Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Rancher's Son by RJ Scott Blog Tour

A man without memories, and the cop who never gave up hope.

When he wakes up in hospital, the victim of a brutal beating, John Doe has no memories of who he is or who hurt him. The cops can find nothing to identify him and he can't remember anything to help... except the name Ethan and one recurring place from his dreams. Two words, and they're not much, but it's a start. Crooked Tree.

Cop, Ethan Allens, has never stopped searching for the two boys who vanished. When a report lands on Ethan's desk that may give new leads he jumps at the chance to follow them up. The man he finds isn't his brother, but it's someone who could maybe help him discover what happened twelve years ago.

What neither man can know is that facing the very real demons of the past could very well destroy any kind of future they may think they have together.

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Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
ARe  ~  Kobo  ~  Smashwords

Ethan must have nodded off at some point, waking to another coffee from Clare and a ten-minute warning that breakfast was about to be brought up to the patients. His neck ached, and he was semi curled up in the hard chair.

“Thought you needed this. If you want to go to the cafeteria, I can keep an eye on Adam.”

“No, I’ll stay here. Thank you, though.”

“I’ll see if I can get someone to bring you up something.”

A quick glance at his watch showed Ethan it was a few minutes after six. He checked his email. He’d only sent the information to Navy Liaison at late last night, but there was already a message back saying all efforts would be made to get the information to Cole Strachan. There was a group joke sent by one of the shift officers back at the precinct, and some spam. Other than that, nothing.

Ethan stood and stretched tall, sipped his hot coffee, and watched the April morning unfold before his eyes. Clare managed to scrounge up some pastries, and he ate them at the window, a hundred thoughts racing through his head.

A nurse disappeared into Adam’s room, and Ethan tensed in expectation. He desperately wanted to go in there, but would Adam even be interested in talking to him?

“Are you Ethan?” the nurse asked. The tray in her hand carried untouched food.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You can go in. He’s asking for you.”

As he started to walk past her, she thrust the tray at him. There was a plate of eggs, and a sorry-looking pancake. “Try to get him to eat some of this,” she said.

He took the tray, because he didn’t really have a choice, and went into Adam’s room, kicking the door shut behind him. There was no one in the bed, but the bathroom door was closed, so Ethan assumed that was where the errant Adam was. He placed the tray on the table and waited, looking out of the same window Adam had been standing at last night. From this angle and at this height, Ethan could see the water of Lake Michigan and watch the hospital parking lot grow busier by the minute.

The bathroom door opened. Ethan instinctively turned and wished he hadn’t, because now he was staring. Not so much at the pajama bottoms that rode low on slim hips, or the broad chest that had a smattering of hair, tapering to a happy trail downward, nor to the muscles in Adam’s arms. No, Ethan was staring at the scars—new ones and some way older by the look of them—bruises purple and yellow and green, and the tattoos.

Tribal tattoos circled Adam’s arms, over his right shoulder, and down onto his pec: big swathes of dark ink with finer detail in curls around muscles. Something that looked like old burns marked his neck. A body that had seen a lot, felt a lot.

“I don’t remember them,” Adam said, his voice lost. He ran his fingers over the tattoos as if touching them would bring back memories. “They must have hurt, don’t you think?”

Ethan thought of the small tattoo over his heart and recalled the discomfort of getting it. His hadn’t hurt; the million tiny pricks into his skin were nothing.

“Maybe,” he offered.

Adam turned a little and checked the tattoos in the mirror, peering close. “I wonder what they mean?”

When he turned, he exposed more marks on his back and the fine lines of a horse standing on his hind legs. Ethan inhaled sharply.

“What?” Adam snapped, attempting to see his back even though he couldn’t get the right angle. “What is it?”

“Your horse.”

Adam frowned. “That is my horse? I want to see that again, the detective took a photo but he didn’t have a copy for me.”

Ethan pulled out his cell and snapped a shot of the beautiful tattoo, then passed the phone to Adam, who stared at the picture.

“Why is it—” Any energy seemed to leave him in the exhalation of a sigh, and he slumped to sit on his bed. “—I remember this is a cell phone, but I don’t recall patterns on my own skin?”

