Title: Cowboy in the Crosshairs (Turquoise, New Mexico #1)
House Line: Dreamspun Desires #53
Author: B.A. Tortuga and Dorian Bane (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 16th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A Turquoise, New Mexico, Story
Once upon a time, a prince lived in a magical kingdom called Turquoise, New Mexico.
Well, really, TJ is a small-town police chief. Every Friday he holds court in the diner with the local holy roller, the art colonists, and the horsey people. But the Benes, who own the rodeo company, keep to themselves. TJ knows, because he was once hot and heavy with the oldest Bene son.
When Wacey Bene gets trampled by a remuda and comes home to heal, he’s none too happy to run into TJ, or his two little boys and their momma. The story might end there—if it wasn’t for some pesky bastard trying to kill Wacey.
The law steps in, and the townsfolk are cross about somebody messing with one of their own.
But once the bad guy is put away, can TJ and Wacey make their place in this wild and eccentric town a permanent one?
The Benes are cowboy rodeo royalty (Hold on – I need a moment to wonder at the kind of person who would actually name their children Wacey, Lacey, Macey, and Kacey. Okay, moment over.) who usually handle their own problems without involving local police, but when it becomes apparent that oldest son Wacey is the target of increasingly more dangerous attacks the chief of police gets involved.
Thing is, Wacey and police chief TJ Cook are already well acquainted. Ten or so years ago, Wacey and TJ were hot and heavy, but TJ, being young and dumb, ruined the best thing in his life because he was afraid of coming out and he wanted a family and thought being with Wacey meant he couldn’t have that. Wacey, heartbroken, left town and they haven’t seen or spoken to each other since. TJ eventually married, had two kids, then came out, and divorced but he and his ex, Monica, are still close and have an easy time co-parenting.
Cowboy in the Crosshairs begins with TJ getting the news of an accident that nearly killed Wacey and that he is returning home to recuperate. The two are still mad at each other, even after all these years (hello pent up sexual frustration!), and sparks fly the first time they’re in the same space together.
You see, TJ never got over the love of his life, and is mad at Wacey for leaving and staying away so long. Wacey never got over TJ, and is mad because TJ ruined their relationship. But after more things happen to Wacey that keep bringing them together, it’s not long before their relationship reignites and progresses quickly back to love.
The plots of the story (the romance and the mystery) are not really explored deeply, which on the bright side means there’s not a lot of unnecessary angst, but on the other hand, it means we really don’t get to delve into their original relationship, or really even their new relationship, or the mystery/suspense focusing on who is after Wacey and why. I would have liked a little more background and depth to all the moving parts and people because it felt like this only skimmed the surface. I personally felt like the mystery and suspense of waiting to see who was behind it all was well paced, but the how and why was a bit of a weak point.
Dorian Bane does a good job with the narration, his performance includes easily discernible character voices and an easy pace. Bane conveys the frustration of TJ and Wacey not being able to figure out who’s behind the attacks on Wacey well, and I loved his narration voice and the female character voices. My only complaint about the audio is I wish Bane had given Wacey a deeper voice, but that’s a personal preference because I love Dorian Bane’s deeper character voices.
Cowboy in the Crosshairs is a second chance romance, that’s surprisingly low angst considering the subject matter, with a dual POV, some suspense, light steam, a happy ending, and good narration. If you’re looking for a light, fun, second chance romance, with some mystery, and you love cowboys and men with those fabulous drawls – check it out!