Audiobook Review: Stepping Stone

Author: Dakota Willink

Narrators: Lacy Laurel, Jeffrey Kafer

Series: Stone, Book Two

Length: 7 hours 57 minutes

Publisher: Dakota Willink, LLC

Released: Nov. 15, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

The story of Krystina and Alexander continues in Stepping Stone, book two of The Stone Series.
Krystina Cole is flawed and damaged from a traumatic experience. A relationship with Alexander Stone will never work. She knows that her capacity for love is limited, and that only she alone can repair the pieces of her shattered heart. But Alexander is everywhere she turns. In her mind. In her heart. And in her soul. She cannot deny him. He is her addiction and she is unable to stay away.
Alexander Stone has accepted the inevitable. If he wants to hold on to Krystina, he must bare all and release the secrets in his past. There were risks, but she is worth it. No woman has ever affected him the way that she did. She is the sunshine in his darkness. The lightning to his thunder. She is his angel.
Bound by their passion to be together, Alexander and Krystina fight to let go of their pasts. Together, they embark on journey of self-exploration, relying on trust to be their ultimate bond. Falling completely into one another, there finally seems to be a beacon of hope for their future. But as they test their boundaries of desire, fate takes an unexpected turn, threatening their only chance at survival…

Dakota Willink is a contemporary romance writer and editor, and the author of The Stone Series. She is an associate member of Romance Writers of America and a Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards winner.
Dakota has always had a passion for reading and writing. From the time she was an adolescent, she enjoyed curling up with a good paperback, reading genres that ranged from thriller and fantasy, to mystery and romance. She always dreamed of one day writing her own book, but had put her aspirations on hold to focus on her family and a career that would pay the bills. However, her heart continued to be with fictional characters – whether they belonged to a favorite author or if they were just stories that she made up in her own head.
In 2013, Dakota gathered enough courage to turn her dreams into a reality. In between playing chauffeur to two very busy children and working her job during the day, Dakota began to put words on paper. Eventually, she began to describe her life as a book. Everything she saw or heard throughout the day, intertwined with her imagination for the creation of future writings. By 2014, with the support of her husband and two children, she gave up the security of a steady paycheck and began working on her first novel full time.
Her first novel, Heart of Stone, was published in December of 2015. Less than a year after its release, the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards recognized Heart of Stone as the 2016 Bronze Medalist in the romance category.
Dakota resides in the Western New York area, where she enjoys spending time with family, her two Labrador Retrievers, and her spoiled rotten cat. During the summer months, she can often be found soaking up the sun on the Great Lakes with her family.
Narrator Bio
Lacy lives the life of a full time wife, mother and household manager. Needing a temporary escape from time to time Lacy returned back to her first love – reading! After devouring everything she could get her hands on she thought, -what if she could mix her love of performance and literature in a professional capacity? Once getting involved in the world of book narration she quickly became hooked and when not with her family you can find her in her studio working hard to grow in her own storytelling abilities.
Narrator Bio
Jeffrey Kafer is an award-winning Audiobook Narrator and professional voice actor. Spanning over 350 titles, he specializes in Romance, Thrillers, Sci-Fi and more!



I definitely liked this second book better than the first. Enough to give it a higher rating, for sure! I have started listening to “Stepping Stone” immediately after finishing “Heart of Stone”. It’s not just the cliffhanger, but the curiosity of seeing how they will manage to reconcile their issues, or better yet, his issues.

Yes, “Stepping Stone” is more about Alex, but also Krystina has a lot to accept and deal with when it comes to our gorgeous male character. It’s his chance to open up, his chance to put his life and his heart in the hands of his significant other. It will not be easy, but as they say… baby steps. Their relationship will become stronger and stronger until past will come back and haunt them. Funny is that, as they come together as more than sex partners, their enemies will unite as well.

And this is what I liked about this book (praise to the author for that). While Alex and Krystina grow as a couple when it comes to trusting each other, their experiences sexually speaking also grow. Even professionally speaking, they will evolve: Krystina as a team leader and manager and Alex, by accepting his past. These lovely combinations between all aspects of life are so well intertwined and well handled in these chapters.

It is impossible not to mention the similarities between this series and “Fifty Shades of Grey”, where also in the second book we find out about Christian’s past and where he and his partner test the boundaries of pain and pleasure. Some might say it’s bad, others might say it’s not. I’m of the latter. Since there are tons of books that speak of different society classes and rankings, as “Hunger Games”, I can accept there will be books that are similar to “Fifty Shades”. But if the author comes with something new, then it’s perfect.

I believe Dakota Willink did do something wonderful with the series. I had a great time listening to book no. 2, as well as with the first one. In regards to the narration, I have almost the same comments as previously. For me, there is a big discrepancy between Alex’s tone, interpreted by Jeffrey Kafer and the one interpreted by Lacy Laurel. However, this time she did a better job with the voice inflations, as I did not hear the same intonation synopsis.

All in all, great! 5 Stars J

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5 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: Stepping Stone

  1. Great review. I listened to the first one and did not go any further because I did not feel like they were similar. It seemed to me that names were changed but the plot followed thr same exact progression. I felt like I was reading Fifty Shades. I did, however, like Krystina better than Anastasia. Not quite as annoying. Maybe someday I will finish the series.,.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I fully agree and understand. When you have a moment, give it a shot. It adds something different at some point 🙂


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