Audio and Book Review by DMac: Trial By Fire, by B.A. Tortuga

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Trial by Fire, by B.A. Tortuga
Narrated by Rusty Topsfield
A Dreamspinner Desires Novel
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 15, 2016

Book Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Audio Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


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.


M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Cultural Differences
Western (Rodeo)
Inheriting Children


Audio review:

The narrator’s normal voice was really good and I enjoyed it. However his accents were pretty ridiculous. It was easy to get used to his accents but sometimes it got distracting and kind of hard to figure out who was talking. You get used to it, but it is a slow start.

Book review:

This book had less focus on the romance than I typically like. Don’t get me wrong: I do enjoy reading about the romantic leads living their lives and talking to their friends, but I do like the main focus of the story to be them getting to know each other/fall in love.

In this their romance was kind of sudden and then it got pushed to the background. The author decided to focus on the baby and drama surrounding the baby for most of the book. It made the last part of the book weird because the L word was thrown around which was off-putting because they dated for five minutes and we saw none of it.

It was very Harlequin-y but without all of the hot sex scenes that are usually sprinkled throughout the ridiculous plot. At least the characters talked about how quick everything was going, otherwise I would be more put off by it. Too much drama, not enough romance! Harrumph!

One thing that made me give this book a lower rating was that a lot of the “conflict” between Lachlan and Holden was a lot of stereotypes about rodeo life, Texans, and Australians. Texans and Australians? Talk about random groups of people being brought together. At certain points it became a stereotype-off where the two groups would just be exaggeratedly horrified at the other’s preferences. It got old pretty quickly.

Another thing Tortuga didn’t really do was give a realistic explanation about why Lachlan’s sister ran off without contacting her family again. It was a huge point in the book and the explanation was pretty meh. The whole thing was pretty meh for me to be honest even though the writing was really good. That bothers me the most with books. When an author has the best writing and doesn’t have a great plot or other story problems it really frustrates me to no end.

It was a major bummer because Tortuga’s writing is really strong and excellent, but this just wasn’t much of a romance. However, if you want a mystery/western type book and are fine with minimal romance you’ll enjoy this book a lot.


Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, 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 porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her partner, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Find more about BA Tortuga and her books over at her website (Click here!)

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I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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