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After serving six years for murdering his abusive father, Tommy Hawks is released from prison. He moves back in with what’s left of his family and tries to negotiate a new life with them and his partner, Brett, who has stood by him through everything. But moving on isn’t so easy.
For six years, Brett Derwent sacrificed any chance of a normal life: he spent his college fund on defense lawyers, drove hundreds of miles to visitation days, and had his love letters read by strangers and his phone calls monitored by jailers. Now he and Tommy are faced with the monumental task of starting over as adults when they hardly had the chance to begin together as teens.
Resentment simmers just below the surface, but so do gratitude and guilt. Brett and Tommy need to give each other the time and space to discover who they are individually, and Tommy especially needs the opportunity to stand on his own—even if that means another separation.
Brett Derwent thinks he has life all planned out. With the freedom of college life just months away, Brett's eagerly awaiting some fun and independence. until he meets Tommy Hawks. Over the course of one northern Montana summer, an intense romance blooms between the young men, but Tommy has a painful secret-one that even first love can't mitigate. Continually brutalized by his violent father, Tommy is pushed to the edge, torn between the desire to protect his mother and four siblings, and his fear of losing the love he never expected to find.
When the unthinkable happens and Tommy's father is found dead, Brett is afraid to learn the truth. Appalled to think that his lover may be responsible, Brett must face impossible questions: how much of his life-of his youth-is he willing to sacrifice for Tommy, and will having faith in him be enough?
First edition published by Freya's Bower in 2008 under the same title.