From his research Ethan learned terms like brain centers and retrograde amnesia, alongside traumatic stress, he didn’t understand a lot of it. “I have no idea.”

Adam curled into himself, hunching over his knees, looking utterly defeated.

Compassion welled inside Ethan, and he sat next to his old friend, pushing the tray toward him. “Eat your eggs,” he said gruffly.

Adam side-eyed him and huffed before taking the tray and resting it on the small hospital table. He forked some into his mouth, grimacing as he chewed and swallowed, but at least he ate half of what was there, and one cold, dry pancake.

“I need a proper breakfast,” Adam grumped.

“Like what?”

“Hot fresh bacon,” Adam said immediately, paling at what he was saying. “I think that I love bacon. I’d eat plates of the stuff if you gave them to me.”

“And real pancakes,” Ethan added. He reached over and poked at the sorry excuse for one that had been served. “But not like this one. Fluffy, steaming pancakes.”

Adam nodded and darted his tongue out to collect a small piece of egg resting on his lips. “Maple syrup,” he added softly.

“You always liked maple syrup.”

Adam finished the eggs and grimaced again. “When we get out of here, will you find me bacon?”

“Of course.”

“Real bacon, and pancakes with maple syrup. That sounds just like what I want to eat.” Ethan’s chest tightened as Adam looked up at him under his eyelashes, his dark eyes holding humor. Adam and Justin had spent their childhoods getting Ethan to do what they wanted: the older brother with money from a part-time job, the one with the car. And he’d done everything they asked.

“I wouldn’t take you anywhere bad,” Ethan said.

Adam pushed the tray to one side. “I need a shower, and then we go, right?”


“You should take photos of all my tattoos, so you could maybe find out more about me.”

“I know who you are. The rest will follow when your memories return.” He didn’t want to say that he’d already decided to email the tattoo of the horse to Jen, just in case she could track down where it had been done. It was a beautiful piece of work, and likely whoever did it would have it in a portfolio somewhere. Of course, that was a needle in a haystack. Who knew where Adam had been in the last twelve years? Chicago, where he was now? Or had he traveled from Montana to another city?

Adam looked at him, confused. “You said I disappeared. How old was I when that happened? Fifteen, you said?”

“You were nearly sixteen.”

Adam glanced down at himself, “And I’m twenty-eight now, so what happened in between?” He stood up and half turned. “You should get them all.”

Ethan did as Adam wanted, and pulled all the photos into one email, sending the whole lot to Jen with a particular request about tracking down the artist. Meanwhile, Adam went into the bathroom, closed the door, and left Ethan staring at the wood.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really enjoyed this book, it was so good I didn’t want to put it down, I had to keep reading. Ethan is mentioned in the first book of the series so if you read that you will remember he was the son who left and became a cop. Ethan left Crooked Tree, his brother Justin and his first love Adam disappeared 12 years ago and he never gave up home on finding them. When Ethan gets a call for a John Doe case, his emotions are on high alert. This was an emotional story and I found myself watery eyed several times. This was also a great love story, there wasn’t much sex but that didn’t matter, the storyline and the emotions were so good you didn’t need it. The story ends sort of on a cliff hanger, not with Ethan and Adam and their relationship but with the man in the woods. I can’t wait to read the next book to see what happens and to hopefully have more information on that 12 year gap for Adam.

Characters: Well written and easy to relate to
Sex: Yes, but not 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

OMG how I loved this book. I really enjoyed the first in the series but this one just had a bit of everything.
So this is Ethan and Adam’s story.
Ethan has been looking for his brother and his friend for over ten years, when he is contacted about a John Doe he hopes its his brother, however what he finds is so much more.

Adam is trying to piece his life back together, after a brutal attack he is left with no memories. He is under the care of Ethan, his best friend’s brother, and together they try to bring back Adam’s memories.

This, to me, was a true love story. There wasn't much sex but I really liked that as we got to know the couple too.

Honestly, this book had so many twists and turns that I can't wait for the next book. I am fully invested in this series.

When Ethan was 17, his brother Justin and his brother's best friend, Adam, disappeared from their home on Crocked Tree Ranch without a trace. Ethan became a cop and has never stopped looking for them. Thirteen years later, Ethan gets a lead when Adam shows up, badly beaten and with no memory of who he is. Right before Adam disappeared, he and Ethan shared a kiss, and all these years later, those feelings are still there for Ethan.

