Tag Archives: Western

4 Stars for And a Smile (RoughStock #2) by B.A. Tortuga #MM #Erotica @batortuga

1.5

Title: And a Smile (RoughStock #2)
Author Name & Publisher: B.A. Tortuga (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: October 27, 2015 – 197 pgs

Synopsis

All Coke Pharris wants is for his cowboys to be safe–all of them. When rodeo clown, Dillon, sets to prove that there’s more to the bullfighter, people could get hurt.

It’s Coke Pharris’ job to save bull riders from bulls, and he takes his work very seriously. Which is why he’s devastated when one of his favorite riders gets hurt, and he’s determined to help the young man ride again. Dillon Walsh is the arena entertainer for the bull riding tour, and he wants to help. He also wants Coke, has been admiring the man for a long time. He hasn’t made a move on Coke for fear of messing up their friendship, but when he finds out Coke might feel the same way, Dillon has to try to win Coke over.

Coke thinks he’s too old for Dillon, too beat up and scarred, but he can’t resist when Dillon finally makes a play for him. Dillon is like a wet dream for Coke, and the two of them have a great time getting to know each other better, at least until the danger of their job threatens to come between them. Will Dillon and Coke be able to help their friend and weather the problems that blow their way?

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

General Release Date: 27th October 2015

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Review

FourStars

I have skipped around a bit in this series instead of reading it in order but nonetheless I went back and read the few books that I had not read yet in the series.

BA Tortuga is such an amazing author to be able to get into the guys mannerisms the way that she has. When reading this book you can definitely feel this whole cowboy vibe by the way these men act and by the way they talk. They have the southern charm to them and that makes the book so much more enjoyable and believable.

I have to say as far as the characters in this book goes I fell in love with Dillion from the get go. Dillion has been in love with Coke for a while but has always kept it to himself out of fear of bringing tension to their team.

Coke is so hard on himself. He thinks he is to old and to broken to be good enough for someone especially someone as special as Dillion.

Dillion does not give up though and is determined to make Coke realize how good they can be together.

BA Tortuga has the ability to draw the readers in and make them feel like part of the book. I love that about an author. This book can be read as part of the series or it can be read as a standalone. Definitely a good read!!

Tosha

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4 Stars for Back to Back (Roughstock #5) by B. A. Tortuga @batortuga #mm #romance #western @pridepublishing

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Title: Back to Back (Roughtstock #5)
Author Name & Publisher: B. A. Tortuga (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 5, 2016 – 163 Pages

Synopsis

Landon knows who he wants, he’s been dreaming about Adam Taggart his whole life. Tag, though? Thinks Landon’s too poor, too young, too wrong to be his.

Landon Gaudet may not be the best bullrider on earth, but he knows that’s where the money is in rodeo. His Cajun heart is more involved with horses, though, and with finding the cowboy he’s been dreaming of all of his relatively short life. Adam Taggart has been around the block more than once, and while he thinks Landon is special, he also thinks the kid deserves better than a safety man with more than his share of notches on the bedpost.

Adam does everything he can to resist Landon, but there’s not a man alive who doesn’t love being loved, so eventually he gives in. Landon can’t believe that Adam is finally with him, that his cowboy has finally come around to his way of thinking. The only problem is that Adam isn’t sure he deserves love, or that he really has any to give. He questions everything from his need for Landon to his family’s assertion that he can do better than a boy from the bayou. Can Landon show Adam that sometimes magic is real, and that all you really need is to have a little faith?

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Review

FourStars

I enjoyed this story much more than the last couple of books in the series.  I’ve been curious about the Taggart boys for a while and I enjoyed getting to know more about all of them.  

Adam is one of the more straightforward leading men in this series.  He isn’t overcoming disability or disadvantage – he is just a slightly bull headed cowboy.  

Landon is a more interesting character – someone describes him as a “Bayou baby” at one point and it works.  Orphaned young, he has been taking care of himself and his twin for a very long time.  While he is supposed to be the much younger man, his voice is old and experienced.  However old Adam might be, he comes across as the man who is less secure and less confident  in himself .  His more affluent existence lends a naivety to his character that the world-wary Landon just can’t afford.  

I enjoyed the connection between these two men, though I quickly grew tired of Adam’s doubts and insecurities.  For me, there was more romance and passion between the leading men than there has been in the last couple of books which was great.  I also enjoyed watching the relationships between the other couples in the series develop.  

Tortuga’s overly dramatic Cajun accents are starting to grate with me.  I think I need characters to think in Standard English, even if they speak with a dialect/accent/second language  Especially in this book when the author is trying to prove that Landon is much more clever than he presents, I needed to better understand the differences between the way he speaks and the way he thinks.  

Sarah

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5 Star and 3 Star Reviews for Eight Seconds by William Davrick #MM #Romance @LT3Press

CoverTitle: Eight Seconds
Author Name & Publisher: William Davrick (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: August 31, 2016

Synopsis

Dustin Marston, wannabe professional bull rider, cannot stay on a bull for the required eight seconds. Suffering from sinister flashes of suppressed memories from his childhood, Dusty has a panic attack during a hazardous sexual encounter that lands him in serious legal trouble.

When he proves to be uncooperative, his health counselor, Diana, turns to a colleague for assistance—only for the to learn that Joe was once the boy Dusty loved when they were kids, and who was lost to him twenty years ago. Then Joe proposes a highly unorthodox treatment to save Dusty, a treatment that wakes old nightmares and threatens any chance they have of a future.

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Review

FiveStars

WARNING: Do not read if you have triggers to child abuse, rape, violence, and murder. I am no trying to turn anyone away from this book with those warnings because that is not the whole of the book but all of those are talked about and mentioned in this book.

This book is a book I would describe as true strength, and not letting the horrible child hood traumas to ruin the future. It is about excepting the past and looking forward to a better future. This book is a true survivors story.

I felt so many emotions reading this book. Dusty had the most horrible childhood at the hands of someone who was supposed to love and protect him and instead because of that person his adulthood was left in shambles and he could not remeber what the cause behind it was because he blocked out as much bad as he could. It took Joe coming back into his life for him to finally find the strength within himself to face the demons of his past to be able to become the man he has always wanted to be.

This book in my opinion should be considered a true inspirational story about survival and about seeking the help that ones needs in these situations to be able to accept what happened and to be able to move on to better things in life despite it all. William Davrick did an amazing job on this book and should be very proud of it. I hope that many more people will take opportunity to read it because it is a very touching story that will stay with you.

Tosha

ThreeStar

This is a very gritty look at the repercussions and aftermath of child abuse. A fan of cowboy romances, I was (perhaps naively) expecting a little bit more rodeo and a little less graphic child abuse.

I’m not sure it is possible to enjoy this story. At times it is incredibly moving and at other times it is extremely disturbing but this is never a comfortable book. There were times I found myself falling for both Joe and Dusty, but just when I started to invest in one of them, I would find myself conflicted.

Joe is supposed to be a respected doctor or psychiatrist or therapist…(what exactly are his qualifications?) but he ignores the huge conflict of interest that comes with treating Dusty and operates far outside any possible professional code of conduct. I found it increasingly difficult to respect his maverick approach to therapy and as a result, I found it increasingly difficult to believe in the character as the book progressed.

At least Dusty is supposed to be a hot mess. But like Joe, his actions hurt people and it is difficult to ever fully love his character. Dusty’s progress from hot mess to stable partner is impossibly quick.

I was managing the Dusty/Joe/Diana/Katelyn storyline until near the end. But if the extreme revelations about Dusty’s past didn’t push plausibility completely out the window, the plot twist Joe pulls out of a hat to solve all of Dusty’s problems certainly did. Unfortunately, this descended into a soapy drama by the end.

Ultimately, there were moving parts to this book but unlikeable leading men and an implausible plot made this story difficult for me to get through.

Sarah

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ONE 4 Star and ONE 3 Star Reviews for Trial by Fire (Dreamspun Desires) by B.A. Tortuga #MM #Western @batortuga

Cover

Title: Trial by Fire (Dreamspun Desires)
Author Name & Publisher: B.A. Tortuga (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 15, 2016 – 228 pgs

Synopsis

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.

