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Trial by Fire by BA Tortuga

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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.

Available March 15 from Dreamspinner Press:

In print:


All Romance Ebooks:

Barnes and Noble:

Guest Post

My Top Ten Tropes

  1. Blind characters – I’m losing my sight and this particular trope is me working my shit out. (Can I say shit here? Wait, I did it again. Dammit.)
  1. Amnesia. Not real amnesia, because OMG, but romance trope amnesia? Oh HELL yes.
  1. Kidnappings. Again, not for real, because hello? But I will totally kidnap a character in a book. Totally.
  1. The billionaire rancher. I have known millionaire Texas ranchers, but no billionaire ones. I’m totally happy to hang out with some for research…
  1. Mated love, especially with werewolves. What? I love this. Mock if you must, but I read it like it’s going out of style.
  1. The anti-hero. I love the guy who isn’t supposed to be a good guy, but is.
  1. Enemies to lovers. My mom always said that that hate and love are different sides of the same coin.
  1. Nature as the big bad guy. I grew up in a place where everything stung, bite, clawed, or poked you. I love how you can’t prevent nature, you know?
  1. Unlikely partners – I don’t write this often, but I’ll devour it in a book. People from hugely different areas/backgrounds/etc. Cops/convinct, cowboys/superstars, bullriders/reporters… Oh, wait. I do write this…
  1. The former lovers. OMG, I love to write this with a stupid passion. The backstory. The pain. The joy (Please see my next Dreamspun Desires novel, Commitment Ranch, Leaning N Book 1).


Much love, y’all.


Review by Claire Potterton

Emotional, dramatic story.

Even though I really enjoyed reading it, elements of this book puzzled me a little.

Trial By Fire is a great story, packed with strong characters, drama, powerful relationships, both familial and romantic, and a beautiful, orphaned, baby girl who ties it all together; but whilst I loved the majority of the book, some of it didn’t sit well with me. In the beginning, the attraction between Lachlan and Holden was one of those things. It appeared, to me, to spring out of nowhere, and seemed to be almost, inappropriate, given the events unfolding at the time.

That said, as the relationship develops, further on in the book, and becomes more than ‘moments of lust’, it is wonderful and heartwarming. Perhaps that is the point – something wonderful building amidst the drama and the pain!

I did, at times, struggle to keep track of who fit where in this story, as there were a lot of secondary characters here. Likable (mostly), strong, appealing characters…but so many of them.

Overall, this is a great book; a powerful, emotional at times story of families, friendship, grief, and ultimately love. Despite the few blips that it held for me, I would recommend it. I love a happy ending, particularly a hard won one, and the epilog to Trial By Fire is superb!

3.5 Stars

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Find her on the web at 

BA Tortuga

BA Tortuga’s Rednecks and Romance.

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