Book Review – Truth or Consequences by BA Tortuga

Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
Pages: 224
Characters: Sinjun/Rhys
POV: 3rd
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense, Magic Realism

When Saint John “Sinjun” Livingston drove out of California in his vintage Caddy, he left behind the years of shame and fear instilled by his stalker ex. Sinjun’s new life as owner of the Rainbow Spa and Lodge in small town New Mexico is the perfect bandage for all his hurts. Finding this surreal place of peace is more than Sinjun dared to hope for, but what he doesn’t expect from Truth or Consequences is meeting a beautiful Texas cowboy on the side of the road… and wanting to get to know him.

From the first chance encounter, Rhys Davis knows he wants to see the free-spirited man with the weird name again. When Rhys offers to help renovate the lodge and spa to take the place from the 1970s to the modern age, he’s well aware he is falling for Sinjun. But the spa’s healing waters are needed more than ever when Rhys’s family interferes and Sinjun’s dangerous past comes back to haunt him.

Now Sinjun and Rhys must trust each other and the place that brought them together if they’re going to survive to build a future.

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I loved this book and got very engrossed in Rhys’ and Sinjun’s story to the point where I had to stop reading about forty pages to the end, and save it till the next night because I knew if I kept going I’d have to sit up late to finish it.

I loved Sinjun and the way he cares about everyone and everything and does what he can to help. He and Rhys are wonderful together, and I enjoyed reading about them getting to know each other, and slowly trusting each other enough to talk about their pasts. I also loved Rhys and how he’s so protective of Sinjun but in a caring, I want to be there for you kind of way, rather than the I need to possess you of Hal.

Although this is a romance, there’s also a sense of suspense lurking throughout. Sinjun’s nasty ex’s presence is right through it until the final showdown, which I loved. I kept waiting for him to turn up to try to claim Sinjun back, and when he did I was on the edge of my seat. The author writes an action scene very well and knows how to rack up the tension. Hal is creepy and nasty, and I thought the line of him being a monster summed him up very well.

I loved how Sinjun becomes part of the community and how they all rally round to help. Angie rocks, and I liked Sinjun’s dad, Arlo. All of the supporting cast fleshed out the story and gave it a wonderful found family, small town vibe. As a side note, coolest name for a town ever. The setting also felt very real and was easy to imagine, and was a character in its own right. Quite literally as it turns out. The magical realism part of this story was fabulously written and believable. Wow.

This is very much a story about family, and I liked the thread with Rhys’ family too, and how all that worked out in the end. The ending is a lovely HEA.

I’ve only recently discovered this author, and I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
This entry was posted in book review, gay romance reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review – Truth or Consequences by BA Tortuga

  1. Anabela.m says:

    Lovely review!


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