Hey y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, lover of cowboys and rednecks and the gal voted most likely to write a hot fistfight. I’m tickled as all get out to show off my brand new cover for my Dreamspun Desires book, Trial by Fire.
Billionaires. Rodeo cowboys.
A kidnapped baby.
I can’t wait for all y’all to meet Holden and Lachlan and sweet little Chloe.
Trial by Fire
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.
Holden fought the urge to roll his eyes. Barely. He settled in a kitchen chair. “Have a sit and we’ll talk.”
“Thanks. Hell of a flight here.” Lachlan sat, looking the room over, that sharp blue gaze missing very little, he’d bet. Holden wasn’t sure what Lachlan was looking for. It was a ranch kitchen—bigger than most, sure, because they had to feed the crew sometimes—bright and clean, homey.
Sarah Jane, the housekeeper, came in, stopping short when she saw Lachlan. “Sorry, I didn’t know y’all had company.”
“No worries, lady.” He waved her off with a wink and a nod. Sarah Jane had been a friend of the family since before he was born. Hell, her son Ryan had been his buddy for years.
Lachlan nodded, but waited until Sarah Jane left before firing the opening salvo. “I’d like to see my niece.”
“No.” He didn’t see no need to sugarcoat it. “I don’t know you from Job, and I ain’t just trotting her out to meet strangers.” His job was to protect that baby, and, dammit, he intended to do it.
“I’m her uncle, same as you.” Lachlan grimaced. “Adelaide’s my sister, and I may not have a bloody idea why she ran off, but I’m family.”
No idea. Shit. These folks had damn near kept Addie a prisoner, for fuck’s sake. Fancy-assed folks who called themselves ranchers, when Addie said they had more money than God.
“We got no proof of that, and that’s my granddaughter. I say whether or not you’re family.” Daddy had aged thirty years in the last thirty days. “No offense, but Addie never said nothing about wanting to get ahold of you. Even if you is family, how do I know you’re not a… a serial killer or something?”
Impressive. Ten seconds into the conversation and Daddy was already pulling out the serial killer card.
Lachlan’s dark blond brows climbed to his hairline. “Serial killer? Oy. I’m not a rodeo bugger.”
Ah, a snob and a homophobe. Goodie.
“Finish your coffee and go, man. I’m sorry you came all this way for nothing, but we got work to do.” And no time to deal with your horseshit.
Lachlan scowled. “You’re not planning on being reasonable, then? I have plenty of legal recourse, but I wanted to try to just work something out.”
He let his eyes roll like thrown dice. “Don’t bullshit me. Addie was an American citizen, and that baby is too. Chloe will be fifty before you ever got a court date. Threaten someone else.”
He had to deal with immigration all the fucking time, what with the Aussies and the Brazilians and the Frenchie—which was still a little what the fuck?—coming to rodeo. God knew, Landon wasn’t interested in managing that. Holden knew his shit.
Lachlan slapped his hands on the table and stood. “You clearly don’t know me. I don’t give up.”
“Uh, that’s the point, man. We don’t know you.” Idiot.
“I want. To see. Me niece.” Each word drawled out in the most offensive tone Holden could imagine. “She’s all there is left of my sister, and I’ll be fucked if I let her grow up with a bunch of trashy traveling circus types.”
Holden didn’t bother to monologue. He’d learned every lesson he had from his daddy, and this was an important one. If you’re fixin’ to fight, don’t talk. Hit the bastard first. Holden stepped up and clocked the tall motherfucker right under the jaw, sending Lachlan stumbling back.
Daddy opened the kitchen door without a word, and Holden’s next blow saw Lachlan on the front porch near the steps. The big guy tried to get his shit together to whale on him, but the dude was three times his size, so that wasn’t going to work. He got one more punch in, then shoved the asshole down the front steps, punctuating things with a firm kick in the butt.
“Guess you’re fucked, mate.” He drawled the last out, making it as nasty as he could. “Next time, we’ll just have to shoot first, ask questions after.”
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 wife (still amazing to say that), 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 gone to the high desert mountains and fallen in love. 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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