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Review

FourStars

When an Aussie cowboy meets a Texas cowboy, sparks fly. Add in two grieving men, two tough families, an orphaned baby girl and a kidnapping plot for an exciting whirlwind of an adventure.

The loss of Holden’s twin and Lachlan’s sister starts this story in a wash of grief, anger and confusion. But the little girl left behind forces the two cowboys to put her first and figure out a future that works for both families.

I really enjoyed the two leading men in this story and I loved the unusual build up to their romance. Either practicality or pure chemistry brings Holden and Lachlan together but this is the most believable insta-love I’ve read in a long time.

While the action-packed plot is fun, there is far too much going on for this to be believable. Because the plot is so complex, many of the characters are simply sketched in. There were times when I found myself confused by the dual narrative, not immediately knowing whether Lachlan or Holden was narrating.

Overall, this was a fun and exciting story once I stopped querying the details. I enjoyed both the romance and the action.

~Sarah
ThreeStar
This book had so much potential. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad book, it just didn’t push all my buttons. The plot was good. The story was good, there was just something missing. Holden is the guardian of Chloe, his twin’s daughter, after her parents are killed in an accident. Lachlan finds out weeks later his sister is dead and he has a niece. Both men want to be part of Chloe’s life and before they get a chance to work things out she is kidnapped while both men are trying to put out a barn fire. The entire book is about Chloe, who should she live with, who kidnapped her, should how can they get her back, etc. There wasn’t much focus on Holden and Lachlan so when they just decide to live together and that they were in love it just felt wrong and rushed. The epilogue was good but I wanted more interaction with Holden and Lachlan that didn’t revolve around Chloe.
Angie

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FOUR 4 stars and ONE 3 star Review for Sarah & Jude by Marie Piper #FF #Lesfic #Romance #western

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Title: Sarah & Jude
Author Name & Publisher: Marie Piper (NineStar Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 4, 2016 — 26 pages

Synopsis

ude Farraday is as rough and hard working as any man on the Tate ranch in Nebraska, and by far the best at breaking horses. Sarah Tate, daughter of the ranch boss, finds herself drawn to Jude despite the danger a relationship between the two of them could bring. After all, Jude is a woman.

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Review

FourStars

This was a well-written short story that I finished in under an hour. I loved being able to hear the character voices in my head, the way Jude spoke versus the way Sarah spoke. The plot is simple, which is expected for short stories, so I wasn’t wowed by it at all.

 

The connection between the two characters is strong, and Sarah has quite a bit of character growth in such short pages. The sex scenes weren’t has steamy as I expected them to be. That’s not to say they weren’t good, they were very well written. I guess I just expected more? Don’t know why. I did enjoy the world Ms. Piper created in just a few short pages. There were enough details to give it life and not make it overbearing.

 

Overall a great read for a lunch break!

 

~AJ

FourStars

Jude works on Sarah’s father’s ranch and is a tough as all the men, maybe more so.  She has to be.  She dresses in masculine clothes and works hard and this has come to the notice of Sarah.  I really enjoyed this short story as it had a bit of excitement, sexual tension and more than a hint of threat.  The two women are really drawn to each other and when they get together it is hot.  The characters were well written and I felt I knew them very quickly.  I wanted them to be together but it seemed impossible.  In the old West they were going to face enormous obstacles and even in such a short story the threat was palpable.  A good short read that holds out hope for maybe more in the future.  These two characters deserve a novel.
Kitty Kat
FourStars
A really short and enjoyable story. It was fast paced,with likable characters and I found it a real pleasure to read.  Predictable plot but that this does not detract from the fact that it is a fun entertaining story.
~Chris
ThreeStar
I am very conflicted about this story. The short story was well written; however, the pacing felt off. It felt rushed and the relationship is not really delved into. It feels unrealistic and could have benefited from them going into more detail about their feelings so that the relationship is more believable.
However, I found myself wanting to know more about the women and I enjoyed the setting of the story. The author did a great job pulling the reader into the story.
Other than the pacing and the believably, the story was a hot and spicy break from my day. Well done.
Tori
FourStars

