Book Review – Flying Blind by Jodi Payne and BA Tortuga

East Meets Western
Publisher: Tygerseye Publishing
Pages: 426
Characters: January/Hawk
POV: 3rd
Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys

Sometimes the best thing about living in New York is leaving it.

When January Bell takes a risk on a business trip to Denver and introduces himself to the hot as fire cowboy across the bar, he has no idea what he’s in for. Hawk is like nobody he’s ever met, and Jan finds he is intrigued enough to want more than just one night with the deceptively complex man.

Hawk Destry is working hard to wring every moment he can out of his bull riding career. He’s used to beating the eight second clock, but a life-long degenerative disease is causing him to slowly lose his sight and he doesn’t have a lot of years left in the sport.

None of that seems to matter, though, when Hawk meets January, who treats him like he’s worth more off a bull than on one, and who’s willing to work just as hard to be with him.

The two men have to deal with the distance, unexpected challenges when Hawk visits New York, family on both sides, and neither of them sees any of it coming. Eventually even Hawk’s dangerous job is thrown into sharp relief when tragedy strikes. How will January and Hawk find their way when they’re flying blind?

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Wow. This is the first book I’ve read by these authors writing together, and it pulled me in and kept me reading. This is also my first Cowboy book and I’m hooked. I knew next to nothing about bull riding before I started reading, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. I could relate to January learning about it and being scared for the riders.

I thought this story was very bittersweet, with the relationship and romance between January and Hawk tinged with the tragedy that strikes later on in the book. Although I guessed what was coming before it happened, it still hit with a huge emotional gut wrenching impact, and I found myself sniffling. So happy that Jan and Hawk at least got their HEA, although I was seriously worried for Hawk riding bulls right up to the end.

I loved January and Hawk, and particularly them together. I loved how January is there for Hawk, and supports him, and how Hawk makes Jan feel loved, which he is. I thought the way Hawk works around his sight issues was amazing, and says so much for his strength of character. I really felt to him having to hide so much about who he truly is and his fear that Jan will lose interest once he stops bull riding.

The supporting cast is fabulous, and I loved the found family feel of the bull riders and cowboys. Hawk’s family is very large, and a little overwhelming and although his mother can be a little overprotective, it’s obvious he’s very loved. I love the way they bring Jan into the fold, and how he stands up for Hawk against his mother. Jax is wonderful, and totally needs his own HEA (hint). I liked Sky and Beck too. And how Nicole and Jan bond in the VIP seats. And then there’s Ben and Charlie… I loved the easy friendship between Jan and Jax, and Hawk and Charlie.

All in all a fabulous read, and not the last I’ll be reading from these authors.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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