Ever the Same
by B.A. Tortuga
An M/M Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released February 27th 2015
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.
This…this is the kind of story that I love reading.
Audie is a single father who has lived his life hiding who he really is. His life revolves around his horses and his son–until fate brings Dixon and Randi into his life. Audie can’t stand by to see a little girl with a world of hurt in her eyes, but still he hesitates in approaching the quiet, surly blind man. But once he comes to learn Dixon’s story and the man behind the attitude, he can’t seem to stay away.
Dixon is not looking for love. Hell, he doesn’t even have much desire to keep on living. His days are an endless loop of trying to figure how to move forward, take care of his daughter and learning to be blind. Pain, indecision, confusion and helplessness are some of the constants in his life–until Audie with his charming personality, easy manner and flirty comments slowly but surely urges him to take that one step that will put him back to living a ‘normal’ life. But with change comes challenges, lack of support from the people around him and frustration.
Soon Audie and Dixon must fight not only for their new found love but for the life they want to make for themselves and their family.
I loved this story from beginning to end. Both Audie and Dixon were amazing characters to get to know. Audie with his humble ways, caring nature and desire to love and be loved was adorable. Dixon on the other hand, was more complex. Torn between having lost his partner and his sight and wanting what Audie offered, he was confused and scared as to how to move forward, but regressing to his former self was not an option. Add to that two little kids and of course everything gets a bit more complicated–and interesting too!
For me the addition of the kids made a big difference in my enjoyment of this story. Often times kids are introduced in a story and soon forgotten. But not here. BA Tortuga managed to focused on developing Audie and Dixon’s connection while still allowing the reader to experience the connection between Audie, Dixon, Grainger and Randi. I loved how she took the time to showcase how the characters bonded without it taking away from the romance.
And what a romance it was! Moving slow and steady and making absolutely sure that a connection was established, BA Tortuga didn’t miss a beat in bringing the romance to the page. There was heat and flirty banter, intense emotional moments, doubts and hesitations and like the sap I am I devoured it all!
I loved Audie’s reluctance to make a move and his determination to take things at Dixon’s pace. I especially loved how he came to stand up for himself and what he wanted out of life and never doubting that Dixon was who he wanted. I also enjoyed seeing Dixon letting go bit by bit and letting Audie into his life. A supporting touch, a careful caress…he came to allow it and me? I was grinning like a maniac. (or so I was told!)
I don’t even have to into the chemistry between these two–this is BA Tortuga after all. But I liked that the intensity of their attraction transitioned nicely from hesitant to full-on steam as the story progressed. A treat for sure! There was this one scene….*sigh* perfection!
Ever the Same is one of those stories that have a perfect mix of romance, emotions and conflict. The pace allowed the reader to really get into the story, the characters were complex and showed much growth and the romance was tentative and blooming as the story moved along. All in all, a wonderful romantic story.
*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
“It’s not like him to pick on someone who’s having a hard time.”
“Of course it’s not. Randi’s the one that’s the vicious little bitch, right?”
Damn, Mr. Snooty could snap.
“What? She’s had a shit life for the last year. She lost one of her dads, she had to leave Austin and her friends and her school, and suddenly she’s the fucking bad guy?”
“Hey, I never said my boy was perfect,” Audie said, snarling a little himself. “He’s managed to get to six without trying to kill anyone, though, so this is new. Back off.”
“Enough. No one is saying either of these children are bad. Randi has a huge number of hurdles to overcome, and Grainger is a shy little boy with a tendency to follow the crowd. Neither of these children have mothers at home, and I was hoping we could brainstorm some ways to help Randi feel included with the others.”
This was ridiculous. It wasn’t his fucking job to make sure this asshole’s little brat felt like she didn’t need to punch his son anymore.
“That’s her teacher’s job, Shannon.” Audie was through with this shit. “I’ll tell my boy to stay away from her. Can we go now?”
“Yes. Yes, of course. Mr. White….”
“I’ll talk to her. If it happens again, I’ll… shit, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll make it up as I go along.” The guy stood, and his mom handed him a cane. A white cane.
Oh, Jesus fucking Christ. Seriously? Seriously, Grainger picked the kid with a blind dad and a dead….
Her other dad was dead. Jesus. This guy was blind, had lost his man, and his kid was a shit? That sucked hugely. “I can try to get Grainger to help. I promise.” He had no idea why that popped out, except this guy’s life had to suck, and because it had been a long time since Audie had met anyone who would openly admit to being queer like he was.
“Take us home, Mom. Please.” Now that he could see the White guy, he kind of wanted to wince. Lean, tattooed—this guy wasn’t made to be here, and obviously he wasn’t a local. Hell, his parents weren’t that local; Audie didn’t know them.
“Of course, Son.” She stood and offered Audie a frosty smile. “Thank you for being so, er, understanding.” She put a hand on her son’s arm, and he turned her way, the cane tapping as they left the room.
Audie glared at Shannon Shields as soon as they were out of earshot. “You couldn’t’ve had Miz Laws warn me?”
About the Author
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, 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 headed to the high desert mountains. 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.