Hard Fall
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Hard Fall (Deputy Joe #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  994 ratings  ·  144 reviews
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?
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Published by MLR Press, LLC (first published February 1st 2009)
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Reviewed at Hearts on Fire Reviews

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, s...more
Written July 13, 2014

4 Stars - In my taste, it got stuck in the heart

Hard Fall, the first book about the Mormon Sheriff's Deputy, Joe Peterson in a small Utah town. A book and a series (Deupty Joe) all my friends in the the crime-MM-romance girls gang, and sweet Sofia, are nagging about.

I just have to forgive this cheezy cover and start. May it be good. I want more great and romantic crime M/M series to follow

Animated bunny emoticon Animated bunny emoticon Animated bunny emoticon Animated bunny emoticon

It was good... kind or great. I loved it.


4,5 stars!!!
I know I'm a greedy person.

The first book of the series, Hard Fallwas published 2009 and we have 2014!

5 years full of despairing search for something like THIS, for something like HIM, like DEPUTY JOE!!!

I'm not sure that I can order it under mystery, it is for sure not a typical mystery, or better to say, the mystery part is not the main focus of the book.
The main focus of the book is Joe.

Joe is one of the "Magnificent Seven" deput...more
Smith Barney
Final series review here.
Mother•f'ing•Spanking•Hell. That's where I'm headed..with my cursing language skills of a non-religious variety and my filthy-carnal pleasures of a lust-filled diversity. Thank Hell I came across this Deputy Joe series to assist me on my sinful way.

Domineering sexy-mofo-Mormon Deputy Joe and his spank-loving beefcake convict..Kabe. Climbing rock, humping mountains, making lust-filled, gut-wrenching love with mother•f'ing nature. Just the way I like it..with a little ro...more
What bothered me...the climbing lingo.
I was relieved after reading reviews from friends who apparently had the same problem, even as native speakers. I don`t mind using a dictionary as a help-me-through, but it gets frustrating when I can`t find a translation at all or a confusing translation.

What I liked...
Everything else, especially the take on the BDSM theme. No clubs, no safewords, not overthinking or questioning it. It comes as naturally as every other basic need like eating, sleeping, brea...more
Aleksandr Voinov
Good book, I quite enjoyed it. I liked Joe, and I liked the build-up before they finally get to have sex. I start to get bored with pants dropping on page 1-5 (in a novel. Short stories might be different). The crime part didn't really work all that well for me, though, so I read it very much as a "love story with a crime plot attached" rather than a crime/thriller novel. At times, Buchanan lost me when they explained all the climbing stuff (probably painstakingly researched, but as a non-native...more
Joe Peterson is a Deputy Sheriff, a Mormon and a gay man. He loves his job and his life in a small Utah town and is very strong in his faith. Over time he has come to terms with his sexuality although he is totally in the closet. There's just no reason to be out as far as he is concerned, when he needs some sexual release he simple goes to Las Vegas and takes care of it. He is not looking for love and really doesn't think to ever have a long term relationship.

All of that starts to change when he...more
So glad I finally got around to reading this book. I just fell in love with Joe and Kabe and can't wait to continue on with the series.

Joe is a Sheriff's Deputy in Utah. A mormon and a member of the LDS church, he is strong in his faith, but has also come to terms with the fact that he is gay. While the church would not punish him for being gay, he will be punished for having sexual relationships. That requires Joe to stay in the closet and take occasional trips to Las Vegas to get what he need...more
Jun 19, 2014 Sofia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sofia by: Otila
Shelves: scoville-hot

An easy flowing compelling page turning read. I was totally engaged whilst being in Joe’s head.

Joe’s whole life was about being in control. We start to see what happens when he loses that control with the entry of Kabe in his life. He is put through a test of fire which tests his life, his beliefs, friendships and family.

Being cut off from his life, seems easy for an outsider, even to us the readers, to say fuck them and turn your back and walk away. But that is not so easy to do is it. Our li...more
Jenni Lea

2.5 stars that I'm gonna go ahead and round up to 3 - all because I liked Deputy Joe.

I almost DNF'd this book. The first half was just boring. I had to put it down for a while and read something else before I went stir crazy from the boredom. When I came back to it this morning, yeah it did get better as they moved from the excessive details about rock climbing and actually gave me some feels but I don't think I will be reading the rest of the series. I don't really think this author does it for...more
Irina Z

While I've certainly encountered lots of naked men, ropes and other restraints in my previous books, nothing has been quite as 'sextreme' as the scenes from Hard Fall. I think I'll add them to the collection of my fantasies ;)

Because, you see..
“New experiences, what my Grams says, keeps us from going bat-shit in old age.”