This is a short, quick read that was entertaining and fun. There are some things that made perfect sense in this story and some that I questioned. Sarah obviously doesn’t quite fit into the stereotypical role of a woman on a ranch in the West in that time period. But I find two things strangely oppositional; she doesn’t feel like she fits the person her mother wants her to be but she doesn’t do anything to rebel, but also doesn’t hesitate to do things with Jude that would definitely not be accepted by her parents. Jude, too, has things that make me think; she does everything to fit in as a man, yet has no problem allowing Sarah to reciprocate love-making as a woman. She seemed extremely hesitant to allow Sarah to do that, but gives in quickly. Also, she knows how difficult it is for her to find a place in this man’s world, but has no hesitations about messing around with the owner’s daughter, knowing that if she was found out being fired would be the best result. Although these questions made me think more about the story, I found the idea that the two got together and decided to stay together a wonderful one for the time period. It was a sweet ending to a hot beginning.

AmyP

Excerpt

The stallion jumped a little but he didn’t fight. He’d wait before making his move. Almost broken, almost tame enough to allow himself to be ridden peacefully, the black-as-tar horse was sixteen hands of pure power. The tall rider on his back coiled in anticipation.

Sarah Tate washed a mountain of clothes in the basin as she knelt in the grass, but her attention wasn’t on soap bubbles that warm afternoon. It was fixed on the scene in the pen. Sweating in the sun, Sarah brushed a stuck piece of fair hair off her forehead and stood up, wondering if there’d be blood or broken bones in the next few minutes.

Jude Farraday worked as hard as any man on the ranch, fixing fences and driving poles like a rail worker and breaking horses better than any other hand. With the same sun-leathered skin, scraggly hair, and rough hands as the other boys, Jude seemed no different than the rest.

Sarah couldn’t see why folks said Jude was unnatural. She was just a hard-working woman, not much different than Sarah herself, except she was built like a boy and wore men’s clothes and did men’s work. Sarah hated washing clothes and felt in some way she understood the woman’s plight, even though she was nineteen years old and had never worn pants in her life.

The male ranch hands sat on the fence and watched as Jude expertly tamed the stallion. Sarah’s father had given Jude the task especially; she was notably better with the horses than the other men, and the horse had been expensive. Folks argued that Jude shouldn’t be kept on the ranch, but Sarah’s father knew a good worker when he saw one, and it was his vote alone that counted. Jude knew horses. Jude was valuable.

Like a coil, the horse sprung into wild action. Hoofs hit the dirt and kicked up dust, and Jude rode hard, taking the ups and downs with a stony expression. The horse bucked and jumped as much as it could manage in an attempt to throw its rider, but Jude hung on and didn’t go to the ground.

Sarah stopped washing and made her way toward the pen.

“Miss Sarah.” Some of the men nodded or tipped their hats to her. She barely heard them as she leaned on the fence and watched.

“Come on, you son of a bitch,” Jude called to the horse, a brave smile coming to her face. Sarah noticed the lean flow of Jude’s body and the way her strong thighs clung to the sleek flanks of the beast. Jude’s dark braid flew behind her, same as the horse’s tail, flipping along with the horse’s jumps and sidesteps.

She was beautiful.

 

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5 star and 3 star reviews for Karma (Cattle Valley #33) by Carol Lynne #MM #romance #Western @PridePublishing

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Title: Karma (Cattle Valley #33)
Author Name & Publisher: Carol Lynne (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: March 29, 2016 — 88 pages

Synopsis

From an Olympic Gold Medalist to jail inmate, one man’s journey to rebuild his life after hitting rock bottom.

Once a celebrated athlete, Guy Hoisington fell from grace and into a bottle. For years, the citizens of Cattle Valley went out of their way to avoid the drunk lecher, but one man, Shane Rendell, not only dated Guy during a brief period of relative sobriety but fell in love with him before he was hastily cast aside.

