4 Stars, BA Tortuga, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Jackie

An Ex-Con Tries To Go Home Again In BA Tortuga’s “The Terms of Release” – Reviewed by Jackie

“Home is where we tie one end of the thread of life.” ― Martin Buxbaum

Title: The Terms of Release

Author: BA Tortuga

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 240 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: 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.


Review: Sometimes when I read a book I feel an instant connection with a character, and it sticks with me a long time after I am done reading about them. This is one of those times. Sage Redding is one of the strongest characters I have read in a very, very long time. Even though he is a self-admitted “pocket cowboy,” his heart is bigger than the land he is determined to save.

At the age of eighteen, Sage decided to leave home with his boyfriend Angel. The two boys headed to L.A. and ended up getting caught up in drugs and all the pitfalls that can accompany them. When Angel starts cheating on Sage, that is the final straw for him, but before he can leave town there is an accident that takes the lives of five people, including Angel. With Sage as the only survivor, he ends up taking the heat and spending eight years in maximum security. These were eight very difficult years, and he is still paying the price, both physically and mentally.

When his mother calls and tells him she needs him to come back home to Texas or they could lose the family spread, there is no way he could say no. His homecoming is less than celebrated by the local townsfolk, though, with the exception of a couple of pretty darn cool bikers and one super hot deputy, Adam (Win) Winchester.

After being attacked both verbally and physically, Sage is almost at the end of his rope. With Win’s love and support, Sage is able to focus on what is most important and he begins to see the light at the end of his own personal tunnel of despair. Sage and Win both know that there is no way they can live happily ever after there in Sage’s hometown, but Sage also can’t leave his family’s ranch in the lurch. When Mother Nature shows up in the form of a tornado, there turns out to truly be a silver lining in those clouds they are always talking about. Sage and Win end up getting help from some very unexpected places, but they are going to have to work very hard if they are planning a happily ever after.

I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that I loved so much about this book, but boy did I just love, love, love it. Sage was such a strong man. I don’t know that I could have held up under the same pressure and hatred that he was put through. Sage was able to hold his head high and turn the other cheek, though, and I was impressed with his self control. Win was also a large part of the really good that was going on in this book. He went up against his entire family to defend Sage ,and he loved him, no matter how much stress it put on him.

Even with the difficult subject matter that is included in this book, the overall story was amazing. It is definitely an overcoming the odds type of story, and I simply love those, so if you love the idea of the ex-con/cowboy with the deputy sheriff overcoming the odds, this book will be right up your alley. I would love to see more of these guys in the future. Highly recommend this title and hoping for a sequel (hint, hint).

You can buy The Terms of Release here:


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