After the Fall
Title : After the Fall
Series : Tucker Springs, Book 6
Author : L.A. Witt
Publisher : Riptide Publishing (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Romance
Length : 202 pages (e-book)
Published : October 7, 2013
Rating : ★★★★
After years of saving every penny, Nathan has finally managed to buy the horse of his dreams. He’s looking forward to a summer of exploring the Colorado mountain trails above Tucker Springs with Tsarina. But on their very first ride, a motorcyclist makes a wrong turn, scaring Tsarina into bolting and leaving Nathan with a broken leg, a broken hand, and a ruined summer.
Ryan is a loner and a nomad, content with working odd jobs before moving on to the next town. Feeling guilty for causing the accident that leaves Nathan in two casts, Ryan offers to keep Tsarina exercised until Nathan heals.
Despite their bad start, Nathan and Ryan soon become friends . . . and then much more. But with a couple of nasty breakups in his past, Nathan doesn’t want feelings getting involved—especially knowing that Ryan will never settle down. But since when do feelings ever listen to reason?
This is the latest installment in the popular Tucker Springs series, two of which were also written by author L.A. Witt. The author certainly delivers another winner here with the story of Nathan and Ryan, and their struggle to truly find themselves while finding their way to each other. While each book can be read as a stand- alone, I have read them in order and personally like the flow that way, as there are recurring characters. I also feel an encompassing sense of this wonderful town is built up best in the earlier books.
In After The Fall, Nathan at long last gets his story! Readers will recognize Nathan as the office manager at Michael’s acupuncture clinic. As the story opens, Nathan is very excited by the fact that he finally is the owner of a horse –Tsarina – which has been a lifelong dream of his. He is looking forward to spending a carefree and exciting summer riding the trails above town on Tsarina. As a horse owner myself, I completely felt and reveled in Nathan’s emotions as his excitement about riding built. There is no other feeling like riding a wonderful horse.
The situation was about to go south, and fast. On their first ride in the hills, Tsarina gets spooked by a motorcyclist, Nathan gets dumped and Tsarina takes off. Nathan goes from exhilarated to panicked, injured, pissed and frantic in zero to 60. Ryan is the guy on the bike and he is utterly gutted and remorseful about what has happened. While Tsarina is unhurt, Nathan is not so lucky. Ryan wants to do something to help make up for his blunder, so offers to exercise Tsarina while Nathan recovers. With Nathan as his coach, it quickly becomes evident that Ryan has had horses of the four legged variety under him before… he and Nathan strike up a friendship as Ryan also helps Nathan navigate life with his broken leg.
I quickly got the feeling that while Ryan genuinely wanted to assist Nathan after causing such calamity, he also was attracted to Nathan from the get go. Nathan, aside from seeing to Tsarina, was busy dealing with his new physical limitations, navigating the stairs to his apartment and getting back to work. Thinking about Ryan as anything but a friend was not happening, especially in light of how Nathan had been left wounded by previous relationships. Plus, Ryan was a self- defined drifter who did not intend on staying long in Tucker Springs. Yep, Tsarina suited Nathan just fine as a partner for the foreseeable future; he certainly wasn’t interested in any guy as a long term prospect. Sure Nathan, you’re not attracted to Ryan…not one… little …bit. 😉
Ryan and Nathan were not dealing with some of the heavier issues that haunted many of the guys in the other Tucker Springs books. This is not to discount what they were experiencing, oh no, not at all. The feelings they were dealing with were very real and raw to them. Nathan had been left emotionally scarred and thus “gun-shy”, thanks to the last two men he had had long term relationships with. He was also presently rooming with a friend who had split with his partner so he is certainly not seeing relationship as something in the positive category. Ryan was a loner and wanderer, he had little sexual experience (bjs with hook ups) and no serious past relationships.
Eventually Nathan and Ryan became intimate. And I must say here..nobody writes “simple” kissing as hot, as steamy and as smoking sexy as LA Witt does. Yowza, curl the pages and my toes. Nathan believed the intimacy to be a “safe” move, as Ryan will surely be on the road again – and away from Nathan’s heart – very soon. Or would he??
I really enjoyed how the romance in this story moved in a continual arc without a heap of contrived angst. The big issue for this pair was communication (go figure!) but once they worked out how to navigate their pasts (both individually and together), and what they both wanted for the future, a sweet ending was in sight. Highly recommended as a feel good read, and a must for fans of the series. ♥
Rated 4 stars by Dianne