Review: Bombs and Guacamole (Border Crossing, #1) by BA Tortuga

ER doctor Dusty Lowry grew up in a conservative rural Texas family that has never quite forgiven him for staying in New Mexico after his stint in the Army. Paramedic Nate Miller, Dusty’s best friend since their early Army days, has a hippie momma, a tiny apartment, and is in lust with his buddy. When their other Army friend, Kyle, gets married, they start thinking about settling down. In fact, they both know what they want: each other. Too bad they’ve never shared that goofy little fact.

A trip to visit Dusty’s family in Texas changes everything, and Dusty and Nate aren’t sure where to go from there. Good thing they’re smart guys, and between a series of bombings that target first responders, their friend Kyle’s wife getting pregnant, and more than one bowl of guacamole, they begin to figure out how to have a relationship.

But as the bombings get closer to home, Nate and Dusty must navigate love and commitment before they lose their chance.

Friends to lovers, friends to lovers, friend to lovers - my all time favourite storyline... so it breaks my heart a little to give it just two and a half stars. Unfortunately, for me, this story just didn't work, and I hate to say it but it is the writing and editing that let it down.

The bones of this story work. I love the storyline and it seems like it should easily build up to a fabulous story, but inconsistencies and silly errors meant it just didn't work. It had so much potential and just didn't live up to the promise. It felt like it had been written in a rush and submitted as a  first draft with no beta read at all.

For example, at one point Dusty's sister is trying to get him an a friend to come and visit for their parents anniversary. She specifically tells him he'll have to share a  bed so it would be better if he didn't bring a girl - yet when they arrive Dusty is surprised to be put in a room with only one bed.

Another time is when it says "Food they could always bond over. Kyle always called them unnatural and wanted to meet at the gym or on the running trail or something. Personally Nate thought Kyle was the weird one wanting to work out for fun." Which seems to contradict with the earlier statement "Kyle was the one who was desk sitting more these days, and who had asked them to help him get in shape for the wedding. Man, it had been fun to put him through boot camp all over again."

Later, Kyle tells Dusty his innocent face sucks, yet previously it had been said that he had a good poker face.

There are other little inconsistencies like this that made me pause in my reading and flip back and forth to check if I'd retained the facts correctly, and if I keep getting pulled out of the story to fact check I'm going to find it hard to get into. I will say that I was reading an ARC copy, so maybe these just hadn't been ironed out by an editor; I don't think it's good practice to send out unedited copies for review though. Formatting I can overlook, I understand that is not important to reading an ARC, but if I'm writing a review of the story I can only judge it on the words in front of me.

Other than that there were several abbreviations I didn't understand (VFW, T or C, GSW, LVN), now maybe it's a cultural thing (I'm British, perhaps these don't translate, I know my Britishisms don't always translate) or maybe I'm just thick and these are common abbreviations that everyone bar me knows, whatever the reason  it means that there are at least four points of the story I don't understand.

I think it's fair to say I wanted to like this book more than I actually liked this book. I also feel with another rewrite or edit there could be a really fab story here.

Check out on:

Dreamspinner Press


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