Title: The Fall
Author: Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published: 16th December 2013
Genre: MM (contemporary)
Rating: 5 Stars
Every relationship leaves something behind. Dumped by his sugar daddy, part-time model Scott Mackenzie somehow ends up owning an abandoned church in rural Ontario. He dreams of using it for gay weddings, even if he’ll never have one of his own.
Joe Sutton is trying to keep his family together after his parents’ deaths. Between the family ranch, his brother’s construction company, and commitments around town, he doesn’t have time for a relationship. But Mackenzie is hard to ignore.
As both men fight their growing attraction, challenges to Mackenzie’s business threaten their relationship. If he can’t make it work, he’ll have to crawl back to the city in defeat. But the only solution involves risking the ranch Joe loves, and each man has to decide how much he’ll sacrifice for the other.
Kate’s Dark Horse series is one of my top favourites. Like no other characters Dan, Evan and Jeff touched my heart and never let go. Kate Sherwood has a great talent to create the best family stories and the best characters and The Fall is no exception.
The Fall is about Joe Sutton, an openly gay farmer and part time fire-fighter, and his romance with Scott Mackenzie, a former model and ‘kept boy’ who has been dumped by his sugar daddy.
Joe’s personal life is non existent. Along with his twin brother Will and his older sister Sarah, Joe has been raising his younger siblings Ally and Nick and Nick’s 4 years old son, Austin, while trying to keep the family ranch running. I loved the interactions with his dog Red and his siblings, especially with his teenager sister Ally and his twin Will, who aren’t afraid to confront Joe with some hard facts.
”Joe,” Will said, moving a little closer, “have you ever asked me for help with anything?”
“What?” … Have I ever…?”
“Have you ever asked anyone for help? You like helping other people—you help the family, you help friends, you’re a volunteer firefighter, for God’s sake. You’re the king of helping everyone else, but when does anyone else help you?”
“What are you getting at?”
“It’s okay to need people, Joe. You don’t have to do everything on your own…”
When Mackenzie buys an old church in town and hires Will’s construction firm to restore the building, Will attempts to play matchmaker between Joe and Mackenzie. Of course Joe doesn’t want to get involved with a pampered toy boy, it’s just Mackenzie’s dog Griffin he likes from the beginning. As if! :D
Mackenzie wants to make a success of his new business even if he doesn't have any idea how to handle it. He doesn’t want to be a kept boy anymore, he is trying so hard to grow as a person. The romance between him and Joe isn’t instant but there’s a lot of chemistry between them, even though they want to keep their relationship casual. They never discuss anything, they are masters in assuming every fucking thing. Those boys and their casual non-existing relationship drove me nuts!
The interaction between Joe and and his siblings is soooo heart-warming to watch and it’s obvious how loving the Suttons are towards each other. OMG, how I love little Austin. What a cutie! He is the focus of the family and owns a big piece of Joe's heart. Nick, Austin’s far too young dad, on the other hand…what a stubborn and arrogant kid! First I wanted to launch him into outer space but even HE grew on me.
There was plenty of angst and the guys grew on me to the point that my heart was aching when Mackenzie decides to leave all the trouble behind. I wanted them to be happy and at last the guys (and their dogs Griffin and Red LOL) get their HFN.
”I want you to be with me, and I want us to talk about stuff every night and eat pizza in your bed, and I want Griffin to meet Red, and they won’t get along, but I’ll kick Red’s ass if he beats Griffin up. I want….”
The story sucked me in from the start and I couldn't stop reading. I just love Kate's varied writing style, it’s neither too sweet nor too dramatic. But yet it touched me deeply and made me jump for joy, when Joe and Mackenzie finally got their shit together and started to talk. It made me smile when Joe was joking with little Austin, or Ally gave Joe a piece of her mind. It’s just a wonderfully written book.
The second book is coming up in a few days and after reading the premise I have no doubt that new dark clouds are looming on the horizon. Can’t wait for the sequel!
About The Author
I started writing at about the same time that I got back on a horse after a twenty-year break. I’d like to think that I’m far too young for it to be a mid-life crisis, but apparently I was ready for a few changes!
My writing focuses on characters and relationships, people trying to find out how much of themselves they need to keep, and how much they can afford to give away. I try to find that careful balance between drama and humor – I want readers to have an intense experience and feel drawn into the book, but I also want them to enjoy the time they spend reading.
I started writing in the m/m area of Romance, and I’ve spent some serious time trying to figure out why that is… if you’re interested, my reflections on why m/m fiction appeals to this straight woman can be found at my blog (here). And, now that I feel like I’m hitting my stride writing the m/f stuff, I’m working up another post outlining how I made that work, for me. I definitely plan to continue writing in both sub-genres, and of course I still have my YA projects to play with. And I’m thinking about trying some women’s fiction, too! This writing thing is fun!