Living within the thick haze of liquor and sex, Guy rarely made good decisions, but on one particular dark night, he makes the worst decision of his life when he decides to drive down the mountain after a long evening of drinking. He wakes from a coma to discover he’s run an innocent man off the road and has a life-changing injury. For the first time in a very long time, Guy is able to look at himself through sober eyes, and he hates the man in the mirror. In one stupid move, he’s lost everything.

Shane has tried for two years to move on with his life after falling for the town alcoholic, but when he learns of Guy’s accident, he rushes to the hospital. Although the entire town may hate Guy, Shane is determined to prove Guy hasn’t lost everything.

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Review

FiveStars

I have to say this book was extremely amazing. It is a book that I would say is about getting a second chance to make right all the wrongs that one caused.

Guy was an Olympic gold medalist that turned drunk. One night after having a little to much to drink he got in his car and cause an accident that almost took Riley’s life and almost took his also but did take his leg. After waking from a coma and finding out that he lost his leg and that he caused the accident and was going to jail, the person he least expected walks into his hospital room and turns his life upside down again even after Gay had treated him horribly in the past. Shane made it clear to Guy that he was there to stay even if it was only as a friend.

Guy in my opinion is on a road to self destruction. He is out to destroy himself in any way possible. He does not see that his drinking is harming not only himself but others also. When he drinks he is not the nicest person and using his drinking makes it easier to forget the things that hurt him in the past instead of dealing with it. Guy has not dealt with the abuse he indured at the hands of his father and coach from when he was a child and because of not dealing with it, it leaves him with a gaping hole in his hurt where all the is. His drinking is what he uses to mask the pain.

Shane in my opinion is the strong one in this book. Because even though he was hurt by Guy in the past more then once he believes Guy is a good guy and Shane will do anything to help Guy realize the same about himself. Shane knows that guy has it in him to quit drinking and to turn his life around and Shane stands by him and doesn’t waiver on it even when Guy lashes out at him.

This is an amazing story about hitting rock bottom with no where else to go other then to pick up the pieces and start over and try to make amends and pray you turn out to be better, stronger person this time around. It is also about the one person that stands beside you when no one else will and the strength it takes to stand by you.

This book was beautifully written and is an amazing story. It is easy to picture this book as being a true story of someone’s life. Great job Carol Lynne.

~Tosha

ThreeStar

This is a very complicated short story about the owners of a ski lodge in Cattle Valley (or, more accurately, in the mountains above Cattle Valley.  

I have to admit that I didn’t feel an emotional connection to either of the leading men which meant that I failed to engage with the central romance.  I found the main character, Shane, instantly likeable but I was soon feeling more pity than admiration for him as he shamelessly devoted himself to a man so unworthy of his attentions.  And I found Guy impossible to like.  Even as he starts to redeem himself, his efforts often felt selfish.

This is #33 in a long running series and I read it as a stand alone which will have coloured my judgement.  I found myself confused by the names of towns and characters.  For such an elaborate series, a map or a list of characters at the start would have really helped.  

Ultimately, it was the story itself I failed to really engage with.  90 pages is just not enough to deal with a string of heavy topics: life-changing injury, alcoholism, child abuse and financial ruin.  One of these topics could be the single central theme for a much longer story, but this felt like a whistle-stop tour without development or resolution.  

Fans of the series may have a very different reaction to this story.  Some of these threads may have been developed carefully through the series, but I didn’t enjoy this story enough to pursue earlier books to find out.  

~Sarah

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5 and 3 stars for Coke’s Clown (Roughstock #4) by B. A. Tortuga @BATortuga #MM #Romance #Western #Cowboy

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Title: Coke’s Clown (Roughstock #4)
Author Name & Publisher: B. A. Tortuga (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: March 15, 2016 — 188 pages

Synopsis

How does Dillon take care of Coke when Coke’s destroying himself?

Bullfighter Coke is having a rough time in the Roughstock universe.

When his dear friend Sam Bell is injured at the finals of the bull riding season, he takes that and his injuries pretty hard. His very own clown, Dillon, is determined to take care of Coke, which is tough when Coke is usually the one to care for everyone.

