With his advertising career coming to an abrupt end, Jay finds that he suddenly needs a way to support not just himself but his sister and her two children. The Crooked Tree Ranch needs saving. Nate's been running things since his mentor Marcus Allen became ill five years ago but if something doesn't give soon things are going to go from bad to worse.
When Jay first sees the add for someone to manage the business end of the dude ranch he's less than enthusiastic but the more he thinks about it, the more he begins to think this might be just the thing for him, his sister and her kids. A fresh start in a new place. What he wasn't looking for was a new man but Nate pushes all his buttons and resist as they might both men soon realize that there's an attraction that neither of them know how to fight, but neither are they sure that they want anything either. So maybe friends with benefits?
'Crooked Tree Ranch' is the beginning of this series and along with giving Jay and Nate's story we're given the a whole lot of secondary characters and background as well as an overall story line that will thread it's way through the series...it's a bit of a thriller mystery that this series will continue to build on.
Sean Crisden has once again added depth and uniqueness to the voices in this audiobook making this story all the more enjoyable for me as I was drawn into events by his easy cowboy drawl and needless to say I'm more than ready to get into the next book in this series. I really don't know why I've waited so long to get into this series but I'm glad I haven't waited any longer.
Crooked Tree Ranch is a low angst and sweet story. It's very much a simple tale of a 'city boy' and his family (sister, niece, nephew) moving from New York to Montana to take a job after he gets laid off. There he encounters many things that are new to him: Mountains, horses, and, of course, cowboys.
Sean Crisden's smooth and sexy narration really brings the story to life. Definitely a comfort listen.
4 1/2 Hearts
Review written for MM Good Book Reviews
This story is part of a series and must be read in order. When Liam came to the Double D ranch he had little more than the clothes on his back, his trust had been destroyed and he was wary of what is expected of him. Now he has an admirer and he isn’t sure what to do, Marcus doesn’t seem like the type of man to hurt him but Liam finds it hard to open up. Marcus is determined to get close to the young man who fascinates him and discovers what has Liam so afraid, he woos Liam slowly but when danger comes from Liam’s past will he be strong enough to help Liam through it. Jack and Riley are looking forward to their expanding family but the red tape is tangled. Eli and Robbie are getting ready to settle into their new house but leaving their little apartment is harder than Robbie thought.
We are back at Double D ranch watching as Jack and Riley’s family expands, as their friends, Eli and Robbie, settle into their new home and Liam learns to trust Marcus and find his place on the ranch. This is a beautiful addition to the Texas series; it’s filled with joy and sadness, pain and relief and men who love something fierce. It covers the months from September to December with us watching the ups and downs of these six men and we get the story of Liam’s life and hardships, we see the developing love between Liam and Marcus and the solid love between Jack and Riley, and Eli and Robbie.
So I might (under torture) admit to having to wipe a couple of tears away at certain times during this story, and some of those tears might have been for the joy and love that smacks you in the face, but some of those tears were also for the pain and heartache that Liam suffered and rolls off the page to torture your heart. Damn you R.J. Scott! I also admit to loving this story completely and having fallen madly in love with Max, that little tyke just about rips your heart out with his little hand *the one not clutching Thomas* and he refuses to give it back.
This is a wonderfully written story taking us through the journey of not just Liam and Marcus’ burgeoning relationship but the journey that Liam takes within himself to overcome his painful past with the help and love of Marcus and the support of Jack, Riley, Eli and Robbie. We see the struggles that Riley and Jack face with the red tape as they adopt Max, and as they get into the swing of being parents to the twins. We see the love that Eli and Robbie have for each other as they move into their own house and the support they offer to their Texas family.
I recommend this if you love cowboys, family, love and support. If you adore well-crafted tales of building families through love and trust, overcoming the past and welcoming love and a beautiful Christmas ending.
This great series mainly follows one couple, Riley and Jack.
Click here for the review of the first three books.
Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes begin a journey that will change their lives forever. Set against the backdrop of the Double D, the cast of the Texas books face changes that won’t leave a single one of them untouched. Jack and Riley want to extend their small family of three.
Their first choice is surrogacy with Jack as the father and when all this begins smoothly both men can't help but contemplate at what point would things go wrong. After all, their lives are far from normal and nothing is ever smooth. Add a small four year old boy in foster care into the mix and suddenly things become a whole lot more complicated.
So what did I think?
Texas Family really is about family! The story is much focused on Jack and Riley and family they are looking to build. They already have one daughter and are now looking at surrogacy and adoption. The previous book very much had a soap opera feel with lots of drama and action and new characters. This book has a slower pace and more of a sense of domesticity. I actually liked the dose of reality as the men faced their doubts about choosing the right surrogate, their worry throughout the pregnancy and their concern about raising their children in a household such as theirs - busy lives, full careers, and yes, the two dad's issue. There is also a special needs child who they take into their hearts.
You definitely do need to read this series in order to follow the back stories and to know who the characters are - but that's actually a good thing because who would want to miss any of it?! I appreciated the fact that the author didn't rehash the previous story lines to bring new readers up to speed but still allowed these stories to continue into the new book. We were provided with a glimpse of the issues that Eden was facing with Sean, continued concerns about Beth's health and got to see a little bit (maybe not enough?) of Eli and Robbie.
But rest assured, although we see Jack and Riley largely in the role of fathers - school visits, doctor's appointments, family functions - they are still hugely passionate with each other - the barn especially plays a key role both in Jack's fantasy and in one particular encounter! This is one of those stories where reading is really like spending time with old friends which makes for warm and fuzzy reading.
One final comment...on a side note, and totally unrelated to my enjoyment of the story itself is the cover. I LOVE the pics of Jack and Riley and have always thought these men were so appealing on the covers of all the book in the series. They don't disappoint on this cover either (totally gorgeous) but I wasn't overly excited by the kids. I found they had a slightly old-fashioned feel but more than that, thought they maybe gave away the plot just a little too much - it wasn't hard to guess how things would turn out.
Many thanks to the author who provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
To find out more about. R.J. Scott and her books, visit her website.
Check out my blog (Because Two Men Are Better Than One!) for other reviews of books and series by R.J. Scott as I can highly recommend them all!