Review: Broken In by B.A. Tortuga

Rating: 5🌈

Broken In, B.A. Tortuga’s new release , is definitely my favorite of all her most recent stories.

It’s got all the elements I expect from a B.A. Tortuga tale, but elevated into well developed, beautifully defined book, where every aspect of the story and all the characters damaged past histories flow smoothly into a believable reunion and grounded heartfelt loving future.

The start doesn’t reflect the depth the story and characters will achieve as the story unfolds. First it’s a bit of the men’s combined past, their failure as Greyson Hayden is asked to leave his home and his lover of many years due to his alcoholism. Kyler Lassiter has packed up Greyson’s bags and told him to get help, get sober. Because he doesn’t love Kyler enough to do it together.

It’s a heartbreaking scene for all it’s shortness.

Fast forward to a successful now sober Greyson Hayden who’s returning to the small town he left as a drunk and the ex who asked him to leave.

Tortuga doesn’t shy away from the very human mixed bag of emotions Hayden is bringing with him to town. Tortuga writes believable people, and that means that they come with feelings and thoughts that aren’t always very admirable.

It’s all Greyson to begin with in the narrative. He’s been through the program, he’s got a sponsor he’s working with (we meet him later), he’s realistic about being a alcoholic. But he’s also someone who’s still hurting over the past. Right or wrong.

And just when the reader wants to give him a kick in the conscience about who’s to blame for his actions, Greyson himself gives himself a mental talking to, and corrects course.

Because he’s become a responsible adult. He’s grown up. And just like that , human foibles and all, you are in this man’s corner.

Which is exactly what the story and character needs when the reunion happens.

I won’t spoil Kyler Lassiter for you and his part of the story. It’s huge. It’s so emotional. It’s also realistic in keeping with the character and the setting. But how I love that man. He might be one of Tortuga’s finest characters.

I’ll leave it at that.

Showcased here at the highest level are the following elements:

⁃ The author’s ability to fully explore with grace and sensitivity important topics such as alcoholism and disabilities within the framework of her characters.

⁃ Tortuga’s regional knowledge of the land and culture to enrich the story and characters by creating a foundation so real it’s never in doubt.

⁃ This extended to the love of horses as well as bulls here. The horses were a living, breathing part of this book. I felt them as much as the people. Same went for Snow.

⁃ Food. Enchiladas, breakfast burritos, stuffed sopapillas, tacos, “Christmas flat enchiladas with an egg”, stuffed sopapilla with ground beef, guac, and Christmas”, and just like that my mouth is watering and I need to have a seat in that restaurant with them! Then honey and fried bread. Hmmmm.

⁃ Tortuga’s cellular level talent with colloquialisms. There’s the familiar Lord have mercy and God help me, but also the perfect

“Pie crust promises.”

Broken In by BA Tortuga

If that doesn’t describe a promise that’s temporary I don’t know what does.

I found a new one here, asking for Christmas as in:

““Do you want green, red, or Christmas?” “Christmas, please.” Ky beamed at him. “I love both types of chile.””

— Broken In by BA Tortuga

Again, don’t you just want to go ask for some of whatever they are having just to say that?

The author’s ability to craft dialogue that’s grounded in the region, as well as the people is outstanding. It contributes to pulling us into their lives, the universe, and all the emotions playing out in the situations they find themselves in.

One last thing. The realism as it pertains to the medical aspects of this story. That’s a raw deal for so many people who live in area like the ranches here where care is so spread out that what’s offered is almost nonexistent. It’s a reality faced here inside the story and for many in real life.

Combined with all the other elements here, it makes Broken In by BA Tortuga one of the most amazing contemporary romances I’ve read lately.

I’m highly recommending this. It went very quickly, including that wonderful epilogue.

Add this to your list of books to read! › showBroken In by B.A. Tortuga – Goodreads

Greyson Hayden wants to prove to his ex that he’s made it. He’s a successful stock contractor with a couple of million dollar bulls, a ranch owner with more acres than he can count, and he stopped drinking when Kyler kicked him out. He’s had a lot to prove, but now he’s back in town to show Kyler that he has. And maybe rub it in.

The hardest thing Kyler Lassiter ever did was let Greyson go, and he’s lost a lot in his life, right up to his legs in a terrible accident. He’s willing to let Greyson one up him if it makes the man feel better, but when fate throws them together again in the most bizarre way, Ky isn’t sure he’ll survive it, or having to lose Greyson again when it’s all said and done.
Can these two hardheaded cowboys learn to forgive each other, and themselves in time to find something lasting, or are they more broken than broken in?

This is a MM cowboy romance with tough love, tough luck, and lots of learning to be something new.


Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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