Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Every year the bullfighters hold their retreat, three days free of families and outside obligations. Its a time to bond and renew before the rodeo circuit begins again. And for the first time, Dillon Walsh, rodeo clown and significant other of Coke Pharris has been invited. With “all manner of mischief is on the menu along with the barbecue”, can Coke and Dillon find time for love as well?
The Retreat is more a piece of flash fiction or excerpt than a stand alone story. It is a glimpse in the early days of Coke and Dillon’s relationship. While the story doesn’t go into details, Tortuga hints at the early stages of Coke and Dillon’s romance by pointing out that this is the first time Dillon has been invited to be a part of this tightly knit group of men. And by how circumspect the men are with their PDAs. Only one other member makes a significant appearance in this short story, it is a telling one with Nate and his wife as a couple who are also close friends of Coke’s and now Dillon’s. This couple acts as a centering element for Coke and Dillon’s relationship. They are both a barometer and anchor for all the other bullfighters reactions.
B.A. Tortuga’s great characterizations are front and center of this short story. So even without any background you will find yourself grinning in response to Dillon’s reaction over being invited to the bullfighter shindig:
He gave his butt a little shake, happy and loose in his hips. He sure did like the idea of being invited to the annual bullfighter weekend. He’d never been to one before. Hell, he hadn’t known about them until Nate had asked him.
Just walked right up to him and popped him on the arm and said, “You coming to both parts of the retreat, yeah?”
Like he knew all about it. Like he was just a part of the team, totally, finally.
Of course he’d said yes. Absolutely.
You get the glee, the joy over being finally included in a group of men who are important to him. Just lovely.
There are any number of Roughstock shorts out there to be enjoyed. But first, go back and read the core stories in the Roughstock series, Get the background to all the characters and relationships mentioned upon in the short stories. This will leave your frustrations with these interludes at the door and let you settle back for a quick trip with characters you have grown to love. Here are the books and stories in the Roughstock series in the order they were written and should be read:
Core Roughstock stories:
Roughstock: Blind Ride — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Give it Time: the Seven of Wands – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: And a Smile — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Doce — A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Amorzinhos — A Roughstock Story – Novela, m/m, threesome
Roughstock: File Gumbo — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Roughstock: And a Smile — Coke’s Clown – Novela, m/m,
Shutter Speed, A Roughstock Story: the Seven of Pentacles – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: City/Country – Novel, m/f
Roughstock: Picking Roses – Novel, m/f
Needing To: A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Upcoming Roughstock Novels
Roughstock: What She Wants – Novel, m/m/f
Roughstock: Tag Team – Season Two – Novel, m/m
Roughstock: Terremoto – Season Two- Novel, m/m
Cowboy Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
A Cowboy Family Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
Barbed Wire and Bootheels (Sam and Beau)
Just Another Day At The Office (Coke and Dillon
Leatherwork and Lonely Cowboys, a Roughstock short (Beau and Sam)
The Retreat (Coke and Dillon)
The New Guy (Coke and Dillon)
Some Good Doctoring (CB and Jonesy) – Free Read