Finished Hard Fall today. I got really caught up into the characters' lives, and had to keep reading to see what kind of trouble Deputy Joe would get himself into next. The descriptions of the scenery and the rock-climbing were awesome. I'm afraid of heights, but I could see why people get such a thrill from mountain climbing. So much research on so many different subjects must have gone into the book, but it was just woven in so the reader would understand it, without being overwhelming -- I appreciated the skill that takes. I've worked on a fair number of books lately where there was a lot of telling, and not much showing, so I was happy that this one showed the reader the details, like how a hot, sweaty man completely did it for Joe. Mmm, yeah. But you got it through all of Joe's senses, so there was a great feeling of immediacy. ** probably some spoilers coming ** And even though it wasn't Kabe's viewpoint, you could see how Kabe enjoyed being submissive.
It was interesting to see how Joe went from not really having any sense of how he'd be in a relationship to accepting how much he wanted to dominate. Not a stretch at all from what we see of his personality, but it surprised him. That dominant personality of his was portrayed very realistically. ;) I know there are a lot of different ways to be gay, but Joe comes across as completely masculine, no feminine side at all. It isn't that he's trying to present that appearance, it's just how he is. Now, I have a thing for androgynous guys, and I've had some pretty effeminate friends. But it's a refreshing change from a lot of m/m books to both not have any feminized men and not to be frantically told that a character is totally masculine, but just have Joe's actions speak for him.
So this could easily be a textbook on writing good m/m fiction. It's got protagonists you can sympathize with, the secondary characters are used well, the settings are gorgeous, the sex scenes are hot. The author did the research. There's a good amount of action-adventure in the story, and the romance is surprisingly tender, all things considered, although our heroes never stop acting like total guys. Here's a book that should effortlessly cross over to appeal to gay men.
My take on it...