Monday, November 13, 2017

Braving the Rapids by Brandon Witt

Estes Park native Todd Fleece works hard to honor his obligations to family and the businesses he inherited, but only his friends and the horses at his ranch brighten Todd’s life. In fighting his attraction to his best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Todd has focused solely on his work, leaving little room in his life for finding love.

Matt Abel’s reckless youth put him on a path to a self-destructive life—his most painful failure was being a horrible father. He excels at extreme sports and living on the edge. Now back in Estes Park and teaching white-water rafting, Matt tries to reconnect with his mother and his grown daughter. When he runs into his ex’s friend Todd, Matt longs for more than a fling.

But achieving happiness isn’t simple, not with Todd’s family conflicts and Matt struggling not to slide back into alcoholism. With hurdles threatening to drive them apart, Todd and Matt try to find the courage to brave the rapids and face a future together…

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a wonderfully gentle romance. It is the story of two men in their forties who live in a small Colorado tourist town. It’s a more domestic story than the last few I’ve read by this author and the focus is on Matt and Todd’s relationships with their families. Todd is supported by a close group of friends, a beautiful family he has made for himself.

This is a slow and thoughtful story about two men in middle age evaluating their lives, their relationships, and their priorities. This is definitely aimed at a slightly older audience than the Mary’s Boys books. I’m nearing Matt and Todd’s age and many of their experiences and reflections really resonated with me. I found the story quite comforting – it made think hard about my own life choices while reinforcing a sense of shared humanity. I loved the characters in this story and I love that there are so many interesting women in this one. Todd’s GBCD group is full of special men and I’m really hoping for more books about these characters.

I’m still not sure why Todd’s narration is told in the first person while Matt’s is told in third person. It’s a tiny niggle in a wonderful book but I found it irritating and it disrupted the flow of the story at times. However, I really, really loved this story.

BRANDON WITT’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about…

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Braving the Rapids (Rocky Mountain Boys #2) by Brandon Witt to read and review.

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