Release Reviews: Two Cowboys and a Baby: BA Tortuga

Two Cowboys and a Baby
B.A. Tortuga
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Released March 15, 2017
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A little bundle of joy means big changes.

Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.

Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.

Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do—he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.

In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

Every now and then, I read a story that my initial reaction is more positive than not, but I know that if I sit an analyze it too much, I will end up tearing it apart. Such is the case with B.A. Tortuga’s latest addition to Dreamspinner Press’s Dreamspun Desires series, Two Cowboys and a Baby. While there is some messy stuff that comes across as being a little too simplistic to be anything but overdramatic, there’s a cute story in here too that I, for one, appreciated in spite of the other parts.

Wyatt “Hoss” McMasters fits a lot of things people think of when they hear Texas cowboy. He lives near a small town, he’s a bull rider, he’s got a working ranch, and he’s got family and friends he knows he can count on. He’s also gay and has forever been in love with his best friend, Bradley Germaine, even though the guy didn’t take his coming out back in high school all that well. Everything’s good in Hoss’s life until the morning someone abandons a newborn baby on his front step.

This is the first time I’ve read an M/M romance that uses the abandoned-baby trope, and as a whole, it worked for me, making for a cute story, even though there was some not-so-cute things that happened. The twist that results in finding out who the baby belongs to is the sort of thing one might see on an episode of Maury Povich or some other sensationalized talk show, but I thought the author executed it well.

What didn’t work so well was how Bradley reacted to the situation. It wasn’t that his behavior wasn’t believable though. The problem was that the book really could have used another ten or twenty thousand words in order to flesh out Hoss’s and Bradley’s pasts more to give us a better appreciation for what they’ve gone through together and just how long of a wait it has been for them to get together. I really think that would have helped make the reaction to the baby news feel less like an overdramatized mess caused by a lack of solid communication.

Outside of this, the flow of the story makes sense, the writing was smooth, and even though I’m not well versed on rodeo stuff, the scenes involving Hoss’s bull riding were convincing enough to make them believable for me. Other than the reaction I referred to in the previous paragraph, the guys’ interactions with each other were exactly the sort of warm and fluffy that I expect from a Dreamspun Desires book, and yeah, because it’s part of this series, the book is short on the hot-and-smutty stuff: there is only one sex scene in the book (the series limits titles to no more than two sex scenes), but even without it, you could feel the emotions they had for each other and the baby.

It’s probably a good thing, though, that this wasn’t written as a book with tons of sex though, as it might have led me to categorize it as suffering from the dreaded “Press-On Penis” problem—characters who just as easily could have been written as women. As it was, Two Cowboys and a Baby worked for me. It’s just the sort of quick read that I would recommend to anyone who isn’t going to dig too deep looking for reasons to make it less enjoyable. It’s a simple story with simple guys in a strange situation, and if you read it in that manner, it’s a lovely little book.

The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Lickety Split in exchange for this fair and honest review.

BA Tortuga
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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.

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 is feeling the Colorado mountains calling. 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.


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