Ranch Manny by BA Tortuga

Ranch Manny by BA Tortuga
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Trace is down on his luck, out of his teaching job, and on the road with his young daughter Susannah. Just as he’s contemplating tucking his proverbial tail between his legs and heading back to his ex or his parents to ask for help, a job opportunity falls into his lap. What he’s not sure about is working for a handsome cowboy. On a ranch. In the middle of nowhere.

Cowboy Brent has a ranch to run. three kids he inherited when his cousin passed away, and an elderly ranch hand with Alzheimer’s to care for. He needs help, stat, and when Trace falls shows up at the local diner, Brent doesn’t hesitate, even though he knows people might question Trace’s rainbow dreads and piercings.
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As Trace struggles to fit in and do his ranch manny job, and Brent tries to make time to breathe, the two of them find common ground and gradually a burning heat for each other. But can they make a real home together, or will everything fall apart as they both try to keep up with all their responsibilities, and face a life or death situation for all of them?

I really enjoyed this full-length romance. Readers looking for a long, slow drop from strangers to friends to family to lovers should find this a delicious and well paced romance. I really enjoyed both Trace and Brent’s characters, finding them well written, realistic and best of all not perfect. Brent has a very slight temper when things get frayed and he can snap (like everyone alive I know) and isn’t afraid to own up to it and apologise quickly and honestly. I was particularly pleased that while the chemistry and attraction between the two men was present pretty much from their first meeting the pace of the story really gave them a lot of time to setting into a routine first, get to know each other and find their rhythm before they (much later into the book) acted on their feelings. No insta-lust here and no jumping into bed the moment the kids went to sleep. It was really clear the kids and their slowly meshing family was front and center and the main focus of both men. I really liked that.

There is also an excellent cast of very strongly written secondary characters, from Curly and the other ranch hands to a few other members of the small country town this book was full of lovely characters and wasn’t simply focused on Trace, Brent and their kids. That helped give the story as a whole a really well rounded feel to me and made it seem so much richer and deeper than just two men struggling against the odds and finding love.

While certainly a cowboy story I found this to be strongly emotional and in its own cowboy way really romantic. Readers who enjoy a small-town feel and slower paced, more deeply written romances should definitely give this a try. I’ve not read a lot by this author but I was really impressed and found the story gripping and really emotional and addictive. I definitely plan to look at her other titles and cherry pick a few more for my to-read pile.

Romantic, well paced and with vivid and the style of characters that stick with you, this realistic and really loving story was an excellent find and a story I’m sure I’ll read again in the future.

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