Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Crooked Tree Ranch by RJ Scott Blog Tour

When a cowboy meets the guy from the city, he can't know how much things will change.

On the spur of the moment, with his life collapsing around him, Jay Sullivan answers an ad for a business manager with an expertise in marketing, on a dude ranch in Montana.

With his sister, Ashley, niece, Kirsten and nephew, Josh, in tow, he moves lock stock and barrel from New York to Montana to start a new life on Crooked Tree Ranch.

Foreman and part owner of the ranch, ex rodeo star Nathaniel 'Nate' Todd has been running the dude ranch, for five years ever since his mentor Marcus Allen became ill.

His brothers convince him that he needs to get an expert in to help the business grow. He knows things have to change and but when the new guy turns up, with a troubled family in tow - he just isn't prepared for how much.

Publisher’s Note: This is a previously released title. It includes a new chapter and is re-edited with new cover art.

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Book 1
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At one point, when he was trying not to stare at the dancing, he spotted Liam across the room and they exchanged heated looks. Nate recalled the young guy bending over for him the last time he was here. Maybe he could get some more of that tonight. Maybe fucking Liam into the mattress would stop the irritating thought that he wanted to fuck Jay instead. Or that he wanted Jay to do the same thing to him.


Jay made it through three tracks of music, and when he made no sign of moving from his place alongside two men, Nate had to make a move. He sucked it up and joined the fray.

Nate was immediately swallowed into the crowd and instinctively began moving to the beat of the song as he walked closer. When he finally made it to Jay’s side, he patted him on the shoulder. Jay spun on his heel and Nate held out a hand to steady him.

“Cowboy!” Jay shouted over the music.

In a sinuous movement, Jay gripped one of Nate’s shoulders and shuffled closer so that very little separated them. The two men dancing with Jay drifted off to face other dancers, and suddenly it seemed like it was just Nate and Jay swaying to the music.

“You need to be careful!” Nate shouted close to his ear.

“Why?” Jay shouted back.

His breath smelled of beer and his body scent was a mix of the infuriating aftershave mingled with sweat and dust. Suddenly Jay became a four-course meal and Nate was very hungry.

“Keep your eyes open,” Nate warned.

As if to make that comment mean nothing, Jay deliberately closed his eyes and moved to the beat of the music. Somewhere along the line, Jay had lost his bottle of beer, or finished it, or whatever. He had both hands free, and he used them to steady himself by gripping hard to Nate’s shoulders. He had closed his eyes and was mouthing the words along with the song. Was he aware it was Nate holding him? He’d said “cowboy,” they’d spoken, but there were a lot of cowboys mixed in with the bikers and the other varied clientele.

“Open your eyes, Jay,” Nate shouted over the music.

Jay did as Nate had asked, and Nate was suddenly seeing brown eyes glazed with emotion. Then Jay smiled and closed his eyes again.

Instinctively Nate steadied Jay and that meant his hands rested on Jay’s hips. The feel of the man beneath his touch was intoxicating and Nate held hard. Jay fit into his arms perfectly: a little shorter, a little slimmer, just the right height, and his lips, damp with sweat or beer—Nate didn’t know—were what he zeroed in on. Jay swayed with the music. The move took them closer and fuck, Jay was hard. Nate gave in to the temptation and pressed them closer still until he was sure Jay could feel how hard he was as well.

All thoughts of impropriety or fears of rejection flew out the window. Nate was lost in the smile of pleasure that curved Jay’s damp lips. What would he taste like? Would Jay return the kiss? Would Jay push him away? How could he risk this? He eased his hold on Jay’s hips and slouched a little so that their groins aligned—suddenly they were frotting firmly and rhythmically to some Eminem mix. There was no way he could stop himself.

“Can I kiss you?” Nate said into Jay’s ear.

Jay smiled at him, but it wasn’t clear that he’d heard what Nate said. Hell, he should kiss Jay and stop all this delay in taking what he really wanted. Someone jostled him from behind and the movement threw him off his spiral of the pros and cons of denial. When the person who jostled them attempted to insinuate themselves between Nate and Jay, abruptly everything was clear.

“Fuck off,” Nate shouted clearly to the interloper, and in a quick move, he got his first taste of the sexy city boy. The press of his lips against Jay’s was intoxicating, and they kissed and swayed to the beat of the music. Their hard cocks pressed together and—finally—the kiss deepened. Jay let him in and Nate took every advantage. Fuck the fact Jay worked for the ranch, fuck that they had absolutely zero in common, forget that Jay had a degree and a life that would take him far away from Nate’s world sometime soon.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This book started out a little slow but after a while it got moving. I am usually a sucker for instant-love, but this book didn’t have that, this was a slow build up, well, slower than most books and it actually worked and fit the story and the characters. Everyone made Nate out to be someone who couldn’t love and didn’t show emotions, but once he decided to give things with Jay a shot, he was really sincere and showed his emotions. Jay is always looking out for his family and he does such a good job with his sister and her kids, how can you not love him? The book was good, there are some things that I thought could have been dealt with in this book but weren’t so hopefully those will be in future books, like Marcus’s health issues.

