A guest review by Lily
Beau is a two-time champion bullrider who is working on his third title. Sam is his long time lover and traveling partner, who is feeling the sting of having just about the worst season he can remember. The two of them are on the road together twenty-four seven, and it’s starting to get to them a little, between the constant injuries Sam faces, and the relentless press that Beau has to put up with.
Add in friends on the circuit who need their help and the fact that they have to hide what they mean to each other, and it’s no wonder that Sam and Beau’s relationship starts to wear a little from the friction. When things blow up in their faces, Sam leaves the bullriding tour for awhile, but the boys find out they’re far more miserable apart than they are together. Beau and Sam may agree to disagree in order to make peace and help out their friends Jason and Coke, but in the unpredictable world of extreme sports, nothing goes as it’s planned. Can Beau and Sam recover from what just might the last ride of Sam’s life?
This latest installment in the Roughstock series features bullriders Beau and Sam. They’ve been lovers for years and have been quite happy until recently. But now Beau is on his way to winning his third championship and Sam is having a really bad year. Injury after injury and nasty comments from some of the other bullriders is beginning to wear on Sam. Adding in the everyday stress of life on the rodeo circuit and trying to help out their friends tests the strength of their relationship.
When another injury forces Sam out of the circuit for a while, distance, loneliness and misunderstandings almost bring an end to Beau and Sam’s relationship. Luckily they manage to resolve some of their issues and get back to being a happy couple. Just as things are looking up for them both an injury threatens to end it all. This time it’s Sam and Beau who need help and their friends are right there to offer their support. It’s going to be a long road to a full recovery but in the end Sam and Beau look forward to a new and wonderful future together.
I really enjoyed reading the latest book in BA Tortuga’s rodeo world. Beau and Sam are wonderfully written characters, tough bullriders but with loving hearts. They work hard, don’t hesitate to be there for their friends when needed and there’s no doubt that they love each other, even when their stubbornness and tempers get in the way. I also really liked the secondary characters in the book. Competitors on the circuit they are also good friends and it was nice to see some of the guys from the previous books such as Jason, Andy, Dillon, Coke and others. They all rally around each other during times of trouble and that was a really nice thing to see.
An interesting part of the book is the rodeo itself. It’s obvious the author is knowledgeable about the rodeo and how it works. The realism brought to the story, from the way the animals behave to little details such as how the riders hold their rope made for a really fascinating look at this exciting and dangerous sport.
There were a couple of things that gave me pause while I read the story. The first being the nicknames that Sam and Beau have for each other, Poot and Boug. I found them distracting and a bit strange, Boug especially as I kept seeing it as Doug. A few times I had to reread a scene to figure out who was who and that was a bit annoying. The other thing that bothered me was that at times the ‘country cowboy’ way of speaking came across as too ‘hicksville’. These minor niggles while a bit annoying and distracting for me didn’t really take away from my enjoyment of the story.
Overall I felt this latest Roughstock book was a good fit for this series. Well written and entertaining, there are hot, sizzling sex scenes as well as sweet tender moments between these two hard working, stubborn men. Through it all the love between Sam and Beau is evident and the ups and downs of their relationship made for a wonderful and ultimately satisfying read. File Gumbo is sure to please fans of the series and the author. The book could be read as a standalone but I think it works best if read as part of the series. Recommended.