Book Reviews

Trial by Fire (Dreamspun Desires) by BA Tortuga at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Cowboys / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 15-March-2016

Book Blurb

One Aussie. One Texan. One baby. One hell of a fight.

When his sister and her husband are killed in an accident, Aussie cattle station owner Lachlan McCoughney rushes to Texas to rescue their infant daughter, Chloe. He expects to find his niece living in squalor with the Sheffields, a rodeo family.

Instead, Lachlan finds Holden Sheffield, a salt-of-the-earth cowboy running a huge business operation. They want to explore their mutual attraction despite the many problems thrown their way, and together, they must find a way to give Chloe a new family and find a love that spans thousands of acres and two continents.


Book Review

What a fantastic novel! ‘Trial by Fire’ is action-packed, emotionally intense, full of hot cowboys from two continents, and an utterly charming story. The setup is simple: two families fight for the right to raise a little girl left an orphan when her parents die in an airplane crash. One family runs a huge rodeo operation in the US, the other an enormous cattle station in Australia. Both don’t have to worry about money, and neither is willing to give an inch where the little girl is concerned. There is confrontation from page one, including fistfights, arson, a kidnapping, and minor and major shouting matches. And in the middle of this huge mess there are two men, Holden and Lachlan, who have lost their siblings but have found each other. And despite all the animosity and bad blood, they soon realize there may be more between them than a shared status as little Chloe’s uncles.

Lachlan is an Aussie through and through. He is tall, strong, loves the kind of tea very few people in Texas know how to make, and is a forceful presence. Lachlan is devastated by his sister’s death. He is also determined to bring Chloe home to be with her family, convinced a two-bit rodeo family can’t possibly take proper care of her. He hasn’t spoken to his sister in years, but has missed her terribly. Not sure why she left, he has had a PI look for her and when the man tells him he found her, but she is dead and left a baby daughter behind, Lachlan is on the next plane. But as soon as he arrives he finds out not everything is as it seemed. Chloe’s father’s family are not destitute rodeo vagabonds, they are decent people who care about Chloe. Her guardian, Holden, is Chloe’s other uncle and the only one willing to listen to Lachlan at first. Lachlan has barely begun to come to grips with the situation when disaster strikes and he has no choice but to work with Holden.

Holden is a Texas cowboy with wiry strength, stubborn as two mules, and totally in love with his niece. He has no clue how to be a father - his twin brother was supposed to be the dad - but since Chloe’s parents appointed Holden her guardian, he’ll be damned before he lets anyone tell him what to do or take her away. He initially sees Lachlan as a threat, but as they get to know each other, Holden realizes Lachlan knows exactly how he feels, both having lost a sibling. Holden is also very attracted to Lachlan, and throughout the chaos that follows when everything goes to sh*t, Holden learns to appreciate the quiet man’s strength and support – proving that a true “trial by fire” is the best way to find out whether the man he thinks he is falling for is someone he can build a life with.

If you like explosively intense stories, if two main characters who could easily out-macho each other sound interesting, and if you’re looking for a suspenseful read that will leave you breathless while warming your heart, then you will probably like this novel as much as I did. I won’t quickly forget Holden and Lachlan – or Chloe – that’s for sure!





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, print and audio
Length Novel, 228 pages/51324 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-March-2016
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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