Steam and Sunshine (Road Trip 02), by BA Tortuga

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Steam and Sunshine (Road Trip 02), by BA Tortuga
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Action, Sci-Fi
Stars: 4

Blurb:
Sonny and MJ are back, with all of the fast action and steamy heat of their first book, Racing the Moon!
MJ gets an offer he can’t refuse, one that leads the eco-friendly explosives man to California, with his ridge-runner, Sonny, at his side. They come out of semi-retirement to take out a man they think is an expert in creating weapons for the government.
What they find is Paddy, a pawn in a very dangerous game of cat and mouse, a physicist who thinks his cooked up experiments have no practical application. Paddy’s new friend and bodyguard, Neil, knows better. In fact, Neil knows enough to be very dangerous to MJ and Sonny, which sets off a romp that careens across country and spills into the ocean as Sonny and MJ turn to what they know.
Running as fast as they can.
Paddy and Neil find themselves carried right along, clinging to each other in a world that has suddenly gone crazy. An uneasy partnership springs up between the four men when they realize they just might have a common enemy, and they work together to find out who wants them all dead.
Steam and Sunshine is a headlong adventure, with all of the action readers have come to expect from Sonny and MJ, and all of the need and heat these two sets of lovers can provide!

Review:
In the two years since they met, MJ and Sonny are still fighting and fucking each other hard as ever. They’ve been in semi-retirement, enjoying the relaxation of a boat on open water. Steam and Sunshine opens when a seemingly simple, but well-paying job comes up, and MJ decides to briefly return to his eco-terrorist roots. Sonny, not wanting to risk Precious getting snatched by anybody but him, goes with him.

When Paddy and Neil come onto the scene, there are two plots running parallel to each other. Fair warning, at this point, Steam and Sunshine veers a bit from entirely contemporary, to slightly sci-fi, so expect some weirdness.

This book is a bit more meandering than the first; it takes the two sets of men a little while to actually meet, so there’s some filler in the first third. In that time, MJ and Sonny mainly have sex, as do Paddy (also known as Rick) and Neil about half of the time they’re shown. It does get a bit are-we-going-somewhere-with-this, but also gives the reader a chance to learn Neil and Paddy’s personalities.

Paddy has a wide-eyed wonder about him. He also presents as a typical ADHD adult: unable to focus on a single thought unless it’s something that interests him, then he goes into hyper-focus. Neil is a bit less clear; he’s somewhat distant, but is absolutely fascinated by Paddy’s mind, to the point that he loses focus of his purpose: to protect Paddy.

Steam and Sunshine gives us a bit more insight into MJ’s past. How did he figure out how to blow up shit, and what drove him into eco-terrorism? An old enemy of MJ and Paddy comes into play, causing the four men to come together, team up and work as a group, despite their mutual distrust.

As with the first in the series, this book swaps point of view between the four main characters, depending upon the scene. But, again, the characters’ personalities are distinct enough it’s not disconcerting, and instead rather makes sense.

There are a few editing errors (an extra verb, one or two bits of word repetition), but nothing that ruined my enjoyment of the story.

Publisher and First Publication Date: Torquere Press, February 14, 2007
Purchase URL:
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=528
Formats Available: html, lit, pdf, prc, (paperback at Amazon)
Length: 212 pages / 82500 words
Reviewed by: Adrienne

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