Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: The Family Eternal (Deputy Joe #5) by James Buchanan

family eternalTitle ~ The Family Eternal (Deputy Joe #5)

Author ~ James Buchanan

Publisher ~ MLR Press

Published ~ 15th August 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, BDSM





When the body of a young woman is found in a burning rental cabin, Deputy Joe Peterson and newly minted Fire Inspector Kabe Varghese must learn to work together to find out who she is and why she died.
Folks will tell you that family is second only to God in Utah. But what brings strength to some can sow sorrow with others.
On a bleak winter morning, a young woman's corpse smolders in the remains of a burned rental cabin. Clues to her identity are rarer than frozen choke-cherries in the Utah backcountry. Deputy Joe Peterson, assisted by Kabe Varghese in his first case as a fire inspector trainee, doggedly hunts for who she is and why she died. As they sink deeper into the investigation, Joe struggles with how his life is now personally and professionally intertwined with Kabe's.
Outed, excommunicated and disciplined because of the man he found love with; the last year of Joe's life has careened like an avalanche toward an abyss. Is doom inevitable? Or is the best chance to live surrendering to the fall?


Debra’s Review

I was so excited to see a new book in this series. Joe and Kabe are a unique couple and if you haven’t checked out this series yet I suggest you change that right now. This is a series best read from the beginning and this installment picks up shortly after the last book.

Joe and Kabe have been together for a year now. Kabe has come far from the man first introduced in Hard Fall and is now training as a fire inspector. Deputy Joe is now a detective. When a fire scene also becomes a murder investigation, they work together on the case with Joe mentoring Kabe which adds a new dynamic to their relationship.

Joe is a simple yet complex character. He thinks things through and is his own man. While he makes an effort to understand others’ views, he always makes his own decisions. Even though there are some aspects of his relationship with Kabe that still make Joe uncomfortable, including any public display or declaration, Joe does everything in his power to understand why he feels and reacts the way he does and to overcome it. Kabe, on the other hand, is proud and pushes Joe to accept that he is worthy of being in love, and being loved and that nobody has the right to judge it. Joe’s love for Kabe has caused a complete upheaval in his family and personal life, but Joe is one of the most level-headed, understanding characters I’ve ever read. He loves Kabe beyond what he ever expected, he holds his faith dear even though he has been ex-communicated from the LDS church he was raised in, and he has come to understand and accept that his relationship with God is personal, it is his alone and is working through the pain and uncertainty that being cast out has caused.

Kabe has really brought Joe to life in this series. He sees things from a different perspective and is able to offer Joe understanding and advice that he may never have considered. Helping Joe to understand that a god that made him gay would not then cast him aside, that perhaps it’s the faulty interpretation of religion by man that is the real problem. While it may sound like this is a story heavy on religion, it’s really very well integrated into the character and the storylines.

Joe not only struggles with the public aspects of their relationship, but he also is treading a line with their BDSM relationship. Joe enjoys Kabe’s desire for breath play and intense pain, they both get off on it, but he still fears injuring Kabe. It’s something they both need and want though and Joe finds plenty of ways to indulge. I just love how big, stoic Joe melts when it comes to his love for Kabe. His generally awkward declarations of love are getting more and more romantic and he finally gets it completely right towards the end of this book. Kabe is no slouch himself and what he does for Joe in this book is completely amazing, even if Joe isn’t quite sure at the time. His motivations show how much he knows and loves every aspect of what makes Joe so special.

I also enjoyed the investigation, which delves into some of the more controversial aspects of the LDS religion, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the resolution which wrapped up with more telling than showing. Then again, the wrap up was not unrealistic when it comes to police work involving many competing agencies, but in fiction I like to see it all play out and really see the bad guys getting what they deserve.

James Buchanan has created two wonderful, complex characters in Kabe and Joe and I couldn’t have asked for more as far as the relationship development went. If this is the last we see of Kabe and Joe it was a fitting and satisfying ending. I’m not going to spoil it, but I thought it was just perfect. I highly recommend this series if you haven’t tried it, and if you’re already a fan go grab this one – you won’t regret it.

Purchase Links




Read How it All Began

hard fallHard Fall (Deputy Joe Book #1)

Deputy Joe Peterson is Mormon and in the closet. Then ex-con Kabe Varghese lands in town on parole. When a tourist falls off the mountain, Joe finds he needs the help of this cliff climbing adrenaline junky to solve the case. Will Kabe tear him apart or does Joe need to fall hard before he can start living?

Amazon Global Link


Meet James Buchanan 

James Buchanan, lawyer by day and the author of the beloved Taking the Odds Series, the Deputy Joe Novels as well as many stand alone books, lives in a 100 year old Craftsman Home in Pasadena. Between trying cases, raising kids and writing books, James has spoken and read at conferences such as Saints & Sinners, the Popular Culture Association and the CARAS Alternate Sexualities Conference. James’ Hard Fall (Honorable Mention 2010) and All or Nothing (Finalist 2011) were both honored by the National Leather Association-International’s Pauline Réage Novel Awards, recognizing positive portrayals of the Leather Lifestyle in fiction.

In the midst of midlife crisis, James bought and learned to ride a Harley – it went with the big, extended-cab pickup in the driveway. A member of CorpGoth since 1993, James has been known to wear leather frock coats to court. If you don’t find James at the computer working on the next book, you probably won’t find the bike in the garage.




  1. I haven't read this series! Since I lived in Utah for several years I'm really interested in the plot!

    1. I really enjoy this series. It focuses a lot on Joe's relationship with the LDS church throughout the series but it doesn't come off as preachy. He's a fantastic character and Kabe is such a complete opposite of him it's great to see how the relationship affects Joe. I hope you like it if you get to it, especially being familiar with the setting.

  2. This really is a great series. Just started reading this one last night. :)

    1. I wasn't expecting this book, but I was very happy to get it. :) Enjoy!


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