When rodeo clown Dillon Walsh and his partner, bullfighter Coke Pharris, finally take a day off together, its almost inevitable that they end up back at a rodeo, a local, small town one. These two just can’t leave their passion for their jobs behind, even on a day off and their love for each other keeps them on their toes. With Coke and Dillon involved, its never just another day at the office.
Just Another Day At the Office is another short story involving two of the core characters from B.A. Tortuga’s Roughstock series. It also just happens that they are my favorite characters in this series as well, so it won’t surprise anyone to learn that I loved this interlude in Coke and Dillon’s relationship. It’s loving, hysterical, and moving. Both characters, Coke and Dillon, eat and breathe rodeo so it absolutely keeping within their characterizations to send them to the rodeo on their day off. The start of the story had me smiling immediately:
Coke leaned back, chuckling as another text came in from Nattie.
*He still bitchin?*
He looked over at his clown who was watching the entertainer at this little event in Waco with alternating expressions of horror and fury.
Coke texted back, uhhuh.
Then he snapped a quick picture of the local clown in the fat suit and the purple sparkly wig, followed immediately by a shot of Dillon’s face, and sent them both to his best friend and the best bullfighter he knew.
This was fun.
Dillon turned to glare at him a moment. “He’s using a live armadillo. This is so not funny.”
“No, sir.” It was hilarious. Not the dude on the arena floor, but Dillon. Damn.
Yes, it is hilarious and it gets even more so as Dillon’s exasperation and horror over the antics of the small town rodeo clown continues to grow to Coke’s and their friend Nattie’s amusement. In perfect Tortuga style, these boys ramble around, call their friends, and end up in the middle of a ride gone bad. And it all happens on their day off from their jobs on the PBR.
Tortuga’s core characters are such distinct personalities, each with their own style of dialog and behavior. And the author picks back up in her characters lives with each short that she writes in the Roughstock series. I really look forward to these stories to keep me in touch as it were with the characters while waiting for a new full length story to appear. I will also be the first to admit that my enjoyment might be another reader’s frustration.
None of these Roughstock shorts work as a standalone piece of fiction. The author gives you very little back history on the characters, their relationship, or even their professions. It is just a given that you understand that Coke Pharris is one of the best bullfighters in the business (also that you understand what a bullfighter’s job is). The same goes for Dillon’s profession of rodeo clown. As one of the top rodeo clowns, he is popular, well known, and paid extremely well.
And yes, these two are in a deeply committed relationship. I think you can get that from this story too. Other characters in the series are given name here but in a “blink and you will miss them” aspect. The reader is expected to be aware of Coke and Dillon’s relationship status and the fact that they are quietly out to some on the circuit. But if you are a new reader to this series, these characters, and the various professions involved in the rodeo circuit, this story will confuse and frustrate you. And that’s too bad because this is a great series and Coke and Dillon are two of the “core characters” as the author calls them.
Give this short a try and if you like the style of narrative and the type of characters featured in this story, than go back and start reading the series from the beginning. Tortuga has placed the names of each core couple next to the stories and that will help the new reader to sort them out. All of the Roughstock Sips or short stories will give the reader an intimate glimpse into the lives of each couple at varying times during their relationships. Don’t pass any of them up but just make sure you bring some previous knowledge of the series beforehand.
Here are the Roughstock series in the order they were written:
Roughstock: Blind Ride — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Give it Time: the Seven of Wands – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: And a Smile — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Doce — A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Amorzinhos — A Roughstock Story – Novela, m/m, threesome
Roughstock: File Gumbo — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Roughstock: And a Smile — Coke’s Clown – Novela, m/m,
Shutter Speed, A Roughstock Story: the Seven of Pentacles – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: City/Country – Novel, m/f
Roughstock: Picking Roses – Novel, m/f
Needing To: A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Cowboy Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
A Cowboy Family Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
Barbed Wire and Bootheels (Sam and Beau)
Just Another Day At The Office (Coke and Dillon)
Leatherwork and Lonely Cowboys, a Roughstock short (Beau and Sam)
The Retreat (Coke and Dillon)
The New Guy (Coke and Dillon)
Some Good Doctoring (CB and Jonesy) – Free Read