Title: The New Guy, a Roughstock story
Author: BA Tortuga
Length: 4,000 words (17 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Roughstock bullfighter Coke is training new alternate Sterling, and he thinks the kid is good at his job. Dillon thinks Sterling is far too interested in Coke, and not in a boss and employee sort of way. Can Coke convince Dillon that a clown is all he needs.
This is kind of a follow-up if you will to And a Smile – Season 1, but you don’t have to have read that story to understand this one, it will however give you more background as to how Coke and Dillon got together. I have not read that one and perhaps that was a bit of my problem getting into this story to start and understand who everyone is. Coke leads the bull fights they call them, but some of us refer to them as the rodeo clowns. They are the men who distract the bulls from the rider when he’s on the ground to keep him safe. Quite a dangerous job. Dillon, his lover is the entertainer, keeping the crowd amused between rides.
They have been together for some time and there is another cowboy who works with them and Sterling, a young man has joined the team and Coke has taken a liking to the kid. He’s young and eager and obviously crushing on Cole which is making Dillon crazy. Given that this is rodeo, they keep their relationship low-key (although not secret) and it’s obvious the new guy has no clue that Cole and Dillon are a couple. After watching the low-key flirting and hero-worship, Dillon finally pulls the kid aside and basically laying it on the line, stay away from my man.
Later in the hotel, Dillon realizes Coke still has no clue that Sterling was more or less coming on to him, he really believes he’s too old to be attractive and Dillon is a bit insecure about his own place in Coke’s life. Coke is more than happy to reassure him that he’s the only one for him. My problem at the beginning of the story is there is a lot of names thrown out. Coke is referred to as Coke and Hoss, then there’s Nattie who is also called Nate and then there is Pansy and Jerome (whom I later figured out are dogs). So it took me a bit to figure out who was who and where they fit in the grand scheme of things, but as I had not read the first book, maybe that would have been more clear.
Still, I found this a bit interesting and rather relevant as I was at a large rodeo this summer and we saw a little expose there about the bull fighters and the importance of their jobs in protecting the riders, so it was kind of fun to see a story set in that world. Also, Dillon and Coke are rough and tumble guys in a relationship, not flowers and heart types, but you still knew there was something special and lasting between them. I think this will appeal most to those who follow the Roughtstock stories faithfully but could be read as a stand-alone as I did.