A Stella Release Day Review: Mapping the Forest by Brandon Witt

RATING 5 out of 5 stars

mappingforest_postcard_front_dspHappily ever after has no map, but sometimes fate sends a guiding light.

Gabe Rice, a seasonal ranger at the Rocky Mountain National Park, can’t seem to get his life on the right trail. He loves the rugged beauty of the land, and there is no place he would rather live than the mountain community of Estes Park. But after six years, Gabe is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever get a full-time position or find love. When Gabe sees Luis—and hears his gorgeous singing—he’s compelled to meet him.

Luis Martinez, the new owner of a hotel and steak ride business in Estes, left California and a career as a therapist for a fresh start in Colorado. But even the beauty of the mountains can’t help him forget the past or move forward. Unprepared for his strong attraction to Gabe, Luis is ready to run and hide from emotions he never thought he’d have again.

Suddenly the path ahead opens to a future that looks brighter for both of them, if they can find the courage to walk forward—together.

Gabe is a thirty-two years old park ranger, he has a seasonal position at a National Park, a work he loves a lot even if his boss is a huge PITA. He has a great group of friends that are his only true family, starting with Jordan, his best friend, and her grandmother, a truly force of nature. Nonethless he is pretty lonely and even the love for his work is not enough anymore. Until one night he is spellbound by Steak Man, or Luis, while  he is singing and playing the guitar in the middle of the forest during a steak ride. From that moment things will change in Gabe life.

Luis has lately upset his all life as a therapist in California to run an hotel and jeep ride combo sight. Actually it was life that messed up with Luis and took Chris, Luis husband,  from him. The hurt for the loss of his partner is still too big and Luis is not ready to take a step forward versus a hypothetical new relationship.  But second chances are one of the greatest things in life.

I’m a huge Brandon Witt fan. I believe he is an amazing writer and I deeply enjoyed every story he has written. Mapping the Forest was no exception. Beautifully written and perfectly balanced in the emotions. Definitely a light read with some sadness to overcome and new beginnings to live.

What I particularly loved were the characters, each of them, not just Gabe and Luis, were well depicted, the Gay Boy Christmas Dinner  group of friends were all well defined and I so want to read each of their own stories. I already met Paxton in Christmas Miracles of a Recently Fallen Spruce. And then there’s Rob who lost his lover many years ago, Todd, Gabe secret crush until he meets the man of his dreams. I loved Mapping the Forest, I liked how the relationship between the MCs evolves, how they take their time getting to know each other and how later they rush into the chemistry, too strong to be ignored or waited on.

I wish to highly recommend this new release by Brandon Witt, great characters, good plot, excellent writing. I was conquered.

I like the different style of the cover art by Anne Cain a lot.

Sales Links





ebook, 240 pages

Publication Date: November 4th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1634778391 (ISBN13: 9781634778398)

Edition Language English

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.


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