Book Reviews

Soft Place to Fall by BA Tortuga at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Cowboys / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 10-April-2019

Book Blurb

Stetson Major and Curtis Traynor are about as opposite as two cowboys can get. Stetson is a rancher, tied to the land he loves in Taos, New Mexico, while Curtis is a rodeo cowboy whose wanderlust never could be tamed.


But now Stetson’s momma is dying of Alzheimer’s, and she can’t remember that Curtis hasn’t been Stetson’s boyfriend for a long time. Curtis’s absence makes her cry, so Stetson swallows his pride and calls his ex-lover.


To Curtis, Stetson is the one who got away, the love of his life. And Momma is his friend, so he’s happy to help out. Yet returning to the ranch stirs up all sorts of feelings that, while buried, never really went away. Still, the rodeo nationals are coming up, and Curtis can’t stay… even if he’s starting to want to, especially to support Stetson when he needs it most.


Stetson and Curtis want to find a place where they both fit, to be there to catch each other when they fall. But family, money problems, and the call of the rodeo circuit might end their second-chance romance before it even gets started.


Book Review

“Curtis knew how to deal with an emergency situation, if nothing else. He’d spent a good amount of his life in one dumbass emergency after another. He was a Texan and a cowboy, after all. They only came in dumbass.” — Curtis, A Soft Place to Fall

A second-chance romance with a very special pretend-boyfriend twist, this story is as emotionally draining as I expected it to be when I first read the blurb – but I also found reading it very rewarding because, in the end, it gave me hope. With a central theme like Alzheimer’s I knew it wouldn’t be light reading but it’s a very topical subject for a novel and with all the other elements in play, I was curious to see where the author would take it. The main characters are two cowboys at the opposite end of the spectrum: Stetson is a rancher, tied to the land, and Curtis is a rodeo cowboy with a hankering for travel and excitement. Now that Stetson’s mother is racing toward the final stages of this destructive disease and keeps asking for Curtis, having forgotten that the men broke up eight years earlier, Stetson needs his ex-lover’s help to make her life more bearable. What else can he do but to ask Curtis for a visit?

Stetson is an amazing guy. He just takes on what he sees as his duty: running the ranch and, more recently, taking care of his sick mother. He has given up so much to pay for her medical bills, and all of it emerges only slowly. Stetson is someone who gives up his own happiness to take care of others without asking questions, just because he knows that it is the right thing to do. Stetson will feed the animals before he eats himself… He could sure do with a keeper – someone who makes sure he gets what he needs to be happy. Not that Stetson would allow anyone to take on that role – or would he?

Curtis seems like a selfish guy at first – off to be a rodeo star, never mind that Stetson might need him. But as I got to know Curtis, it became obvious that he is just as caring, he just has a different way of doing it, and even less talent to admit he has feelings than Stetson. He still loves Stetson, but he chose to focus all his energy on being the best in his sport – and he has been rewarded for his efforts. His personal life though, is nonexistent making it impossible for him to find the home he longs for but doesn’t know how to find. He’ll have to change to get what he wants and needs – but can he?

Both men are about as stubborn as can be, and neither of them wanted to compromise when they were younger. Yes, they missed each other, but once Curtis left? That was pretty much it. Idiots! Now though? Now that circumstances have “forced” them together, they get to have a second look at what each of them gave up, and they begin to admit that they still want each other. Neither of them has any idea how to make it work in real life – not until the longing gets so bad that they actually prioritize their feelings, switch off the pride, and turn on their brains.

If you like heartbreaking stories about stubborn men, if you think that sometimes people have to suffer unimaginable pain before they understand what is really important, and if you’re looking for a spellbinding read full of cowboy spirit, quite some pain and sadness, hard-won personal growth, and a much-needed and very fulfilling happy ending despite significant loss, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I think it’s definitely worth reading!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 237 pages/75133 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 09-April-2019
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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