Title: Ever the Same
Author Name & Publisher: B. A. Tortuga — Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date & Length: February 27, 2015 — 258 pages
Audie Barrack is in it up to his elbows with a sick calf when his son’s school calls. Seems Grainger has gotten into yet another fight. When he walks into the principal’s office, he’s shocked to find his son has been fighting with a little girl named Randi.
A little girl with one blind dad and one dad who recently passed away.
Dixon has lost his sight, his career, and his husband. Thank God for his brothers, Momma and Daddy, and his little girl, or he would simply give up. The last thing he needs is for Randi to start trouble at school, especially trouble that puts him in contact with another dad who might expect him to be a functional human being.
Dixon is struggling to live as a blind man, Audie is terrified someone might see he has a closet to come out of, and everyone from the school to both men’s families is worried for the men and their children. Unless they get themselves together and commit to change, neither of them stands a chance.
I absolutely loved this. I had to stop reading it on the train when I started crying. Audie and Dixon are wonderful characters. The frustrated monk-like cowboy and the grieving urban musician have electric chemistry.
I loved Audie’s horses and surprisingly, I even liked the kids. Honestly, I hate romances with kids. It’s one of the reasons I read more m/m than m/f. But Grainger, Randi and even Sara were actually endearing. And kinda cute.
Tortuga’s Texas is as vibrant as ever. I love the scenery in her books. I love the food, and I love the way she captures family interactions so perfectly. I just want to know how her men keep six pack abs while ordering BBQ take-out for every other meal!
The relationship between Dixon and Audie is refreshingly angst free – especially considering the heavy issues both men are dealing with. Yet another reason I love Tortuga’s books is her light touch with major problems. Her characters attack issues head-on. They might wallow for a time, but kindness and humour prevail.
I’m not sure this story needed the added problems posed by Dixon’s mother vitriol. For a character described several times as an old hippy, she seemed very rigid and narrow minded. The more subtle conflict between Audie and his mum rang true. I also really enjoyed the interactions between the men and their siblings.
With her last few books, Tortuga has jumped onto my must-read/pre-order list of favourite authors. I love her style, love her Texas, and I really love her men.
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.