one step behind is a delightful regency romance with a little hint of mystery mixed in to spice things up. gemma lancaster and lucas stone keep tripping over each other, she is searching for her cousin's murderer and he is searching for his sister's blackmailer. when they realize their suspects overlap they join forces, using a fake engagement as a cover to comply with regency society's standards of respectability.
soon they find themselves battling more than just a murderer-blackmailer, they must fight against their own issues of insecurity and fear of commitment, because the attraction between them burns too hot and they are going to get singed--either by reputation or by a broken heart--if they don't figure things out. what's great about gemma and lucas is that they are on equal ground from the first moment they meet. and while lucas does that gentlemanly thing of trying to protect gemma, he doesn't go overboard with it either, and he surrenders to the fact that they are partners pretty easily.
i figured out who the villain was pretty early in the story, but i've read some other reviews of people who were surprised. but i am never generally surprised by plot twists, so this didn't upset me. i guessed it was the character, but i didn't have any idea as to his motivation, so i still found the sleuthing done by gemma and lucas, and george and beatrice to be of interest. all in all, if you like regency romances, you won't do wrong here. the characters are strong and the plot is entertaining.
**one step behind is scheduled to publish on september 26, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (select historical) in exchange for my honest review.