It has been a couple months since the avalanche that forced Mark McAvoy to make the decision to save the life of his friend, Jake, and in turn watch the avalanche take another man’s life. And ever since, that fateful accident has haunted Mark as he relives the events in nightmares.
In the past Mark was known for dating guests of the resort, never having a serious relationship. That all changed when he was approached by the owner of the Alpenschlössl Ski School, the school where instructors traded lessons for sex. Since then, Mark has realized that he wants a lasting relationship, one with love and meaning. Finding himself lonely, Mark reluctantly agrees to host a potluck proposed by his friend Kim, even though her intention is to get him dating again.
Chef and caterer Allan Tengerdie is invited to the potluck by Mark’s friends. Mark recognizes Allan as a skier that he recently rescued from an accident on the slopes. Attraction between the two is almost immediate. In Allan, Mark sees a sincere, caring man, a man worth getting to know. And when Allan gets injured in a skiing accident, Mark takes it upon himself to help him keep his business running.
But nefarious plans are in the works. After Wapiti Creek Ski Resort owner, James Underwood, separates from his wife, Melanie, she begins plotting a way to ruin him and his businesses. Her lover, Ulf, was the man killed in the avalanche and she is convinced that James planned the entire incident to get Ulf out of the way. Convincing the DA to re-open the case not only puts the ski resort in the spotlight, but also puts Mark and his friends in a stressful situation. Just when Mark was getting past Ulf’s death and over his nightmares, just as he met Allan, a man he could see something possibly permanent with, Mark finds himself in trouble at work and possibly with the law.
Fall Down the Mountain is the third story in P.D. Singer’s Mountain series. This is the second edition of the book, re-edited and re-published by Dreamspinner Press. It is a good story, if a little disappointing compared to the standard set by the first two books.
Mark was introduced in the book two of this series, and after reading that book, I was all too excited to find out that Mark was getting his own story. Only I was frustrated by his character a little too often once I began reading this book. He was lonely which I don’t fault; he had been through a horrific incident and needed to process the loss and fear. But he was too desperate and very clingy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that he was suddenly thrust in to a situation of extremely high stress and he was grasping at anything to keep him grounded, but it seemed exaggerated and out of character compared to his personality in the previous book.
And, in turn, I really liked Allan. He is a very strong character who, luckily, was able to handle the clinginess of Mark. Keep in mind that this book is written mostly the in first person POV of Mark so everything we learn about Allan is through Mark. But Allan is a caring, independent man. He is able to take care of himself but will ask for help when he needs it, but only when he needs it. He’s got a good head on his shoulders and is able to balance and calm Mark.
Several secondary cast members made a reappearance in Fall Down the Mountain. This time readers were able to get to know the women – Kim, Julie, and Chelsea – a little better, and I found them to be bossy and nosy, but caring. They were quite entertaining in their meddling. And of course, Jake and Kurt, from the first two books in the series, made and appearance along with several other characters from Snow on the Mountain.
The love story is the beginning of Mark and Allan’s relationship. Their relationship starts in the midst of disaster – Allan’s injury and Mark’s problems with the DA and at work. It’s rough start, but it makes for a good storyline. Thankfully, the end of this book leaves room for Allan and Mark to get to know one another better and the growth of their relationship. The drama storyline was a little predictable, but still good enough to keep my interest piqued. It was totally worth it to see the “villain” get their just-desserts.
On a side note, I’d never heard of chicken paprikash before I read this book. Rest assured that I have since made the dish via a recipe I found online, and it is as delicious as the story makes it sound.
To recap, I did enjoy Fall Down the Mountain. It’s a good story of a somewhat rocky beginning. My biggest problem is Mark’s change in personality from book two to book three. Otherwise, the story is very character driven and chock full of a cast of a variety of fun characters, main and secondary. I think if I had been able to see the progression of Mark and Allan’s relationship I would have liked this story even more. In the end, I have enjoyed this series and look forward to reading more of it in the future.
Bonus: Keeping in pattern with the other installations in this series, Singer has added a sweet bonus story in which readers get a glimpse into the future of Mark and Allan’s budding romance. In Storm on the Mountain, Mark has prepared a Valentine’s Day surprise for Allan just as a freak blizzard threatens to dampen those plans. When Mark discovers that Allan will soon be homeless, as his roommate is kicking him out, Mark begins to wonder if it’s too soon to ask Allan to move in with him. After all, he loves Allan, but does Allan love him?
Cover: Of all the covers of The Mountain series, this is my favorite so far. I think it’s the lips. Reese Dante found the perfect, pouty Mark and a beautiful Allan. And of course, the background of the snow-covered mountains and the ski accident that makes me think of Allan’s two falls. Great cover.