Friday, September 2, 2016

Kyle by RJ Scott Blog Tour

Two men destroyed by the past learn to live—and love—again.

Kyle Braden has nowhere else to go. With no money and no prospects, he turns to the only man who promises him help. Jack Campbell-Hayes wants to show Kyle that he can be more than he ever thought.

Kyle begins to see how far he’s come from being the scarred man who shut everyone out, when the first person through the doors of Legacy Ranch is Jason; a young man with nightmares that follow him when he's awake.

Lost in the system and with three years on the streets marking every inch of his body, Jason Smith is scared. His life is an evil mess of hate and despair, and even the offer of a fresh start and a clean bed isn’t enough for him feel safe. Until Kyle comes into his life and shows him that it's okay not to be in control.

For these broken men, Legacy Ranch offers more than a place to live and work.

It offers hope.

A new story set in the world of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes and the Double D Ranch, Texas.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

While still set on a ranch with familiar characters on the periphery, this is very different to almost anything else I’ve read from RJ Scott. Neither Kyle nor Jason is wealthy or powerful and neither man owns a ranch. Instead, this is the story of Kyle, the new foreman for Jack Campbell-Hayes’ new rehabilitation ranch, and Jason, the traumatised young rent boy Jack Campbell-Hayes entrusts to his care.

Both of these men are fragile and neither of them shares emotions or experiences easily. Both men are suffering from PTSD as a result of past experiences. Their triggers are complicated and I really enjoyed the awkward dance as they are forced to share space and establish trust. I liked watching Kyle grow into the position of responsibility he isn’t sure he deserves and I liked watching Jason learn to trust the horses and humans on the ranch.

This is a gritty read at times. With sexual and physical abuse in both men’s pasts, their sexual relationship is complicated and not always very sexy. The author doesn’t pretend to solve Kyle and Jason’s issues quickly and it takes more than love and kindness from the men at the D to help either Kyle or Jason start to rebuild.

I loved the glimpses we get of Jack and Riley trying, sometimes too hard, to make things right for these two. And I loved the humility Riley shows when he realises some of his efforts are misguided, causing more harm than good. Familiar characters from the Texas series are here, growing up and moving on and I loved the catch-up.

With neither character sharing thoughts verbally, it was difficult at times to fully understand their feelings and the motivations behind their actions. There were moments of clarity but other moments I wondered whether an alternating first person narrative might have worked better here.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed this slightly grittier story from RJ Scott. Readers will probably need to start with the Texas series if they want to know more about the setting and supporting characters, but this could possibly work as a standalone story about Kyle and Jason.

I find RJ Scott's writing so easy to read. Even with the heavy subject matter of this story I'd read half the book in under two hours and only stopped when the real world intervened.

Calming and comforting are words I would use to describe this story. Both Kyle and Jason have a history of being abused and they deal with it different ways. Kyle is quiet and Jason more outspoken and they work well together. Jason and Kyle show great courage and strength and they work to deal with their past trauma. Kyle is simply a lovely story.

This was the first book that I have read by R.J. Scott and it was unlike anything I had read before.

Kyle and Jason are both very fragile men. They both have varying PTSD from past traumatic events in their lives. They meet when Jason is sent to the rehabilitation ranch that Kyle currently resides on.

At first, Jason rubs Kyle the wrong way, but after a few incidents, Kyle realizes that Jason needs protecting, and his attitude quickly changes.

He finds himself trying to help Jason and even beginning to like him. After some time, they realize how well they work together and how much they enjoy each other's company. They begin to open up about their pasts and maybe even begin to heal a bit.

I felt like this book had a lot of information, but it was somewhat underdeveloped for me. I liked the concept, but there were a ton of characters with minor roles along with the main characters and I felt that maybe more time could have been spent on them instead. There were parts that were nicely developed at captivating, but they felt few and far between to me. It was an okay read to me. I will look in to future books because I believe they may bring more information that I am looking for.

Ms. Scott is a very reliable author, with a very smooth writing style, who creates believable characters and strong plots. Kyle is a great start to a new series – I am looking forward to reading the future installments. This book gives us a full story, and brings us some old friends as well as new leads.

Kyle is a man who has been badly abused, and yet we discover through this lovely story that he is very empathetic and caring. His behaviour with Jason is so sensitive, so loving, and ultimately, so romantic. Likewise, Jason has a grasp of Kyle's issues and is very defensive of him when in company. No doubt their pasts have made them super aware, but the way it is written is spot on. Using horses as a vehicle for recovery also works in so many ways. Jason's naivety of all things country, and certainly all things horse, mean that anyone reading this will also benefit from that knowledge. These are two men who deserve a good outcome, and find it together much to their surprise and everyone's delight!

Kyle is the first book in Scott’s Legacy Ranch series, which is a spin-off from the Texas series. While you do not have to read the Texas series first, as someone who did read it, I feel that Kyle will have a bigger impact for those fans who did. The author has written this book and series to stand on its own and achieves this goal because the pertinent details from the Texas series are provided as needed, much like any book would. That said, having read Liam’s story, Darren’s story, witnessed Jack struggle with his need to do more for Liam and the other young men who were abused, and seeing the idea of Legacy Ranch conceived in the Texas series begin to take shape, made Kyle far more meaningful than I think it would have been had I picked it without that background.

Yet, without a doubt, I was hooked from the very first chapter with Jason’s story – a character who was not in the Texas series. And what a tragic beginning for Jason that was; with a single chapter, Scott had me invested in him and wanting nothing more than to be able to step in and help him. Fortunately for Jason (and me), Jack was able to provide the opportunity for a new beginning at Legacy Ranch, but there’s a catch – the ranch isn’t quite ready to go, so part of Jason’s duties will be working with Kyle to finish the housing units so they and future residents will have a place to live. But Jason is as short on trust as Kyle was when he arrived at the Double D – and still is really – so Jason’s transition is a difficult one, and Kyle’s aloofness doesn’t help either man’s situation. As would be expected, working and living in close quarters means the two men get to know more about one another, initially through observation and later as they begin to talk and eventually share their stories, building trust and forging bonds that lay the foundation for a friendship that might blossom into more.

There are a couple of things fans of Scott’s and the Texas series should be aware of about Kyle. First, because the purpose of Legacy Ranch is to help young men and women, especially abuse victims, heal and get back on their feet before moving on, the tone to the book is a bit darker than the Texas series (and I’m not saying this is a dark romance, because it isn’t). Second, as both Kyle and Jason have histories of abuse, we are well into the book before anything even remotely sexual occurs. So if you’re picking this up expecting Riley and Jack style sexy fun times, you won’t find it. Both young men have suffered at the hands of others and Scott was respectful of the need for their characters to learn to trust one another and themselves fully before they could even consider the idea of intimacy. Once they reach the point of trusting one another, there was no rush to bed because neither man was ready for that level of physical intimacy. I am all for some hot cowboy lovin’ and goodness knows, Scott can write some hot sex scenes, but they weren’t warranted here. I loved how the author stayed true to the characters and their pasts, showing that the path to recovery can be quite long, instead of trying to pretend that love conquers all and/or sex is a cure all. While I would have enjoyed seeing more about the men’s treatment, like an actual therapy session or two, that’s a purely personal preference and its absence did not detract from the book. As a bonus for Texas fans, as would be expected, Jack plays a large role in this book, as does Liam, and most of the other guys from the Double D make cameo appearances, so I got to catch up with a cast of well-loved characters. Kyle has the Legacy Ranch series off to great start and I’m already looking forward to the release of Gabriel.

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

Connect with RJ

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

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