Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Terms of Release by BA Tortuga

Title: The Terms of Release
Author: BA Tortuga
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Adam and Sage
Release Date: March 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
They say a man can always come home. So after doing hard time, Sage Redding heads to his family’s northeast Texas ranch to help his ailing daddy with the cutting horses. 

Adam (Win) Winchester is a county deputy and the cousin of one of the men killed in the incident that sent Sage to prison for almost a decade. While Win's uncles, Jim and Teddy, are determined to make Sage and the entire Redding family pay for their loss, Win just figures Sage has paid his dues and maybe needs a friend. Maybe he needs more than a friend. In fact, Win’s counting on it. 

No one’s denying Sage is an ex-con who went to prison for manslaughter. Regardless of the love he has for his father, he’s returned knowing things will likely go badly for him. Maybe a man can always come home, but he may not be able to stay.
My Review:
Sage...his situation broke my heart. He went to prison for 9 years for manslaughter for a stupid single night when he was 18. 19 years old in a maximum security prison as a smaller guy...yeah, that didn't go so well for him.  When he was released he didn't go home because the family who he "wronged"  still lives there and wants him to pay. His crime...he's gay and he got his heart broken by Angel on the night Angel died...unforgivable. Bad timing, wrong place/wrong time, in a small town run by a single family who were able to railroad Sage. But now Sage's dad is having problems with his Parkinson's and he needs to come home to help out with the family ranch to keep that same family from taking it away. He expects the persecution and torture. What he doesn't expect is a new ally in of the town cops who's actually part of the family against Sage.

Adam knows that Angel certainly wasn't blameless the night he died, but no one in his family can get past the idea that the "fag" Sage corrupted him so he has to pay. No, Adam sees Sage for the good guy he is and as a gay man himself, is drawn to Sage. Adam also has the added benefit of being a cop which gives him a bit more protection for himself and an ability to help most situations. 

This is one of those stories that you hope truly doesn't happen in real life, but know that it has to. My heart broke for Sage. He's doing everything he can just to survive and not go back to prison. He just sits back and takes the abuse and torment this town heaps on him and I wanted to cry for him. 

I loved how protective that Adam becomes of him and how Sage quickly finds many allies in the town as they get to know him again. At the same time, I wanted to physically hurt the sheriff and the blind-eye he turns on everything going on. There are so many great characters in this book. Sage's entire family and the couple who run the diner (Bulldog's talk with Adam about prison...*sob*) who take Sage under their good to know that there are good people who will stand up for what's right. 

I enjoyed the story. Sage and Adam are an unlikely couple, but I like them. I think it helped the believability of it all that Adam is related to the family and the Sheriff and so he can thumb his nose at them to a certain extent. The ending scenes broke my heart, but I thought they were really well-done. It was definitely a good read and one that I recommend!

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