Characters: Well written and easy to relate to
Sex: Yes, but wasn’t very descriptive
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

I enjoyed the book, however I felt that it dragged in some points. That could have been due to Nate's quick temper, which niggled on my nerves a little.

I enjoyed that it was about the romance first before the sex. I liked that Jay and Nate got to know each other before getting all steamy.

I liked that we got to know all the other characters while still focusing on the main couple.

It was a good start to the series and I would read the next book.

In Montana, the Crooked Tree Ranch is struggling financially and Nate and his brothers decide they need to hire a marketing guru to help bring new life and customers to their business. Meanwhile in New York, Jay is laid off from his high flying marketing job and now has no way to support his sister and her two kids. When he comes across the job at the ranch, he thinks it will be a great place to start over and good for his family.

Crooked Tree Ranch is a slow burn. Dual point of view, we get to know Nate and Jay separately, learn about their lives and families before they are put in each other’s paths. When they start working together things don't get off to a great start and seeing the buildup in their relationship made the point where they get together that much hotter and sweeter.

The setting of this story was beautiful, the characters were real and the romance written perfectly. I loved it. This is the first book I've read by RJ Scott and I can't wait to read more.

This is the first in a series, so it does a solid job of introducing the characters and the locale, so that future installments will set off running. I liked the leads and their slow, but persistent interest in each other. That there were side stories waiting to be explored was good news too, as it is reassuring that there is more to come. I wasn't convinced that the Lewis angle was necessary, or realistic, but it explained in part, Jay's desire to leave New York. A feel good romance, with an intriguing mystery on the side. I am looking forward to reading the next story in the series.

As a fan of Scott’s Texas series, I was excited to delve into her new M/M contemporary western romance series – I also enjoyed the subtle nod to the Texas series. As the first book in the Montana series, Crooked Tree Ranch does a good job of laying the foundation for the series and introducing readers to the major players in a rather interesting way, all while keeping the focus of the story on Jay and Nate’s romance.

The Crooked Tree Ranch is a multi-generational family business whose focus has evolved over the years and is currently operating as a dude ranch. A dude ranch that is not doing well financially at all, and none of the owners have a clue of how to revive the business. But the Todd family isn’t the only ones whose life seems to be crumbling down around them. Jay Sullivan is a marketing executive whose position has just been eliminated, along with dozens of others in the same agency. Faced with no job prospects, dwindling financial reserves, a family to support, and unsavory exes for both he and his sister, Jay stumbles upon a job listing at the Crooked Tree Ranch that offers the chance for a new start…and a horse (lol). After a less than auspicious start, Jay throws his full attention and efforts into rebranding the Crooked Tree Ranch and using his years of marketing experience to breathe life back into the business side of the ranch. Even though Jay’s sister, niece, and nephew mesh well with everyone on the ranch, Jay finds himself constantly at odds with Nate, the oldest of the Todd brothers and the man in charge of the horses and many of the ranch’s other day-to-day operations. And the question is no longer solely whether the city boy can save the ranch, but can he also make Nate his home.

One of the things I really liked about this novel was that there was no instant connection between Nate and Jay. In fact, they were so antagonistic toward one another – especially on Nate’s part – that they had no idea that they both batted for the same team. Even once that’s established, neither is willing to admit their attraction to the other due to their employer-employee relationship. But Nate soon learns that just because City doesn’t know anything about horses, that doesn’t mean Jay doesn’t know how to lasso his man – oh I so loved the night out dancing. When they do finally give into their attraction, it was both steamy and sad – sad because we learn just how big of an insensitive douche Jay’s ex really was. But the Todd men certainly know how to take care of the Sullivan clan and I for one cannot wait to find out what happens next in The Rancher’s Son, because after the meeting between Henry and Jay and Henry’s defense of Ashley, I’m no longer worried that my suspicions about Henry (drawn from the previous customers’ complaints) are correct and I’m hoping that we can find out the truth about the boys’ disappearance that has left a dark cloud over the Crooked Tree Ranch for several years. I loved the Crooked Tree Ranch and I’m looking forward to many, many more books in the Montana series.

RJ Scott has been writing since age six when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and was told to write a story. Two sides of A4 about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born. She reads anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror; however, her first real love will always be the world of romance. From billionaires, bodyguards and cowboys to SEALs, throwaways and veterinarians, she writes passionate stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and more than a hint of happily ever after.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Crooked Tree Ranch (Montana #1) by RJ Scott to read and review for this tour.

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