Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Review Tour: Second Chance Ranch by RJ Scott

Title: Second Chance Ranch
Author: RJ Scott
Series: Montana #5
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Summary:
Rob arrives at Crooked Tree determined to find a safe place for his niece and nephew. A family for them is the final thing on his list, and then he can vanish completely. Falling for a local paramedic along the way, is a disaster in Rob's otherwise perfect plans.

Paramedic Aaron, the middle of five brothers, would like someone to love. A great believer in fate he is convinced though, that one day he'll find someone. He just never thought it would be a man in so much pain, or that children would be part of the package.

Rob is ready to leave. Aaron wants him to stay. Their love has an expiry date, and it's tearing them apart. Can they find a way to save what they have?


When Rob needs to find a safe place for his nephews he decides the best home would be Crooked Tree Ranch but he knows he may not get the most welcoming reception but its the last on his list to tick off.  On a routine stop for snacks and a little leg room, an accident occurs and Rob's natural instinct kicks in.  When Aaron is called to an accident scene he never expected to find a civilian who stopped to help to make a lasting impression.  Will Rob find the home for his nephews and will he still be able to leave after meeting Aaron once that home is secured?

Another RJ Scott series now marked complete, say it isn't so.  Oh but what a finish!  After meeting Rob in A Cowboy's Home I really never thought we'd see him again but everyone has a story to tell and Rob's is brilliant!  I won't touch on why he feels the need to find his nephews a home at Crooked Tree but I think anyone who has read the series so far knows that the ranch is the perfect place for family.  Will Jason let his old comrade stay long enough so Rob can even explain?  You know the answer to that without me saying it๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰.  As for Aaron, well he's absolutely adorable and there is no mistake that he is one of the Carter brothers.  We met him as well in A Cowboy's Home and like Rob, I can't say I expected to see him beyond a supportive character but I am so glad Miss Scott decided he needed his story to be told too.

As with the other entries in the Montana series, one half of the intended couple is focused on more and I'd say Second Chance Ranch is about a 65/35 split in Rob's favor.  We see Aaron interact with his brothers and on the ranch but this is more Rob's story, his need to find a home for the boys and why he chose Jason's home turf to do so.  This may be Rob and Aaron's romance but it is also features Rob and Jason's friendship too("friendship" might be a bit over-simplified but for this review I'm going with it).  It's been my experience that only about 40% of the books I've marked "read" probably have a definitive friendship outside the focused couple that impacts the story.  Now that's okay too because who doesn't love a good "friends-to-lovers" story but it also means that when, in the case of Rob and Jason in Second, outside friendships are there they really make the book standout.  Some might see it as getting two separate tales, the Rob/Aaron romance and the Rob/Jason friendship, but for me I see Second as one great story showing how romance effects friendship and friendship effects romance because Rob is the common factor.  Aaron and Jason both show Rob what he's missing even if at times the message is reluctantly sent and received.

I guess what I'm trying to say is neither the romance or friendship overshadow the other.  Second Chance Ranch is exactly what the title says: Rob's second chance at life.  I can't think of a better place than Crooked Tree for him to finally discover his place in life, whatever that might be๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰.  Add in the fact that we get to see how and where everyone we already know and love are in their perspective journeys is a lovely bonus.

Montana may not make my annual summer re-read list but I'll definitely be re-visiting it every couple of years.  And who knows, maybe if we're really nice the author might let us see what's been happening on Crooked Tree in a holiday novella in a couple of years๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰ But whether this really is the end or we see them again down the road, Second Chance Ranch is a must for Montana fans and now that the author has marked it complete those who have yet to discover this jewel, there is no better time to dive in.

RATING: 


Chapter 1
Rob Brady knew three things. His sister was dead, he was the guardian to her two boys, and he was stuck in Hell.

And why am I fixating on Hell?

Oh yeah, the room, the kids, the crushing grief of absolutely fucking everything.

If Hell was a small, airless room with no windows, a flickering light, and two utterly silent children staring at him as if he’d personally murdered their mother.

Oh, and a thin-lipped woman from Child Protection Services looking at him the same way.

Of course, he hadn't killed his sister because he only ever took out the bad guys. With ruthless efficiency, he’d carved out the poison in the US and kept its citizens safe. Most people would’ve described him as an assassin, but he was more than that; the last resort when normal lines of defense failed.

