book.

  3. Ameliah Faith


    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 pulling them apart. Can they work past the pain or is Alex destined to be alone…its a matter of life and death…..

    “Then Alex was part of her and Lori lost any control she had left”. This is my favourite line in the book. It says so much and yet it is so understated. Its soft yet determined, a theme I found in this book.

    Let me just say upfront that I actually PM’ed the autor, a woman I have never met, and told her outright that she is an evil, evil woman in the best possible way. The book started out suspenseful and not happy. It quickly changed direction and turned into a warm sweet book. Little was I to know the dark and deadly was yet in store. The tension was intense and acute. My heart raced and I couldn’t stop rocking and actually had to stop reading until I was firmly anchored in the here and now before I could go back to the stomach in knots drama. Oh Gads, Ms Hudson knows how to draw out the scary bits and throwing in twists so the anxiety lasts what seems like F O R E V E R! It is brilliant! I swore I was only going to read one more chapter before going to bed but twenty chapters later I was still reading. I could not put it down…. good thing I was going to be able to take a nap the next day because I had to finish it.

    I loved the characters of Alex and Lori. They are charming and delightful. Each of them on the mountain to forget and make new memories, little did they realize what the Fates had in store when Frank introduced them in the rain. (You will love Frank, he’s pretty amazing) Their lovely story will have you saying awww more than once. Their best friends are pretty wonderful too. They are funny handfuls, both grateful that their friends found each other. When the chips are down each of them stood up and became supportive heros for both of the women.

    In the end I had to write back to Ms Hudson and tell her she was forgiven as I loved this book and the final major twist made things alright in my world. Read this book, its worth it!

  4. Nicole


    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 jokes and comments being made throughout the novel, which was a delightful treat, as I more often find myself rolling my eyes at an authors attempt at humour. This book brought me into the story with the perfect amount of scenic and character detail. I was fully immersed in the world of Alex and Lori and was sad when my journey with them came to an end.
    I ABSOLUTELY recommend Four Steps, and I eagerly await Hudson’s sophomore novel.

  5. Susan Burns


    Fantastic book ! Kept me hooked from the beginning
    It’s a real “one more chapter then I’ll go to sleep” type book. Can’t wait to read more from this new author.

  6. Karen Mcintosh


    This is a truly wonderful book and I can’t quite believe it’s a first novel. The writing is so accomplished and I could not put it down. The story of Lori and Alex, who meet in a bothy in the Scottish Highlands while out walking the mountains, is part heart-achingly beautiful romance, part thriller. I loved both of the main characters and so wanted them to become a couple. Lori is getting over a failed romance with a control freak boyfriend and Alex is finally getting over a breakup. Both have complex background stories and we slowly find out exactly what that means to the present and to their future together. Their family backgrounds have huge implications for them and how their relationship develops. The romance element was tender and loving and drew me in. These two were so meant for each other and I didn’t want anyone or anything to get in the way. The thriller part of the story was at times violent and scary and the tension was palpable. I can’t recommend this novel highly enough and I hope Wendy Hudson has another one on the go for next year.

  7. Fiona


    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 emerge too) moves at a fast pace, even while the narrative slows as we watch Alex and Lori getting to know one another and their respective closest friends. Then a phone call changes everything. As the suspense builds and the going gets edge-of-your-seat tough, we wonder who will make it out alive. Debut novelist Wendy Hudson has created strong characters with a feisty, feminist outlook. They hold our interest through lengthy heart-to-hearts and playful, sparkling dialogue as all the friends contribute to assessing whether Lori and Alex have a future. With a light touch, Hudson successfully weaves in numerous ways in which homophobia and male violence wreck and destroy lives. Despite dark events, the overall tone is largely fun, including laugh out loud moments as the close-knit group drink, gossip, match-make and do all they can to enjoy life. My favourite plot twist took me by surprise as we learned a key fact about Alex’s determination. Expect to see much more from this confident young author, who manages, in Four Steps, to set us fearfully on edge, pulses racing, then later to signpost a future beyond tragedy and heartache.

  8. Anon


    I loved this book from beginning to end. The characters are well developed, believable and so likeable that I found myself always having to read ‘just one more’ chapter to find out how things would go for them. The writing style makes the story flow naturally leaving clear, vivid images in your mind. Devoured it in a day!
    I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for a sequel to Four Steps or for any other releases from Wendy Hudson in the future.

