A Novel

by James Buchanan

MLR Press

All Romance eBooks:http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hardfall-15014-149.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934531812/103-3614309-2918217?ie=UTF8&tag=jherusalemcom-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1934531812

He’s a Utah Sheriff’s Deputy.  He’s Mormon.  He heads up the local Search and Rescue…and he’s gay.   So far Joe’s managed to keep that one part hidden down deep.  Then Kabe, and ex-con and adrenaline junkie climber, lands in town on parole.  When a German tourist falls off the mountain, Joe finds he needs Kabe’s help with the case.  Accident or murder?  As Joe weaves the evidence together the strands of his life fray to breaking.  Will Kabe be the guy who tears Joe apart?  Or is it that Joe needs to fall hard before he can start living? 

“Humorous, kinky, and just plain fun…Hard Fall is a thoroughly enjoyable read.”  http://reviewsbyjessewave.blogspot.com/2009/03/hard-fall.html

Like fine wine, James Buchanan’s writing gets better and better over time. Hard Fall is a story about finding love, facing prejudice, and crossing the boundaries of faith. It has a good mystery to solve and takes the reader on a few picturesque rock climbing adventures.http://rainbow-reviews.com/?p=1070 


Why was I here, sweating through my shorts and staring down that wiry piece of muscle and lean rear end?  I don’t know, ’cause maybe he’s more trouble than he’s worth.  Pretty boys, city boys, they don’t do too well out here.  The way he’s tossing gear about, well that’s long work on a short task.  Got more stumble than sense.  Sometimes I wonder if he thinks he’s fitting in.  Expensive shades, cowboy hat and jeans that had to have cost least a hundred bucks riding low on a set a hips just a hair on the wrong side of thin.   His skin holds a warm shade of brown down deep.  It ain’t the kind you get from too much sun. 

Everything I like all in one spit-start package.  Not that I can afford to be all that picky…this is the high country after all. 

My beat covers more territory than some states are wide.  All we got up here is cowboys and Mormons.  If your family ain’t been around for at least three generations you’re new to the area. Don’t even get me started on the tourists.

My family, they walked outa Nauvoo, Illinois just ahead of the lynching parties and fled into Utah pushing handcarts.  I’m born and bred local.  And since I ain’t a cowboy that would mean I’m one of the Latter Day Saints…at least in my heart I am.  Some members of the Church, they might not see me so eye to eye on that if they knew.

While I don’t drink, don’t smoke, and don’t cuss, the first guy to mistake me for a pacifist got himself into a world of hurt.  My badge, this star…Garfield County Sheriff, one of the “Magnificent Seven;” there’s only seven deputies for this whole county.  Been here since I left the corrections department where I worked the state pen in Cedar City.  Got my first .22 when I was eight.  Shot my first buck when I was twelve.  I can handle myself along with the best.

Except, maybe, doing what I was doing here now.  Just watching.

Heck, the first time I saw him.  It’s like right on the top of my mind.  I’d stopped by Ruby’s Inn to get a pop, standing along the porch, watching who’s coming in and who’s going out.  Outa old man Harding’s truck swings this kid.  Anybody who’s got to ask how I knew it was old man Harding’s truck…they ain’t never lived in a small town.  Ruby’s is officially a township, population 182 or there abouts.  Panguich, where the station is, hits around 1,600 with Tropic not quite a quarter of that.  Both are on my beat.  The biggest city round here, two hours and one county away, Cedar City, that’s big enough for two high schools, a college campus and the state prison.  Not hardly big enough to get lost in even if, like me, you sometimes wanted to.

Why did he catch my eye?  First off, he screamed city, but not in that overfed, treadmill kinda manner.  Naw, punk, in a way that sent all my cop senses running for the shotgun.  Then one of those weekend biker guys – all play bad ass, with a twenty thousand dollar custom rod, who would dirty his drawers if the wrong guy said boo – drifted by.  The punk’s eyes focused in on that leather clad butt, he watched the guy walk by, and then he licked his lips in that slow I wanna be tasting a bit of that way.

