Book Reviews

Stetsons and Stakeouts by BA Tortuga at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Cowboys / Military/Former Military / Officers of the Law / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 13-May-2019

Book Blurb

Gianni Cesare is a DEA agent and rancher—who also happens to be a millionaire heir to an Italian count. Running a multiagency sting out of his East Texas ranch means he needs a new foreman… preferably someone a little wet behind the ears who won’t ask too many questions.


Gianni’s Aunt Jerilyn hires Bonner Fannin, a roughstock rider with zero ranch experience and a sister who’s pregnant with a violent biker’s twins. If that’s not bad enough, Bonner is pretending he and his sister are married to protect her and to help get him the job.


Gianni didn’t think Bonner was the marrying type during their torrid beach affair years ago, but he’s not sure if he has time to explore that thought now, as overrun as his ranch is with drug cartels, macho government agents, and local cops. Looks like Bonner and Gianni are both in over their heads, and they may have to band together during this adventure to swim rather than sink.


Book Review

Hilarity mixes with fast-paced action, suspense is piled on top of tough law-enforcement planning, and cowboy-isms abound in this exciting novel about two very eccentric men who would never have gotten their second chance were it not for crooked bikers, violent drug gangs, and assorted criminals up to no good at all. A multiagency sting is at the center of events and since the location is a ranch in East Texas, I was expecting for things to go rather wild. I am happy to report that I was not disappointed! The characters alone, with all their quirks and various issues, would have been enough to hold my attention. But add the exciting plot, lots of subterfuge, and a good dose of posturing by all the various agency-types and criminals alike, and I was entertained as heck on top of trying to figure out what was happening!

Gianni is many things – the son of an Italian count and a land-owning mother (hence, the ranch), a millionaire thanks to his father, and a DEA agent by choice. He is passionate about law enforcement and protects those who can’t protect themselves, and running this latest sting operation to break a drug operation is right up his alley. There are a few things he had not counted on – and one of the more shocking ones is the fact that the foreman he had his aunt hire is someone he had a fast, torrid affair with many years ago. Let the games begin!

Bonner is a roughstock rider in so much trouble he doesn’t even know where to start – and none of it really his fault! His sister is pregnant with a vicious biker’s twins and Bonner will do much to help her, even pretend they are married. Without a regular income and a safe place to stay they don’t stand a chance, so Bonner applies for a job way above his usual paygrade. When he finds out the rancher is the man Bonner had a super-hot few days with when he was barely out of high school, he thinks his gig is up. Except it isn’t – and that is only the first major surprise fate throws Bonner’s way.

With a whole team of various letter agents turning up at Gianni’s ranch, all of them undercover, I was expecting the sh*t to hit the fan in a major way. Tempers are high, danger comes from multiple expected and unsuspected sources and increases by the page, and more than one surprise as events unfold make for an unrelentingly suspenseful plot. But what made this story really memorable for me is the collection of super quirky people. Yes, Gianni and Bonner pretty much steal the show, but each of the agents is a real personality, Gianni’s aunt is remarkable, and as for all the cowboys? Man, I loved their shenanigans a lot.

If you like fast-paced mysteries with lots of suspense and action, if you enjoy characters who are sometimes bigger than life and always idiosyncratic and original, and if you’re looking for a read that will have you laugh, bite your nails, and occasionally blush with the heat of the passion between two men who didn’t think they’d ever meet again, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. You’ll have to read it to believe it!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 292 pages/89248 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 11-December-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle
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