  9. rrrahming2020


    Four steps is a different kind of romance. We watch our two leads meet, spend time together, and build a romance. However, intersected in their romance is the story of the tragedy that occurred with one of the leads during childhood. Those parts of the book gave it mystery and added the thriller aspect.

    For myself, I like my romance separate from my thriller unless it’s done in a way that includes the characters in the present setting of the book. Think “The Killing Room” by Gerri Hill or the Casey Cain series by Ali Vali. Those kind of romantic thrillers are more my speed. I in no way want to diminish Four Steps; it’s a good solid book, just not my kind of book. I would recommend it though to someone who really enjoys thriller and romance. When the point of view shifts back and forth between characters, and time, it throws me off my reading groove. That kind of happens in Four Steps.

  10. velvetlounger


    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 and storylines are 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, and know there is more to come. Hudson keeps us guessing and builds the tension with consummate ease.

    The story then becomes a much more simple and traditional romance; girl meets girl, except one is straight and both are damaged. Their family histories take a long time to emerge, but we can see from the start how both women have locked themselves away, chosen the solitude of the hills as an escape from the expectations of a social life. Their interaction is light, playful and fun against a backdrop of dramatic scenery, unhappy pasts and damaged hearts. The solitary nature of Munro bagging reflects the visible and not so visible tenet of their chosen lives.

    The characters are exceptionally well drawn. They have deep and well-constructed pasts, complex emotions, and multi-layered relationships with those around them. For a first time author the portrayal of the main characters, not just our protagonists but also their best friends, is extremely well done. Even the dog is a strong personality. On the darker side Hudson draws out the menacingly evil nature of the main baddie and at the same time develops the dementia-ike ramblings and wanderings of an old man with outstanding pathos and empathy.

    As the two plot lines build and increasingly intertwine, the thriller comes back to the fore and we can see the denouement build. The story arcs are well thought through and show the potential of an accomplished storyteller. There was a small unexplained hole for me; why he had waited so long and left his ultimate target until it was almost too late, and why the local cops don’t call out. It doesn’t spoil the story, but the small rationals sometimes make the plot flow.

    Despite that small bump this is a well done, enjoyable and finely developed plot with complex, lovable characters, stunning scenery and an absolutely great first novel. I can’t wait to see what Ms Hudson comes up with next. When you start with something this good she is definitely going to be one to watch.

    (publisher review copy received)

  11. Enrico


    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 learn to know them, their stories, and start to like them and we are charmed. It seems like we are in a typical lesbian romance, where problems are the discovery by one’s own new sexuality, and the desire to be accepted and loved by a new mate.
    The dark theme? Forgotten. We are only marginally reminded here and there that there is also something else.
    And then gradually that violent, frightful thread starts to entwine to the other, becoming more important, then threatening, and eventually terrifying.
    What makes the story so vivid is the playing of contrasts. We have come to love a nice situation and now we are catapulted in horror. We have been lulled, then slapped.
    And the characters have to switch from cool to heroic.
    I found this novel both sweet and intense and breathtaking.

  12. pat iserman


    I am ready to go to Torriddon , stay in a bothy and see the beautiful landscapes but the hiking might be a challenge at this point.
    Great read.Loved how Alex and Lori meet..Unique set up.Too much angst and overthinking but at least I was aware of how everyone felt.Would love to read another book by Wendy Hudson.

  13. matsu

    (verified owner):

    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 characters, plus all the beauty of the Scottish countryside and… just read it already if you haven’t!

    At first the two plotlines seem completely separate, but of course they won’t stay that way. When they intersect, the action speeds up and you will be hard pressed to stop reading and do something else (like go to sleep). It gets violent, though, so be warned if you’re squeamish.

    The love story is slow and sweet and I’ve rarely read a more beautiful sex scene. All of the feels, none of the clinical description. The characters all seem real and believable, the baddies included.

    Note to self: buy the paperback too!

  14. dallen76


    I absolutely loved this book. The romance is a nice slow build and the mystery that happens through flashbacks is well told. All the characters are interesting in their own way as well as some quite funny moments. As things heat up this is a hard book to put down. I was up throughout the night trying to finish it.

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