At least, he used to be until he caught a bullet things went pear-shaped.

“How long have they been on their own?” Rob Brady didn’t know what else to ask. He wanted to be angry with the DCFS but how could he be? Instead, he wavered between anger and guilt, and it was guilt that was winning.

“Mr. Brady, they were never on their own.”

“My sister—” He stopped talking when he realized he was just about to state how long ago his sister died when her children were sitting right there in the room. Lowering his tone, he then turned to Sylvia from the DCFS, efficient and steady, and just ever so slightly pissed at him. “A year. They’ve been on their own a year.”

Sylvia inhaled sharply and clutched her folders to her chest.

“And for a little less than that, we have tried to track down their uncle and been unable to find anything.”

“I know. I get that.” Anyone trying to find him would reach several dead-ends whichever way they went. First of all the navy and his time in the SEALs, then when he joined the team combatting mainland terrorism. At every turn, his existence was classified, and in the end, he'd become nothing more than a ghost. “That isn't my point.”

Sylvia tapped a finger on the files in a steady rhythm. “Then please, can you enlighten me as to what exactly is your point?”

He opened the door and gestured for her to go into the hallway, following her out and shutting it behind them. He had questions and didn’t want to ask them in front of his nephews.

“Why has no one adopted them? Why don’t they have a forever home with a new family?”

“Because your sister’s intention was that you would take the boys. It’s explicitly stated in every legal form we have, and it was her dying wish.”

“But she couldn’t have known I would ever come back. Or that I was even alive…” He floundered for something to say. He’d come back to town on the off chance he’d see what was left of his extended family from a distance, and instead, he’d learned his sister was dead, after losing a battle with cancer, that there was no father in the picture, and that his nephews were in the system.

“Nonetheless, they are legally your responsibility. Given you worked so hard to get authorization from Governor Chilton, something I’ve never seen before, along with psych evals that no normal person would have access to, you are now in a position to leave with your nephews.”

The minute he’d heard about the boys, he'd realized he needed to get things done. He’d called in favors, had people who owed him create a backstory so tight he seemed like Mother fucking Teresa, and now he was here. His nephews needed a home, and he thought on his feet because he only had another three good months to put anything in place for them. He wanted them looked after, safe, and so he had one more mission before leaving. He’d have to delay spending his last weeks on a beach in Aruba, sipping cocktails and sleeping with anything that moved.

“I can take them today?” he asked. A small, hesitant part of him wanted her to say no, that there were more details to be ironed out.

“Yes.”

“Now?”

“Yes.” She pursed her lips as if it were against her better judgment. But he'd passed all the checks, and the references were sound, he had the governor's endorsement. It was done.

“Okay then.”

He pushed back into the room. Bran, the older of his two nephews, stared at him steadily. Toby, the youngest, sniffled and gripped his brother hard. Any ordinary uncle would’ve hugged them close and told them everything was going to be okay. But he wasn't a regular uncle, and he swore Bran knew that because there was accusation in his eyes.

You don’t even know us; he seemed to be saying.

Was it right for Rob to be taking them from their new foster home? They’d been placed with a family currently fostering six kids, and on the surface, everything seemed okay. He’d done his due diligence, and the parents checked out, but there was a weird vibe in the house, a rule of fear, and he didn’t like it.

He’d stayed alive this long by listening to his instinct, and his gut told him he should take Bran and Toby, that he was the boys’ kin. He also knew where he could find them a better home. In the mountains, with rivers and horses, and a whole group of people who would look out for them.

“Everything will be okay.” Was he reassuring himself or the boys?

If anyone who knew him had seen he was being handed two children to take care of, they'd call the cops.

Of course, he could handle the cops. He’d done it before, but the kids would slow him down. Unless he strapped them to his back and—

“Mr. Brady?”

Sylvia talked to him, or at him, and from her expression, she wasn't impressed he'd stopped listening.

“Sorry, say again?” He glanced at Toby who was sniffling harder and snuggling deeper into his brother. I should go to Toby and…

And what?

Do what? Say what? Scare the kid rigid by being all up in his face?

“We need an address for our records. Unless you reside with Governor Chilton?” The last she added sarcastically.