I might not have such new experiences in real life, but boy do I live vicariously through my books..

And this was one hell of a ride.

But it's not just the hotness that appea...more
I have to admit I was a little annoyed by Joe’s dialect at first. I did eventually get used it though and it became part of his charm. And if’n I said that I didn’t love Joe, well I’d done be lyin’.

Joe’s a Sheriff’s deputy in a small town in Utah deep in the closet and a devout Mormon. He has a strong belief in his faith and he’s reconciled with being gay but he’s practical enough to know that he won’t be accepted in this small Mormon community if they knew. ‘I know. I know. Gay and Mormon don’...more
Jeff Erno
Joe Peterson lives in the small town of Panquich, Utah where he is a deputy sheriff. Joe is a country boy, through-and-through, and he devoutly clings to the traditions of his Mormon faith. He has a penchant for rock climbing, and is by all intents and purposes what you may consider a pragmatic, conservative survivalist. Ironically, Joe is also gay.

When a local couple asks Joe to keep an eye on their ranch while they are away, he encounters Kabe Varghese, the ranch owners’ nephew. Kabe is new to...more
Nichole (Dirty H)
I had an extremely difficult time getting into this book, mainly because of the hick style speech of the main character. And since it was in first person, there was no getting away from it. I also had a few issues with some of the main character's behaviors - I didn't really think they rang true for who he supposedly was.

Normally I would have given up and said this book was not for me, but I just couldn't do that this time because of the Mormon thing. I was sooo curious to see how it would be ha...more
Bryl Tyne
From the Mormonism to the bouldering, Buchanan nails every detail. I know some readers had a bit of a time with the religion aspects in this book. But I can tell the author's writes the Mormon experience from up close and personal, as it is as accurate as my own experience recalls. Having one of the characters, Joe Peterson, a devout Mormon, it was kind of hard to avoid addressing such issues, especially when those issues had the potential to mess with Joe's life.

Wouldn't y'all know, Buchanan h...more
3.5 stars

It's not too easy for me to get to this story; maybe because at first, the technical terms of climbing just make my brain confused. But, I'm happy that I hang on as long as I can because then, I get a very good story about Joe (a Mormon), on his journey to accept who he is, as he feels deep attraction and care for Kabe, an ex-con on two years parole. The mystery that is introduced in the beginning (amidst Joe checking out Kabe and trying to handle his feeling for Kabe) is pushed to the...more
Hard Fall is a very good m/m mystery romance about Joe, a closeted deputy who is pulled into a search and rescue mission to retrieve a fallen hiker, only to discover that it looks more like a crime than accident. While Joe is trying to find out what happened on the mountain, he’s also fighting a losing battle with his Mormon church’s teachings as he grows closer to Kabe, a young ex-con and expert climber who assisted during the retrieval. Suddenly, Joe’s life has become far more complicated as h...more
I've been calling him sheriff, but it's Deputy Joe. :( Anyway, this is an amazing story with the central theme being outing a Mormon. Never thought that "outing and Mormon" would be in the same sentence, but they are. Sadly, every scary thing I thought about Mormons was confirmed. It also, has mountain climbing, which makes me give it 5 stars just for that.
Anyway, great character, great story, and Joe is a diamond in a treasure of characters. Do yourself a favor and read it.

"So I figured it wa...more
There is a lot going on in this book, yet the amazingly succinct blurb summarizes pretty well. The only addition to note is that good portion of the story deals with the fallout on all levels once Joe and Kabe’s impromptu encounter is exposed. Honest and realistic actions, emotions and depiction of small town life within the LDS church combine to make this a great book on several levels. Add in a satisfying and well-written mystery subplot and this is a must read for not only climbing enthusiast...more
4.75 stars

Joe is a Mormon and a sheriff's deputy. Kabe served two years in a federal prison and is now on probation. The only thing those two seem to have in common is rock-climbing, which is also what brings them together as a German tourist dies falling from a rock face and Joe needs another experienced climber's help to retrieve the body.
Right there in the rock face, hanging in their climbing gear, the two so very different men realize that, to all intents and purposes, they're not that diff...more
4.5 stars

Joe remains one of my favorite characters and not only in m/m romance. His inner goodness, strength, passion, humor, faith come clearly through his narrative voice. Kabe is just a perfect match for him. And there is Nadia Slokum, of course. It's a shame that strong female characters became such a rarity in this genre. We simply need more Nadias.

The writing is perfect - Joe's thoughts, little aphorisms, descriptions of climbing and nature. The religious elements are fundamental for the...more
First person story with a very distinct accent, the whole book flows forward in a warm slow drawl.

