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Hard Fall (Deputy Joe #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,432 Ratings  ·  207 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?
ebook, 281 pages
Published February 2009 by MLR Press
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Posted 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, sta
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lena♥Ribka by: Sofia

4,5 stars!!!
(Why not 5?! 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
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.

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
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
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
Nichole (DirrtyH)
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, m-m, set-in-utah
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
It can be difficult for me to write a review for a book that has as huge a religious aspect as this book does. I will be the first to admit that I don't really get religion. I've never been particularly religious, in spite of my upbringing, and I have a hard time understanding what people really see in it, much less get out of it. But at the end of the day, we all have to get through life the best we can, I suppose. That said, when a gay man is a member of and a devout believer in a sect that is ...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
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
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
So glad I read this. Loved Joe and Kabe and their chemistry. Liked the LDS angle and Joe's struggle reconciling his attraction to men with his cultural upbringing. Being LDS isn't just a church or belief, it's really a way of life and to have that taken away must be extremely difficult. While we didn't meet any of Joe's family (kinda surprising) I suspect that they may pop up in later books. I will be interested to see how it plays out.
Jeff Erno
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-bdsm
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
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-mm
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’
Great outdoorsy read with steam, intolerance, and self acceptance.

Joe is a solid, upright citizen. A man who contributes to his community and serves it because that is what he believes is right. He's well respected until it all hits the fan. There's something wrong with him--at least, that's what a portion of his neighbors think. Cue intolerance and homophobia.

The temptation? Kabe. An ex-con that's settled into the area. When circumstances bring them together they have a hard time separating ag
Not at ALL what I expected. The religious aspects in this book sucked most of the fun out of it for me.
FREE at MLR Press on 12/20/14!

4.5 stars This book sums up so well everything that I hate about religion... and what can be good about it. Joe's Mormon faith is extremely relevant to the plot, but no withering indecisive pansy's here. He knows who he is and he knows what he stands for, and that is so incredibly refreshing. Doesn't mean it's easy for him, but it was nice to see a person who doesn't use religion as an excuse to judge someone else. And it was sexy as hell to see the contrast between
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
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
Bitchie's in a book rut
This was a reread, that I enjoyed every bit as much the second time around. Looking forward to the rest of the series, now that this one is fresh in my mind.

I did get a bit lost at times, at all the climbing lingo, but the relationship stuff, Joe's struggle to manage to fit his sexuality in with his faith, was fantastic to read. I only wish we had gotten more of a glimpse into Kabe's head. I did love how the author let us in just a bit, with his phone call to his grandmother, letting us see how
3.5 stars.

This was fun, and nice. Mostly nice.

Except for the wiener, cliff, peeing part. That part was weird.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Irina by: Sofia

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 appe
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: Elsbeth
Shelves: mm
3.5 stars

Nice. Very nice.

The writing took some getting used to at first. For the first few pages I had no idea what was going on, but I got used to it and after that it was fine.

Even though religion plays a big part in the story, it wasn’t as overwhelming as I’ve read in other books. I am not a big fan of this aspect, so that was a huge relief.

Joe is a Mormon, absolutely. He lives it, he wears the underwear, he feels it in his heart. But he has never denied being gay to himself and once it is o
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

Joe Peterson is a small-town deputy in Utah. He's a closeted gay Mormon who loves to rock climb. He has a deep faith and a strong sense of self. That's what I love most about him. He doesn't want to sacrifice one for the other, even though it can be a struggle to balance his faith with his community and job. It becomes particularly difficult for Joe when Kabe strolls into town. Kabe is an ex-con who turns Joe's life upside down. He's young, feisty and is also an avid climber. Joe has al
The thing with this book is, that it's sort of different from the usual romantic books we usually read, and when you read as much as I do, a change is a good thing!
That being said, I can't really put my finger on what exactly made it different (yes I'm being awkward, I know).
What I can say is that Joe's thoughts are a joy to read.
You know how, when you read a book, told from a first person POV, you read his thinking, but want mostly, to hear what he says? Well Joe was a clever and witty talker,
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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Other Books in the Series

Deputy Joe (6 books)
  • Spin Out (Deputy Joe, #2)
  • Light Me Up (Deputy Joe, #2.5)
  • Laying Ghosts (Deputy Joe, #3)
  • Requiem in Leather (Deputy Joe, #4)
  • The Family Eternal (Deputy Joe, #5)

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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.” 5 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.” 4 likes
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