Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne & BA Tortuga

Colby McBride is a blue-collar cowboy trying to make ends meet laying tile in Colorado. A loner by choice, Colby works hard with his hands and finds his peace camping in the mountains outside Boulder. Gordon James is a white-collar restaurateur who owns not one, but two successful establishments in downtown Boulder. He’s a sophisticated urbanite who is devoted to his work and is accustomed to getting what he wants.

The men are friends, but sparks fly when Colby falls in love and decides to show Gordon how much fun a good old boy can be. They’re just beginning to explore their relationship when Gordon’s sister’s suicide leaves him with custody of his five-year-old niece.

Colby comes from a huge family and is eager to help with the girl and to prove his worth to Gordon. But neither of them is ready for the tremendous changes to their already busy lives, or for how this new relationship with Olivia challenges them, complicating the way they interact with each other.

They say opposites attract, but can these two very different men work together to join their disparate lives and form a strong, if highly unlikely, family?

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Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really enjoyed Heart of a Redneck. While I think this might be the first book by Jodi Payne I’ve read, I’m a big fan of BA Tortuga’s writing, especially her Texas cowboys, so it was a no-brainer to pick this one up. I gotta say that Colby and Gordon certainly kept me twisted up inside because it was so obvious to see how well matched they were, even if on paper they shouldn’t work. Despite knowing that Payne and Tortuga would give the guys the happy ending they (and the reader) deserved, it still proved to be a bumpy ride fraught with emotional tension, sexual tension, and huge upheavals that had me wondering how they were going to make it all work out in the end.

One of the things I really liked about this book was that we get to spend a good chunk of time with Colby and Gordon before Gordon’s world is turned upside down. I love that the authors gave me a chance to get to know Colby and Gordon, both as individuals and as a potential couple – an idea they had both been toying with when their thoughts strayed to the future. These two had some serious chemistry and it was easy to see them becoming more than friends with benefits, especially after seeing them hanging out together and how comfortable they were in one another’s company. Because of the way the foundation for their fledgling relationship was laid, it was easy to accept Colby jumping in feet first to help Gordon out when he had to assume guardianship of his niece, Olivia.

I also enjoyed how Payne and Tortuga balanced out Gordon’s complex emotions with Colby’s straightforwardness. It would be really easy to characterize Colby as a simple man, but it was more that he saw what needed to be done and utilized the skills he had to get it done. In the same vein, it would have been even easier to see Gordon as a user who was taking advantage of Colby’s generosity and kind-hearted nature when it came to Oliva – I know I fought with just that. The fact that Gordon worked so hard to avoid dealing with his sister’s suicide just added to that because his coping mechanism of throwing himself into his work made it easy to forget that the man not only suffered a loss, but his whole world changed in a way he never planned for – he was suddenly a father, even though he’d never wanted children. That Colby seemed so comfortable with Olivia and eased her transition into her uncle’s home, while appreciated, added to Gordon’s feeling of being overwhelmed because he saw his inability to connect with his niece as a personal failure, which strained his already precarious relationship with Colby. Getting the story from both men’s perspective went a long way in helping me not demonize Gordon and automatically side with Colby, but it also made me adore Colby that much more because the man was such a sweetheart who put his love for that little girl ahead of the seemingly inevitable heartbreak he was headed for with Gordon. Rather than risk ruining the story for anyone, I’m gonna stop here and say that if you’re a fan of Payne or Tortuga, if you enjoy opposites attract romances, or if you enjoy going along for a bumpy ride to happiness, then you’ll want to check out Heart of a Redneck because Colby’s is a big one and so full of love that I dare you not to fall in love with his redneck heart.

Jodi Payne

JODI PAYNE spent too many years in New York and San Francisco stage managing classical plays, edgy fringe work, and the occasional musical. She therefore is overdramatic, takes herself way too seriously, and has been known to randomly break out in song. Her men are imperfect but genuine, stubborn but likeable, often kinky, and frequently their own worst enemies. They are characters you can’t help but fall in love with while they stumble along the path to their happily ever after.

For those looking to get on her good side, Jodi’s addictions include nonfat lattes, Malbec and tequila however you pour it. She’s also obsessed with Shakespeare and Broadway musicals. She can be found wearing sock monkey gloves while typing when it’s cold, and on the beach enjoying the sun and the ocean when it’s hot. When she’s not writing and/or vacuuming sand out of her laptop, Jodi mentors queer youth and will drop everything for live music.

Jodi lives near New York City with her beautiful wife, and together they are mothers of dragons (cleverly disguised as children) and slaves to an enormous polydactyl cat.

Connect with Jodi

Facebook  ~  Twitter  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Jodi’s Gents Facebook Group

BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy's Girl, BA spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she's not doing that, she's writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA's personal saviors include her wife, Julia, her best friend, Sean, and coffee. Lots of good coffee.

Connect with BA

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne & BA Tortuga to read and review.

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