Two young cowboys who wanted different things from life angrily walked away from each other many years ago. One went on to become rodeo cowboy of the year, traveling across the country seeking fame, fortune, and the next thrilling ride, while the other stayed home to tend the family ranch and slowly watched his mother fade away. Now, Curtis must reach out to the man he sent away and ask him for a favor: come see his mother who suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember that he and Stetson are no longer together. Stetson returns to see what the years of separation have done to Curtis, his “Roper,” and immediately falls back into all the feelings he had for the man so long ago. That fall is mutual and suddenly the two men are faced with a second chance—if only they can make it work this time.
Honestly, no one does cowboy stories like author B.A. Tortuga and her latest release, Soft Place to Fall, is rich in every detail that makes this kind of novel a success. From the dialogue, with those iconic lazy drawl overtones, to the pacing of the story that almost screams reluctant cowboy trying to make amends, the story flows along like a gentle rain on a cloudy day. There is a cadence to this author’s work that immediately transports you to the place where she sets her stories and the type of characters she writes about. I was drawn into the book and felt as though I was a part of every scene—the characters felt so genuine and realistic.
I especially liked how Curtis and Stetson didn’t immediately fall back into the relationship they once had despite all the emotional memories rushing to the surface for both of them. There was a distance between them, a need to reestablish trust in one another and what they were feeling before they could begin to really plan any type of future together. The fact that the ranch Curtis had so desperately fought to keep in his family was in hock and about to be lost due to mounting past due bills gave authenticity to his fears that once again Stetson would choose the rodeo and all its excitement over staying with him to begin a new life. For Stetson’s part, the discovery that his heart had always belonged to Curtis and no amount of distance or time had changed that shaped everything he said and did to gentle his man and convince him he was there to stay.
Soft Place to Fall is the quintessential cowboy story. With a sweet second chance romance and a winner take all climatic ending, those who are a fan of this genre will find everything they need in this lovely novel.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.