Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Nathaniel Todd loves his job, but loving the job doesn’t pay the bills. When he and his partners finally admit they can’t run the place by themselves, Nate agrees to place an ad for a business/marketing manager. In hopes that this person will be able to raise occupancy and funds coming into the ranch, Nate wants someone local who knows the lay of the land, knows about horses and working ranches. But after months with no reply to the ad, he agrees to expand their search perimeter outside of Montana and finally finds someone.
Left jobless by the sudden downsizing of his firm, Jay Sullivan is desperate to find another job quickly so he can continue his support of his sister and niece and nephew. But it’s not so easy to find a decent paying marketing job that pays enough to support a family in New York City. His family and his world crumbling around him, Jay begins searching for work outside of the city. Determined to make a new start, he makes the decision to move his family to Montana and hope for the best.
A failing ranch, a dysfunctional family, and an uncertain work contract leave Jay feeling unstable. Add in his attraction to the stubborn, gruff Nate and Jay doesn’t know which way is up. Nate isn’t sure about the new guy from New York, but he’s certain of his attraction to Jay. After much teasing and game-playing, Jay and Nate strike a mutual friends-with-benefits agreement, as relationships don’t seem to be either man’s strong suit. But when Jay and Nate’s relationship grows beyond that of friends, the men have to work out their feelings in the midst of a floundering business and questionable family issues.
Crooked Tree Ranch is the first in R.J. Scott’s new series Montana, and I am already dying for the next book. This story is full of drama, mystery, and super-hot moments. I am a huge fan of Scott and her ability to draw me into a story. Crooked Tree Ranch is just another example of why I love her books so much.
So why, exactly, do I love this book? Well, first, the story is what caught my eye. Namely the cowboys. We all know I’m a sucker for cowboys. But not only is this a story of romance, it’s also a story of family – the one we are given and the one we choose. It’s a story of decision, of moving on, of growing up. It’s sweet, a little bit angsty, funny, and absolutely sexy. It’s quite perfect.
Second, did I mention I love cowboys? And this author has a knack for writing cowboys – tight jeans, Stetsons, boots, slow southern drawls, on horseback and off. Is it getting hot in here? Scott does a great job with the cowboy/city boy relationship contrast in this story. Jay, the man from the city, full of confusion and a little bit of hope meets Nate, skeptic and stubborn to the core. These two are polar opposites and, yes, so very perfect for one another.
Third, and it’s not very often you’ll hear me say this, because when it comes to books I love, I’m an instant gratification kind of girl, but this story leaves me with a lot of questions. Why, you may ask, do I love a book with unanswered questions? Well, I’ll tell you. This author is obviously cultivating a series, leaving readers wanting more. But she’s not forgetting the questions that matter to the story flow. I finished this book very satisfied with Jay and Nate’s relationship. I have no unanswered questions in that regard. But then there are the obvious ones: What happened to Adam and Oliver? Why doesn’t Ethan visit home or talk to Nate? What’s going to happen with Henry? What about Ashley and Gabe and the threats from Lewis? Where are the Strachens? What happened to Sam? You see, this author draws you in with the relationship of two characters and leaves you adoring a dozen more. So, yes, I’m okay with unanswered questions as long as they are answered…soon.
As you can see, I adored this book. I love just about everything Crooked Tree Ranch has to offer – the writing, the story, the characters, and the complete-but-not-finished plot. I cannot wait to see what this author has coming up. Will it be another Jay and Nate story? Sam? Ethan? Someone entirely different? I don’t know, but I look forward to finding out.