The Terms of Release by B.a. Tortuga is the first book I read by this author and it won’t be my last. After reading this book about Sage and Win or Adam that is his real name, I wonder why the hell I waited this long.
I love these kind of books, I’m a sucker for a romance as much as the next gal, but I have to be really touched by the story, and there has to be something extra there, something out of the ordinary for me to remember it when I’m done or it will just be one in the masses of all classic romances. This is why I for example gave up on classic romances F/M long ago because women in these books pisses me off no end. I couldn’t, or can’t, relate because women in romance book seldom to never react the way I would but are whiny ass bitches just sitting around waiting for some damn knight, well not me. I’m no damn damsel in distress I’m a “big” girl I can take care of myself, they, women in books never can. Sage, the hero in this amazing story by B.a. Tortuga, is a guy but his dealing with his past which comes after him, he deals with just as I can see myself dealing with it, if I were to be in the same situation. He doesn’t take any of their easy baits, instead he walks away when he can, but he doesn’t let them treat him like shit either and he defends himself when necessary.
So Sage, he’s a big boy, not in terms of huge physique, no on the contrary Sage is not huge in anyway, but he takes care of himself. Going into jail at the age of 18 he was the small, pretty white boy and he got the choice of having his knees broken or loose his teeth. He chose knees. After that he saved himself by being a big guys bitch for 10 years, and with all what that entailed. Choosing between getting killed and being someone’s bitch, for him the choice might not have been easy but the only one he had.
Have you all seen Jerry McGuire, well if you have then you know the famous line “You had me at hello.” Well that works just fine here for me when it comes to Sage, he’s gentle but no pushover, he’s caring but no doormat, he loves and he loves hard, he knew he did wrong and did his time and paid for it more than just being locked up. He also got blamed for something that wasn’t just his fault and keeps paying for it when he gets out. Going back to Texas as an ex-con isn’t easy but going back an ex-con and gay would be like asking to get you ass kicked and then some, but still when Sage’s parents needed him he saddled up and went home.
B.a Tortuga manages the fine balance of making Sage into a “real” ex-con without using the “he went in innocent and hadn’t really done it” and still make Sage very empathetic and make it easy to like him still. With other words, she shows that well that sometimes good people do not so very good things or vice versa some people appear to be good like Sage’s ex boyfriend’s family. Angel was the reason Sage went to jail because he died when they were 18 and a meth lab exploded. Angels family, uncles and brothers, and especially his father hates Sage for corrupting him. Does it surprise anyone that all of them are in law enforcement and all give Sage hell and then some when he returns home to help out on his father’s horse ranch. No, I didn’t think so.
Now over to Win. Win is a cop too, and part of Angel’s extended family he is actually his cousin, but unlike the rest of his family Win/Adam believes that people can change and deserves a second chance, but he is pretty alone in that view, well except for his mother who’s rocks solid and totally on his side. He refuses to treat Sage anything less than the man he is, a man who was young, caught on meth and made a bad choice but wasn’t really to blame more than anyone. Win is set to go his own way and refuses to be intimidated by Angel’s relatives, his own uncles and soon becomes Sage’s friend and together they start a friendship that soon blossoms into something more. He’s the one who always has Sage’s back even when all hell breaks loose.
The Terms of Release is yes very much a love story but it isn’t without a meaning deeper and more profound than boy-meets-boy and falls in love it is about standing up about what is right, it is about family and being strong together and about never turning your back against them not even when all hell breaks lose. It is about friendship and having the courage to fight for what you believe in.
This is a solid read, a great romance with hmph, very well done B.a. Tortuga!
You can find B.a. Tortuga on the following social medias:
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.