Coke has a huge secret from his past, though, and, when Dillon digs to discover what it is, the skeletons in Coke’s closet threaten to destroy both men.

Publisher’s Note: This book has been previously released elsewhere. It have been revised, re-edited ansd significantly expanded for re-release with Pride Publishing.

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Review

ThreeStar

This series started on a high, but I’ve become increasingly frustrated with it.  I really struggled with this installment and I’ve tried to figure out why.  

Coke and Dillon are characters that have re-occurred since the start of the series, but they’ve never been properly described to readers.  And oddly enough, they aren’t described terribly well here.  If I hadn’t grown up in a redneck town where the rodeo was the social event of the year, I still wouldn’t have a clue about the nature of either Coke or Dillon’s jobs.  After reading the story, I’m still not sure what either man looks like.

This seems to be following the path of most good series.  By the eighth (or fourth – there seem to be two versions of this book and the series has a parallel universe where books are divided by two…) book, the first half of this story involves catching up with as many couples from past books as possible.  The deluge of names and updates was off-putting for me. So was the idea of a romance with an already established couple at its core.  By the time there was drama between Coke and Dillon, the story was nearly over.

And finally, I really struggled with the narrative voice of this story.  I’m pretty sure that Steinbeck made up the rules for the Cowboy Western when he penned “Of Mice and Men”.  While his characters speak with regional dialects and simple vocabularies, the narrative voice is always eloquent, his language beautiful.  Here, Coke narrates most of the story but the narrative voice is as simple as the characters’ words.  While I know that Coke and Dillon are more complex characters than their vocabulary allows, the unceasing cowboy slang makes for a disjointed read and leaves the impression of a relationship between two men with serious special needs.  It just doesn’t work very well for me.

That said, Coke’s backstory is interesting and I enjoyed watching a long-term couple weather life’s storms.   I didn’t find this as sexy or as emotionally moving as previous books in the series.  It is fun to catch up with characters from earlier books, but I would have like to have read Coke and Dillon’s story on its own.  So – I’m falling out of love with this series.

~Sarah

FiveStars

I just finished reading Comes Clown and once again I was impressed with BA Tortuga. I first started reading this book without having read the books in this series before it and I was lost. So I went back and read other books in the series so I knew who was who and what all the nick names are for whom and whom was with who. So that would be the one point that I would make about this book to others…, read the books in this series before this so you know where you are and what has happened leading up to this book because it is all important and and will help you to understand the roles everyone plays in this series and the events that have led up to each book.

Now more about this book. This book primarily focused on Coke and Dillion. Coke is still recovering from his recent neck break but is doing better or as best as can be expected after having a neck injury and Dillion is still his funny self and doing whatever he has to in order to take care of Coke.

In my opinion Coke is the heart of the bull riders and clowns. He is the one everyone runs to when they need support. Coke puts “his families” needs ahead of his own even when he is in desperate need of taking care of himself. When AJ calls about a family crisis Coke does not hesitate to run as fast as he can to be there for him and his family and along the way calls in the rest of their rodeo family to help them also. Even though Coke is the one to hold their rodeo family together as he does, he still has his own demons he is battling with but he does not let that stop him from doing what needs to be done for everyone else.

Dillion is “Cokes Clown”. Without Dillion I truly Believe that Coke would just be lost. Dillion is Cokes strength and Dillion shows Coke the love that he craves but would never ask for. Coke constantly takes car of everyone around him and Dillion is there to real him in and make him take the time he needs to take care of himself. Dillion is Cokes reprieve and his home no matter where they are. Dillion also accepts Coke and all of demons and thinks no less of him. It makes him love him more despite them.

This book shows the perfect example of what truly loving someone is. It is about taking the strength from those you love when you are weak and it is about giving strength to those around you when they feel as if they do not have it for themselves. It is also about loving someone unconditionally no matter what it is their past and not holding it over their head. This book showed all of that repeatedly throughout it. Cokes clown is definitely a book that can teach you what true strength, love, and family is. Such a wonderful book and great read. Cannot wait for the next book in the series.

~Tosha

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