Monday, August 15, 2016

Release Day Review: Real World by B.A. Tortuga #Review #Giveaway

Author: BA Tortuga
Book: Real World
Series: Love is Blind (book 2)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: August 15, 2016
Length: 322 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Dan White is trying to acclimate to civilian life after a long career in the military with multiple combat deployments.

Now he’s home in the Austin area, living with his brother Dixon, Dixon’s husband, Audie, and their two nine-year-olds. During the New Year celebration, Dan meets Abraham Weldon, and the connection is instant.

There’s a kiss. There’s a dance. There’s a proposition.

Then Dan finds out Weldon is bisexual.

And a dad.

With five kids. Five kids, one of whom is a blind fifteen-year-old.

Weldon has been in love twice in his life—with his high school best friend, Blake, and with his wife, Krista, who he met in a Dairy Queen as she was crying over a positive pregnancy test. Love number three hits Weldon like a hammer when he meets Dan.

But since Dan isn’t interested in a guy with kids, they might only get one night together.

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To me, there's just something so very appealing about a Southern guy. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I'm from Texas so I get to listen to that fabulous accent all day long, but still. The manners, the charm, the sayings ... it's always so much fun to read a book set in the south. Which is why, I'm so happy that I read B.A. Tortuga's newest book, Real World. She's an author that's been on my TBR list FOREVER and this was a great introduction to her work, and I know I'll be reading more of her stuff in the future. 

That being said, I think it's fair to warn you that Real World is book two of her Love is Blind series. I wouldn't necessarily say you have to read book one in order to enjoy Real World, (as I just said, this is the first book hers I've read) but it probably wouldn't hurt. I was able to follow along with people and circumstances just fine but from the get go, we're thrust into a scene with established couples and friendships that were introduced in book 1. And what an introduction it is. Abraham Weldon is a single father of five. Yes, you saw that right ... 5 kids! He's a devoted father, skilled craftsman, funny and sweet and so so charming in that way only a southern boy can be. When he meets Dan White at a bar, the sparks sure start flying immediately. Weldon knows who Dan is, he's the brother-in-law of his best friend and he just happens to be brother's with his blind son's music teacher. Dix and Audie were the focus of book 1 in the series so there's an instant familiarity among all the men. There's also a white hot instant attraction between Dan and Weldon. The only thing is, Dan doesn't like kids. He doesn't hate them or anything; he likes his nieces and nephews just fine and gets along with them great, but he's definitely not looking for anything long term with a man with as many responsibilities and Weldon. With kids aged from 3 to 16, Weldon has his hands full for sure. Add in a special needs son, and yeah, Weldon often finds himself overwhelmed by life in general. 

Dan is just out of the military and as such, is a bit adrift as he tries to reacclimate to civilian life. He's living with Dix and Audie and when a night out to see Dix perform at a local bar ends up with a hot one night stand with Weldon, he's convinced it can't go any further. Too bad he crosses paths with Weldon so much considering Audie and Weldon are best friends. And then there's that whole connection thing going on between the two men. It was so enjoyable watching Dan's perceived notions fall by the wayside as he gets more and more enmeshed with Weldon's life and all that entails. Seeing him be gentle and endearing with each of the kids was heart meltingly fun. The story moves along nicely, even if it goes on for at least fifty pages longer than it needed to. Sure the kids were cute and who doesn't love a dad with his babies, but some of the scenes were just filler, they didn't really move the story along at all and at one point just got tedious instead of cute. The sex between Dan and Weldon is scorching hot though and it was really nice to see Weldon portrayed as a bisexual. He loved his wife with his whole heart and it's taken years to get over her sudden death. And he makes no apologies for being madly in love with her, or with his college boyfriend before her. Dan's struggles with Weldon's bisexuality were portrayed very realistically and I was really happy to see that. 

This is a nice sweet, very low angst story of family and love and learning to appreciate all that life gives you, especially second chances. I liked that Weldon's son Jakob is blind and how B.A. portrayed how a family lives with someone who has special needs, but still wants to feel like a "normal" teenager with a love of computer games and music. The drama toward the end was a bit over the top, but all in all, I really liked Real World and hope there's more to the series. I know I'm going to go back and read the first book and check out other books in B.A. Tortuga's catalog. Be sure to check this one people, you won't be sorry. 


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