Reviewed by Morgan and Nikyta
Title: Trial by Fire
Author: B.A. Tortuga
Heroes: Lachlan McCoughney/Holden Sheffield
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 228 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
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.
Morgan’s Review: Lachlan’s sister, Adie, left her life of cloistered richness to run away with a rodeo bull rider who is the twin of Holden Sheffield. When she and her husband die, they leave behind a 3 month old baby girl that nobody in Lachlan’s family knew about but are determined to keep.
Holden is of the impression that the McCoughney’s are ruthless snobs who can’t possibly be good enough for his little niece even though her new uncle is a hottie.
When the ranch faces some danger – including the kidnapping of the baby! – everyone must band together and when that happens – some surprising feelings surface.
Boy oh boy – there’s a lot going on in this story. There’s the single parent thing, the grieving brother thing, the cattlemen from two countries things, the danger/ransom thing, the big misunderstanding thing and the insta-love thing…. A lot.
I found myself confused a bit as I read this and had to go back and forth to catch up to what exactly was going on – there are a lot of people in this story and a lot of Aussie slang, as well as some “cowboyisms” that keep you on your toes.
I had no problem with the two MCs falling for each other right away – but some of the other drama seemed to really bog the story down and detract from their romance. The MCs only spend a few pages together and the rest of the time it’s them and their families – sorting things out.
There is even another little side romance that occurs – again, though nice it detracted from the MCs time together.
Like the other books in this series, this one is a little OTT and drama-central, but if that’s your thing – you’ll really enjoy this.
Overall Impression: I liked it
When Lachlan finds out that his baby sister died months ago, he hops on a plane to Texas intending to take custody of his niece, Chloe. But when he shows up to the Sheffields, he doesn’t expect the fight they’re ready to give to keep the little girl and especially doesn’t expect to get his ass handed to him by Holden Sheffield. Thankfully, the Sheffields are nice enough to let Lachlan get to know Chloe but when the unexpected happens, Holden and Lachlan will do anything necessary to keep their family together.
This was probably my favorite story out of the Dreamspun Desires series so far. I just loved the animosity between Holden and Lachlan at first and how that changed into such passion. It was nice to see how loved Chloe was by the Sheffields but I just adored the way Holden would do anything for her. It was interesting to see how everything played out and how every time something happened, Lachlan and Holden would get closer. I admit, there were one or two scenes where I literally said out loud “Oh no, you DIDN’T”. I had such fun with this story!!
While I highly enjoyed this one there were two issues for me. Mostly, once Holden and Lachlan had sex, I felt like it was overly excessive so it was way too much for me to the point where I ended up skipping about half of it. The other issue was that the author tried really hard to put as much Aussie slang in the story as possible to the point of confusion. Half the time I didn’t understand what the Aussies (mostly Lachlan) were saying so it grew a little aggravating having to figure out what he actually meant.
In the end, though, I still really enjoyed the story. It has a lot going on but I was totally suckered into the soap opera feel of it (one of my guilty pleasures) and I loved the connection between Lachlan and Holden. It was also great to see that little snippet of their lives years down the road so I didn’t feel like it was all for nothing. Definitely give this one a go if you’re into a ton of melodrama and some smut!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*We received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*