Joe is a calm pragmatic character who doesn't waste effort worrying over the little things, yet he churns inside. So much hidden passion. His whole life gets a shake up and yet he owns who he is and never runs from it, a good solid character with plenty of layers. Joe is a Mormon and I liked how that was handled, I got a strong sense of it being part of Joe and yet it wasn't all of him. Religion isn...more
Hard Fall is all about the main characters, Deputy Joseph "Joe" Peterson and ex-con Kabe Varghese. The plot is a side issue and the blurb sums it up nicely, so I won't go into it here.

Joe and Kabe are both great personalities. They are on the surface at very different ends of the spectrum. Joe is a quiet country guy with a strong Mormon background, while Kabe is a flamboyant city boy. They both have issues, but of different kind. Joe is very much in the closet and doesn't seem to know how, or i...more
4.0 Stars

*sigh* Deputy Joe. What can I say? He's Mormon, a cop, and in the closet. He's imperfect but good, honest, and wholesome. He's wonderful. I loved this book. Kabe is the peanut butter to his jelly. He's young, snarky, and confident. He's out. And, he's on federal probation. Whoa. The sparks fly and the two fall hard and fast for one another but life in small town Utah is less than tolerant ... in fact, it's downright bigoted at times.

This book was wonderful but you have to like Deputy Jo...more
Kate Roman
A pretty good book, I have to say. I loved the setting, and all the climbing stuff was way interesting, and the sheriff is a really well made character, compelling and conflicted and strong and angsty. Mmmm, my favorite.

I was a little less sure about Kabe--he didn't feel as fully formed to me--and the sex could have been hotter, but overall I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who likes m/m romances with more than just bedhopping (or chair, table, and kitchen counter-hopping). There's a ton o...more
Olga Troian
The most beautiful, touching story with the hottest sex scenes I've ever read. After reading as many books in this genre as I have, everything seems the same, or close to it, but it's so not the case in this book. It was refreshing, different, good different, romantic, endearing. I liked Joe, oh boy, I did, but I loved Kabe something fierce. And the chemistry between the two of them was through the roof. The light BDSM aspect was very hot and sexy to read.
I think it should be mentioned that thi...more
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
I liked Deputy Joe, the narrator, very much. He is a man who has to reconcile his faith as a Mormon with his attraction to men. His religion doesn’t condemn him because of what he is, but because he acts on his attraction. Kabe is the forbidden fruit both for Joe’s career, because Kabe is an ex-convinct, and for Joe’s faith, because what Joe feels for the younger and handsome man seems to fulfil his needs as a man and his hope of love.

I think Joe’s struggle with his faith was described with dept...more
Here's the deal. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I loved the climbing parts. I thought they made great climbing partners, trusting. Especially when Joe let Kabe take lead. I am somewhat familiar with the jargon so I wasn't thrown with that.

What I didn't get was why were Joe and Kabe drawn to each other? All they had in common was a love of climbing. Kabe tore down Joe's religion every chance he got. To me, that's not respectable. I'm an atheist and I would never talk that way to my lover about...more
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
What a great story. I fell in love with Deputy Joe right from the start. I absolutely love the way he is written, the way he talks, and the way he struggles with his issues, but does what he feels works best for him in the end. He doesn't make excuses, just accepts the way things are. He remains true to his faith, even though the members have all turned their backs on him.

Kabe is a hot little number that seems to be getting his life together. Joe seems to just naturally whip him into shape and...more
Josephine Myles
I'm so glad I had this book recommended to me, as it was a riveting read. To be perfectly honest, the blurb would have put me off if just browsing as I'm not keen on stories of religious angst, but this was refreshingly low on angst, despite Joe's troubles with the Church of Latter Day Saints.

What you get is sizzling chemistry between older Deputy Joe and young bad boy Kabe, some fascinating rock climbing and crime solving scenes, and a picture of a remote community with all its intolerances and...more
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James Buchanan, the author of over ten gay novels and single author anthologies, lives in a 100 year old Craftsman in California with SexyGuy, two demon spawn and a heard of adopted dogs, cats, rats and fish. Between managing a law practice with SG, raising kids and writing books, James volunteers with the Erotic Author's Association, Liminal Ink, the EPIC Awards Committee as well as coordinates t...more
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“Something just ain't right about thanking the Lord for sending you an opportunistic pretty boy who carried a string of condoms and single use packets of lube in his pocket. Still, I did it.” 4 likes
“I kissed him for a long, long while. My hands wrapped on either side of his face pinned him and wouldn't let him pull away. I didn't want Kabe to ever pull away from me. Let the mountains fall and the stars burn out, I'd never let him go.” 3 likes
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