Friday, November 9, 2018

Hard Fall

James Buchanan
MLR Press
Reviewed by Nancy
5 out of 5 stars


Deputy Joe Peterson is Mormon and in the closet. Then ex-con Kabe Varghese lands in town on parole. When a tourist falls off the mountain, Joe finds he needs the help of this cliff climbing adrenaline junky to solve the case. Will Kabe tear him apart or does Joe need to fall hard before he can start living?

My Review

I was looking for a light, sweet romance. Hard Fall was definitely the wrong choice. There is the death of a tourist to be solved, a cop trying to reconcile his religious faith with his desire for men, and a young mountain climber with a tight body who's run afoul of the law and worms his way into the cop's heart.

The relationship between Deputy Sheriff Joe Peterson, a Mormon, and Kabe Varghese, an ex-con who is staying with relatives while serving his parole, starts off slowly and gradually builds up intensity when Kabe’s help is enlisted to investigate a climbing accident involving a German tourist.

The mystery was rather disappointing, since it was obvious early on who the killer was. What I really enjoyed about this story was the relationship between two very different men, the interaction with a variety of people in the community, some supportive of their relationship and some not, and the issues Joe and Kabe have to deal with when their relationship comes in conflict with church teachings.

Hard Fall is told in the first person, from Joe’s point of view. His character is extremely well drawn, even though I had some difficulty in the beginning getting used to his country dialect. Joe is strong, smart, and faithful. Kabe has an attitude and a smart mouth, but Joe makes him feel safe. These guys are so different, yet so perfect together.

The sex is hot and intense, not gratuitous, and the mountain climbing scenes were breathtaking and realistic.

Great story!