Tuesday, March 15, 2016

ARC Review: Trial By Fire by B.A. Tortuga

Trial by FireBlurb:

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.

My rating:

Oh, this was an epic story. It had a bit of everything - two men who are different but not, heartache and pain, meddling parents, kidnappers who are bumbling fools, sacrifice, and even a baby.

It's a sweepingly grand story of two men from different corners of the globe, united in grief, divided by what they think they must do, lusting after each other (holy hot boysecks, Batman), and fighting for what they want.

I read this epic tale while on the edge of my seat for the most part, crying and laughing with them, fanning myself when they finally get it on, and biting my nails when... well, read it for yourself.

Of course, this being an installment of Dreamspun Desires, it's a bit over the top, as expected. Lachlan rides into Texas on a rather high horse, grief-stricken and wanting to bring his niece home to Australia, because she's all he's got left of his sister Ades, who ran off some years back because life on her parents' rather large sheep station was stifling her.

Except what he expected to find on the Sheffield ranch (deplorable living conditions, a bunch of rodeo clowns) isn't quite what he encounters when he arrives. Lachlan also doesn't expect Holden, brother-in-law to his late sister, to be so hawt, nor did he see the punch to his face coming his way when he strides in, all haughty, and demands they turn over his niece, Chloe.

Confronted with the truth of the situation - no squalor, no clowns, no traveling from one rodeo to the next - Lachlan focuses his attention on how to solve his dilemma. He's got no legal foot to stand on, as Holden was named guardian of the little girl by his late twin brother and sister-in-law. While Holden is willing to allow Lachlan and his parents to visit the little girl, that'll only happen when and where he says.

But oh, lust sets both men aflame, and the UST is killer for a long while. Just when you thought they'd finally get together, something terrible happens that nearly derails the budding romance.

I really liked this, no matter how much it was OTT, what with the foolish kidnapping plot, and the ranch hands, and Lachlan's parents blowing into town, and Holden's parents realizing once and for all that their remaining son doesn't swing the way they thought. It was oh so romantic in that special cowboy way, and it swept me off my feet, leaving me breathless for most of the time but smiling happily when it ended.

A worthy installment to this series. Recommended for all Harlequin romance lovers!

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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