Oh yeah, a house, an address, he probably needed those. He’d managed to fool them with his credentials so far, and the recommendation he'd gotten from the governor for a favor owed had cut through the red tape. The address was easy; it was the only place he had on his to-do list, the one where the kids could maybe have a home. He just needed to hire a lawyer, update his will, get Justin to agree to his proposal, and he'd be able to leave without any worries.

“Crooked Tree Ranch, outside of Helena, Montana.”


Saturday's Series Spotlight: Montana
Part 1  /  Part 2


Author Bio:
RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.

She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.

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

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below.


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EMAIL: rj@rjscott.co.uk



Second Chance Ranch #5

Series






September 3 - BFD Blog 
September 5 - My Fiction Nook 
September 19 - Making It HappenPadme's Library 

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Release Blitz: Starting Over by CJ Baty

Title: Starting Over
Author: CJ Baty
Series: The Knights Club #1
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Cover Design: Kelly Abell @ Select-O-Grafix
Summary:
Xavier Knight was starting his life over. A new city. A new club. The past was gone, and he had everything to look forward to… except… love. That ship had sailed, never to return. He was too old to play the games or stack up the one night stands. Until, an old enemy’s son walked into his club and his heart.

Sebastian Brady was through. Through with hiding who he was. Through letting his brother officers dictate his life. And completely through, with his family telling him who he was. He turned his back on his badge and his family’s heritage in the Atlanta police force. But, he never imagined that he’d be serving drinks in a gay bar and working for the hottest silver fox he had ever seen in his life.

Xavier and Seb have a lot to learn from each other. Hopefully, their growing love will survive Xavier’s past, Seb’s family, and a host of characters with secrets of their own, who all work at the Knights Club.

The Knights Club Series
Bk. 1 Starting Over September 18, 2018
Bk. 2 Letting Go October 2018
Bk. 3 Coming Out November 2018
Bk. 4 Learning Trust December 2018
Bk. 5 Deserving Forgiveness January 2019


Story Background
The Knights Club (formerly the Gentleman’s Club) first appeared in the Warfield Hotel Mysteries Series. It was owned by Stony Whitecastle and is located in Atlanta, GA. At the beginning of the Knights Club/Starting Over, Stony is selling the club to Xavier Knight. He renames the club the Knights Club and instead of a private club opens it the public. Some patrons still hold membership though.

This series involves Xavier and his crew of employees and their involvement with a local police family. We meet Sebastian Brady in Starting Over along with his dysfunctional family. Seb’s struggle with his homophobic oldest brother and the shadow of his dead father, Detective Delmonico Brady, haunts Seb as he tries to make a new life for himself.

Occasionally, a character from the Warfield Hotel series will pop up but they are not central to the story line. Everyone who works at the Knights Club has a past and secret they are running from. They are mixed bag of people who have been suffered many things. The Knights Club is their home and the people who work there are their families. But, even families don’t like each other all the time…



Author Bio:
C. J. Baty lives in southwest Ohio. Her heart, however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.

The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to fan fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.

She has a loving and supportive family who don't mind fixing their own meals when she is in the middle of a story, and a network of friends who have encouraged and cheered her on in her quest of being an author.

One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is: “You are never too old to follow your dream!”


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Starting Over

Warfield Hotel Mysteries Series




Brought to you by:

Release Blitz: Lucky by Garrett Leigh

Title: Lucky
Author: Garrett Leigh
Genre: M/M Romanace
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh at Black Jazz Design
Summary:
Dominic Ramos is a Premiership football player with a secret. There are no trophies for being gay in his game. Locked into his rep as the meanest defender on the pitch, keeping his secret is soul-crushing, but love has no place in his sport, even if his soft heart craves it.

Lucky Coleman is on his knees when he meets a man with more money than sense. It’s a Grindr hook-up for cash, not a love match, but dreaming of his desperate, kind eyes earns a place amongst his numerous bad habits.

Meeting once was risky, twice pushes Dom’s courage to the limit. Losing Lucky seems inevitable, but his tight grip on his image counts for nothing when Lucky starts to fall.

Catching him could cost Dom everything, but if he can set his heart free, getting Lucky long term might be a risk worth taking.


Author Bio:
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at Black Jazz Design, and co-owns the specialist stock site Moonstock Photography with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


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