Title: Trial by Fire
Author: BA Tortuga
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspun Desires
Pages/Word Count: 228 Pages
At a Glance: BA Tortuga takes us through many different emotions and, as always, gives us many memorable characters.
Reviewed By: Maryann
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.
Review: BA Tortuga brings us new feuding families, the Texas Sheffields and the Australian McCougheys, in Trial by Fire, a story filled with drama, tension, a wee mystery, and cowboy love—right up to the first punch.
Holden Sheffield owns a big spread in Texas and helps out with a traveling rodeo business. He’s been left with the legal guardianship of his niece, Chloe, after his brother and sister-in-law died—a responsibility he takes seriously—and everyday he’s becoming more of a dad to her. He would just as soon stay at home and take care of ranch business than travel with the rodeo.
Lachlan McCoughey has been searching for his missing sister, Adelaide. By the time her whereabouts are discovered, it’s too late. And when he finds out he has a niece, he’s on the first plane to America to rescue her from the Sheffields. Lachlan can only imagine what life is like for his niece, living in such a horrible environment with those “rodeo buggers.” When Lachlan shows up at the ranch, Holden tries to be reasonable, but he ends up taking his daddy’s advice, “If you’re fixin’ to fight, don’t talk. Hit the bastard first.” Holden may be small but he can hold his own against Lachlan, and the big man falls hard in more ways than one.
And when Chloe is kidnapped, the Texans and Australians rally together to find the missing baby.
The one thing that stood out for me while reading Trial by Fire was the contrast between Holden and Lachlan. They are both big businessmen, in their own right, and experts in different styles of ranching. Holden is still mourning the loss of his loved ones, and Lachlan is only just beginning to mourn the loss of his sister. They both have to deal with Chloe’s kidnapping, and Holden has to deal with more tragedy. The more Lachlan sees the type of man Holden is, the more they start to bond. And they will need each other’s support to deal with the situations ahead. Both men have to hurt family and make major decisions about their lives for what will benefit baby Chloe. For Lachlan, he finally has to face the facts about why Adelaide never contacted her family once she reached America.
For me, BA Tortuga does cowboys best. She takes us through many different emotions and, as always, gives us many memorable characters. I also always enjoy the unique words that she sneaks into her stories. The MCs, Holden and Lachlan, are so right for each other. I love the feuding and fighting, the hard working cowboys with their soft hearts, family that rallies together, quirky cowboy humor, and lots of cowboy loving. And, of course, there’s a very sweet HEA!
You can buy Trial by Fire here: