Book: Braving the Rapids
Series: Rocky Mountain Boys #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publication date: November 13, 2017
Length: 256 pages
Reviewed by Michael
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….
I’ll admit, I was thrown when I started reading this book. Brandon does something with it that I’ve never seen before. While each chapter centers around one of the two MCs, they alternate between First Person for the main character and Third Person for that characters love interest. I wasn’t crazy about the idea. I was concerned that it would distract from the story, but, much to my amazement, it worked. In fact, it made the story even more enjoyable. Too many novels rely on the split POV, and the voice of each character sounds the same. There have been times with other books where I have had to reread certain sections to fully grasp who was “speaking.” But in taking this approach, there was never any of that confusion. It allows the reader to know, without a doubt, which character is the focus. Is it unorthodox? Yes. But it also separates this book (And this series) from an already saturated market.
The story itself was great. Matt and Todd both have personal issues that easily make them relatable. There’s just enough angst and drama for it to be emotional without becoming overbearing or soap operaish. Each character showed growth, had personal obstacles they had to overcome, but in doing so, showed enormous growth.
Fair warning, the structure of the story may not be for everyone, but if you allow yourself, you may really enjoy the story.
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