“Hard Fall” was my first James Buchanan story and it won’t be my last. I thought I liked a challenge when writing, choosing protagonists that were outside the norm or situations that are again often not found in m/m romance. Some friends have said I try to do too much. Well, James Buchanan shows how it can be done successfully for all those who shy away from “hard” topics and characters.She has either researched the sport/occupation of rock climbing to a T or is an exponent. Similarly with the Mormon church, she either has inside knowledge or she has done due diligence reading.Marry those two disparate subjects into the territorial world of policing, the court room dramas of a small town add a host of colorful characters and you have a five ball juggling act.I’m pleased to report that all balls stayed in the air for the duration of the book. Not an easy feat. The sheer bravery of the attempt is worth a five star rating but her execution also matched.I’m sure some readers may skip over the details about caribiners and prussics and the general nuts and bolts of climbing as will other readers avoid the ins and outs of being a deeply religious person being excommunicated from his faith.To me though they added another dimension to a story about two men finding that their shared love of climbing gives them a deep connection above and beyond their physical attraction.There is a mystery to be solved, but this is more a vehicle to tell the story of the relationship which is very much the centre of the story.The book is packed but not overloaded with detail. The colloquial speech is smoothly handled. Again not easy and her gay female secondary character is worth a book on her own.I’m looking forward to reading more of James Buchanan’s work.