The Rancher's Son is an engaging story and the mystery of why these boys disappeared keeps the book moving at a good pace. Adam's memory comes back in bits and pieces, but the only memories of the still missing Justin come via nightmares. All the while Ethan is by Adam's side, helping him and feelings grow strong.

I read The Rancher's Son in less than a day and when it was over I didn't want to leave Crooked Tree Ranch. I look forward to reading book three, which isn't due out until October. It is going to be a long wait.

This is the second book in the series – and I would suggest you do read them in order, as the background and relationships between the three families of Crooked Tree are definitely relevant. I am going to assume that you have in my review (not that there are any spoilers as such)

Whilst book one concentrated on Nate and his family, we did meet Marcus and learn of the disappearance of Justin and Adam twelve years ago. Ethan, Marcus's other son, has never given up looking, and a lead reveals that at least one of the boys is now a man, a very beaten, and amnesiac man. We follow their adventures and the gradual awakening of a man who was a boy in love. I thought that the emergence of the mystery was done really well, and the undercurrent of danger and risk. I loved Ethan finally finding something after 12 years of searching, and the slow regaining of their past. Adeam was brilliantly written, by turns in physical pain and mental anguish, yet clearly feeling that he could trust Ethan.

Very keen to get hold of book three (mentioned at the end of the book) and see how that all works out!

I love Scott’s writing and, as I said in my review of Crooked Tree Ranch, was excited to learn of the new contemporary western romance series. The Rancher’s Son was an excellent addition to the Montana series because even as the author ratchets up the romantic suspense levels in this installment, she still manages to keep the romance between Ethan and Adam…sweet.

As we learned in the first book, Adam and Justin went missing twelve years ago and Justin’s brother Ethan went into law enforcement as a way to continue searching for the boys. When Ethan gets a call that a badly beaten assault victim found in Chicago is talking about Crooked Tree and Ethan but not much else due to amnesia, Ethan is cautiously hopeful that his brother has been found. Because he doesn’t want to get his father’s hopes up, he goes to Chicago to see what he can find out about the young man with no memory. One look into the man’s eyes and Ethan is flooded with a mix of emotions as he learns that the “found” man is not his brother Justin, but rather Justin’s best friend Adam – and Ethan’s first love. Admittedly, Ethan wasn’t an active character in the first book, but I had zero idea that he was gay, much less had feelings for Adam. So this was a bit of a shock for me (and I hope that’s not a big spoiler for anyone), but it goes a long way in explaining Ethan’s bittersweet emotions at the hospital and why he is so protective over Adam. And while I totally understood the attending doctor’s desire to study Adam’s amnesia from a research standpoint, I was so very, very glad that Ethan was able to step in and get the young man back to Crooked Tree Ranch to begin the healing process – healing his body, healing his mind, and healing his heart.

I strongly recommend that you read Crooked Tree Ranch before reading The Rancher’s Son. There is a lot of backstory and history about the ranch and the three families who own it that will come in handy when reading this installment. Because there is a major romantic suspense angle, I’ll do my best not to reveal anything about that part of the storyline. What I will say about that aspect of the book is that I loved how Scott used Adam’s return and memory recovery as an opportunity for Marcus to see Ethan in detective mode. While we learned in the first book that the father and son were estranged, we find out more about the estrangement in this book and Marcus’s getting to see first-hand how good Ethan is at his job goes a long way in repairing that relationship. I will also say that once Adam recovered his memory, I was shocked that certain people allowed Ethan to take him back to Montana – regardless of their explanation as to why they let it happen. The combination of the romantic suspense elements with the second chance romance between childhood sweethearts – because that’s what they were – made The Rancher’s Son an extremely enjoyable read for me. I cannot wait to get my hands on book three to find out more about Justin’s fate.

Also Available in the Montana Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
ARe  ~  Kobo  ~  Smashwords

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Crooked Tree Ranch Blog Tour.

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 The Rancher’s Son (Montana #2) by RJ Scott to read and review for this tour.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Seiously, wow. Thank you so much :) Rj xxxxxx


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