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This is book three in a series and it’s a heartbreaking group of men BA Tortuga has given us.
We met Sage and Adam in book one – and the hard, hard life Sage led, inspires him to help others, in this case, Dakota.
Dakota is a character that thoroughly smashed my heart to pieces. GAH! I cannot imagine living his life and yet he’s still persevering and trying to live his life when I think many others would have given up. He’s an amazing character.
Jayden is a bit more difficult to pin down. He’s a lawyer, and in the beginning, he’s only interested in Dakota’s case because he’s bored. Later, he admits to maintaining the research into the case because he’s attracted to Dakota. At some point these feelings deepen, but I honestly think it was his “lawyerly” interest that drove this primarily.
I have to say that I’m a big fan of this series and I’d really, loved books one and two. I was looking forward to this once I’d read the blurb because I’ve seen how well BA Tortuga can handle “broken” men and turn them around.
Unfortunately, I was left a little bewildered by the end of this story.
What worked for me: Dakota’s story. It’s one of triumph, perseverance, strong-willed, growth, discovery and faith. If you read this as a story about a man leaving prison and re-discovering life – who happens to be gay – then I think this story “works” really well.
I also loved seeing the guys from books one and two. It’s always nice seeing old MCs and following up in their lives again.
What didn’t work for me was Jayden and the “romance”. Jayden never felt like he really connected with Dakota, or vice versa. I’m just not sure how well they fit. The chemistry wasn’t there nor was there more than just a friendship/lawyer connection. For the reasons given below and more, I just didn’t feel their love like I had with other couples by this author.
(This is a bit of a spoiler – so you can skip it if you want)
The two don’t have "relations" on page and what they do have is at the 98% point and I wonder if that was part of my disconnect. I really wanted to see how Jayden and Dakota managed to have sex given all of Dakota’s issues. I was looking forward to that part of the “hurt/comfort” and the fact that they don’t discuss his time in prison or his outlook on sex or do anything just felt really inadequate and I was disappointed.
(End of spoiler)
I think that this would have been better listed as gay literature, because the bulk of this is Dakota’s life story. Jayden’s presence as his lawyer and friend were more important than as his lover. It was too platonic and didn’t feel authentic to me.
If you’re a fan of the author or this series you’ll probably want to at least give this a look. If you’re new to the author/series I wouldn’t start here.
3 of 5 stars
Lou Lambert is a new narrator to me and his voice is definitely "western" - which fits the characters, but he's a bit older sounding than I thought the characters would be. He does a fairly nice job as far as being clear and easy to understand. He didn't do a lot to differentiate characters and he wasn't great with expressing different emotions. He gives the listener that "country" feeling and is an acceptable way to listen to this, but it didn't really add to my overall enjoyment, nor did it change my overall rating.
3 of 5 stars
loved the story and the narration was outstanding! very true to the cowboy theme. I am looking forward to more!