Joa is an anomaly on the bull-riding circuit—he’s Brazilian but grew up in Texas, so he’s not sure where he fits in. Champion Brazilian rider Balta knows just where he wants Joa to be—both in his life and in his bed.
Raul is new to the bull-riding circuit and needs their help learning the ropes. From the start, Raul knows that Joa belongs with Balta, but he also knows that Balta's career is on its way down and the world is ripe for another champion from Brazil.
When Balta decides that Raul is just what he and Joa need to even out the balance of power, they have to find common ground—professionally, publicly, and most importantly, personally.
Publisher's Note: This book has been previously released elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.
BA Tortuga is one of my top 10 erotic-romance authors this year. The Roughstock series is about to hit my binge reading list. This is the third book I have read from the series, and the only thing holding me back from starting over from the beginning, and binging on the entire series is the confusing order of the books on goodreads. It appears that this series is going through an edit and re-release through Pride Publishing, so I’m going to check out the order there instead of goodreads, and hope I hit it right.
Speaking of hitting it right, sweet baby Jesus, this book hit it right. These three men are ridiculous, in the best way. Ridiculously hot, the sexual chemistry is ridiculously good, and the seamlessness of their relationship building was ridiculously easy. I loved it. This is purely feel good on the romantic front. There is absolutely no crazy drama, inflated issues, or confusion. This was perfect. Adults who are actually adulting in a clear, communicative way. Thank you BA Tortuga, for making this such a beautifully pleasant read.
Joaquim is hesitant in the beginning, while Baltazar goes for what he wants, slowly at first, and then heats up his pursuit of Joa. The sexual tension had me burning up. It was off the charts hot. Exactly what I needed.
As the story progresses, I realised that the timeline sort of runs parallel to Coke’s Clown which is listed as book #4. I’m going to take a wild guess (which will probably be wrong, because I haven’t read them all) and say that all the couples/triad stories run a similar timeline in this world. Which works fine for me. There are enough people, enough left out, that each of these stories feel new, but familiar. It’s actually a really good strategy for a series. There is no repetitiveness because the recurring characters are only in the same place during the competition, and at that time, the reader is only treated to that couple’s insular view of their riding, and relationship. The really good thing about this, is that as drama unfolds (It’s Rodeo - there are injuries, posturing, losses, wins - so drama is a given) we get to know something different about the event, through another set of eyes and ears. This is especially important to me because the injuries are intense. Nothing is glossed over, and the recoveries are done in real time. There is something raw about it that pulls me in, and makes me want to know every upsetting, gritty detail. I feel sick, and hopeful at the same time. It’s a very wild ride.
The first part of this story is the relationship between Balta and Joa. How it started, how they build it, and the sexy times in between. Balta is selfish and has every intention of taking what he wants from Joa, while loving on him as much as he can. But he is old (if 35 were old, and apparently in bullriding it is), worn, and tired. His body has been broken more times that he can count, and he fears that he is not enough for his energetic and healthy lover. He won't let him go, but he will give him everything he wants. And Joa’s eyes seem to be straying to Raul, which Balta finds hot and interesting.
Raul is a newcomer to the US circuit, after winning two championships in Brazil. He speaks no English, and is struggling to connect with anyone, not to mention being downgraded in the eyes of the competition, even though his opinion is that the bulls are fiercer in Brazil, so he’s earned more than Rookie of the Year. The one bright spot for him is Joa, but he has a feeling the man is off-limits. An invitation to stay with Balta and Joa during a season break is the start of something sweet for all three men.
I loved their connection. As I’ve said above, this was easy. The relationship was smooth. There was no misunderstanding. Balta, the leading force in the triad, is clear about his intentions, and what he intends is to have both men in his bed.
While the relationship building was easy, the action in this story is hard. These are bull riders, bullfighters, and clowns. They get injured, and sometimes those injuries are life-threatening, or career ending. It was hard to read about the kind of injuries that can occur in this sport. It was hard to read about beloved friends with injuries that could kill them. It was hard to read about hopes and dreams being shattered. It was heartbreaking, and nausea inducing. Reader beware, some of the content is not pretty, and this story for all it’s easy with the relationships, is not fluffy. But it is beautiful, and worth it. I have grown to love all the characters in this book, and look forward to reading more of this series.
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion
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