Monday, November 13, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Braving The Rapids (Rocky Mountain Boys Book 2) by Brandon Witt

Release Day Review ~ Braving The Rapids (Rocky Mountain Boys Book 2) by Brandon Witt

Title: Braving the Rapids

Series: Rocky Mountain Boys: Book 2
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: November 13, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 256

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….

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Braving the Rapids is Book 2 in Brandon Witt's Rocky Mountain Boys series. To get full enjoyment of all the characters in this story, you really need to read this series in the appropriate order. These characters are recurring in both books and are each other's chosen family and have history together.

Todd has had a crush on Matt since his best friend dated him but he didn't act on that attraction, even after the break-up. What kind of guy hits on his best friend's ex-boyfriend, regardless of his feelings? All that changes when Matt needs help and neither man can deny the attraction and finds themselves naked together. Matt is an adrenaline junkie and lives for the good times. He has a history of poor decision making, and even in his 40's hasn't stopped the same self-destructing behavior. Matt lives in Estes Park during water rafting season only. It's where his mother and daughter live, and Matt longs for his daughter to forgive him and let him be part of her life. Matt's attracted to Todd as well, but isn't looking for anything but a good time. But he has no interest in being someone's hidden good time secret either. Matt keeps trying with his daughter, and she's had it. She finally lays it on the line and makes him see how his reckless, good-time behavior doesn't show that he's changed. It's time for Matt to grow up and prove that he's a different person.

Matt was one of those characters I both liked and didn't like. He definitely did not seem like a guy you could count on, and it was certainly understandable why his daughter felt the way she did, but I also felt sorry for him because he wanted a relationship with her so badly. I was happy she finally laid it all on the table and told him what she needed from him. And, I think it finally made Matt stop and look at his words about being an adult were different than what his actions showed. She seemed to give him the kick in the pants that he needed to finally get his act together. And, the effort he was willing to put out to prove that he was willing to make the changes, made me like him.

Todd was also a character I liked and didn't like. I was frustrated with his head in the sand behavior with Gabe in the first book, but was able to understand why he chose to ignore Gabe's crush. I hated the way he treated Matt, someone who he had crushed on for so long. I understood that Todd didn't feel that he should pursue anything with Matt because of Stephen, but it really frustrated me that he treated Matt so badly. I hate when a character uses someone and pretends not to know them outside of a bedroom. It's crappy behavior. And, I felt that Matt needed one person in his corner. Though it's a slow burn, once these two men get it together and start working towards a relationship, it's worth it!

I love that this series has been about men older than their 20's, who have lived life. I loved the interaction and seeing Luis and Gabe, who I absolutely adore! For me, this book wasn't as emotional as the first book, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. This story pulled at my emotions because I understood Matt and his family's viewpoint, but it didn't make me cry like a baby like the first book did. This is a series I highly recommend! It's full of emotions, laughter, family and friendships. For me, this is a series I will read over and over again, and I'm sure if you give it a chance, you'll feel the exact same! I can't wait to read whoever's story comes next!

Rating: 4.5 stars!

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