Standing there swigging a root beer and I damn near spit it out.  Man, oh man, I’ve got my sites on a prime slab of twenty-something pretty-boy in tight jeans.  Since it’d been nearly six months since I’d even managed to score a hand job in Vegas, everything went south real fast.  I could have passed out from rapid blood loss then and there. 

I know.  I know.  Gay and Mormon don’t cohabit very well.  The Church has been wrong on other stuff, seen the light and changed their ways…I’m hoping someday they’ll see the light on this issue.  Can’t say I’m holding my breath though. 

Let’s face it…God made me this way.  The same way he made me a blue eyed blond with a receding hairline at twenty.  Vanity…that convinced me to shave my head and beat my body into submission in the gym.  I don’t have any choice in wanting another guy’s meat.

If I coulda chose different, dear God I would have.  I don’t need the load of baggage trying to justify my faith with my body.  A simple life with Molly-Mormon and a passel of kids would have been so much easier.  At least I had the stones to suck it up and not take someone else down into miserable with me. I’ve kissed a few gals, never even got my pulse above a resting beat.  The first guy who stuck his tongue down my throat, I blew in my shorts.

So I saw him and I wanted him.  I don’t think anyone can imagine how bad.  And I stuck it in my pocket.  No sense messing with something like that, and likely he was just passing through anyhow.  Then Jessie, she works Ruby’s year-round, walks by and sees him. 

Jessie smiled at me…she always does, ‘cause she’s got a kid out of wedlock and I’m past thirty and ain’t never married so there’s potential there, she thinks.  “Hey, Joe.”  That big smile held a ton of hope that made me cringe inside.  “So, you keeping an eye on him?”

“What,” I managed to choke out, sneezing the foam back outa my nose, “city boy?”  Of course, we both knew we were talking about the new guy…what else is there to talk about in a small town.

Grabbing a spot of wall right next to me, she starts in with the gossip.  “Yeah, I was talking to Page and her momma, she says, that Lena says, he’s done time.”  Then Jessie leaned real close and whispered, “Federal time.  You know, hard,” she winked, drawing out the word hard like she was anywhere near sophisticated, “time.”   I didn’t rise to the bait, but then I ain’t known around here for my sense of humor.  Apparently the story was too good to let it go.  She kept yakking in that same somebody’s died tone, “He’s Sandy Harding’s family, from the Stewart part.  You know her sister just went off loopy in the sixties, off in California.  Shacked up with this Indian guy…like from India,” all three syllables got emphasis, guess so I’d know she didn’t mean one of the local tribes…all them are cowboys too.  “Well, he’s the grandson of that part of Sandy’s tree.  They say he don’t got much family now, so they’re doing God’s work and took him in when he got out.  Goes down to Cedar City once a month to check in with the Parole Board.”

Okay, I’m looking at the hottest thing outside of a GQ model shoot.  Everything I know says if he did hard time, it was on his back, as the girl for some dude with a nick-name like Killer and prison tats on every inch of skin.  But honestly, I’m not getting that vibe.  There is a coiled restlessness lurking in that body.  He’s a rattlesnake.  All so pretty and calm.  But he won’t but give you two second’s warning before he buries his fangs in your thigh.  

I did not need that level of problem.  Kept telling myself that, hoping I’d believe it through sheer repetition. 

Written by James Buchanan

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"Excerpt: Hard Fall" by James Buchanan was published on April 4th, 2009 and is listed in James Buchanan, Now In eBook, Now In Print, Uncategorized.

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Comments on "Excerpt: Hard Fall": 1 Comment

  1. Jess wrote,

    I was eyeing this off over at MLP and I think I will have to bite the bullet and go buy it, it looks really interesting. I love a fresh concept and ive not read anything set in Utah before, thanks for the excerpt :)

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