Cover Art by Posh Gosh
Book 1 in The Montana Series

The Book

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.

"....There are two things RJ Scott really excels at.  The first is the slow burn.... The second thing that RJ Scott is aces with is the portrayal of children and family...."

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Buy Links - Print Book

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MM Good Book Reviews - 4/5 - "....I loved this story, it had just the right amount of everything to keep me turning the pages and having me scouring the internet for hints about future books, it had me secretly grinning that it had sexy cowboys and I'd snatched the book right out from under Cat's nose *raspberry*. It got my mind flying off wondering what happened to the young teenagers who had disappeared... *R.J. I want to know... NOW*, it had me sighing over family and the changes that security and a fresh start can bring. It's a very fulfilling story that doesn't have a miss, it hits the spot from every aspect and I am really hoping that R.J. coughs up the next in the series pretty quickly...."

Because Two Men are better than one - 4/5 - "....As in most R.J. Scott books, there is a strong family theme. In this case, we have a focus on two families, where the brother has taken on a role as head of the family. Firstly there is Jay’s family, where Jay takes a role supporting his sister who had been abused in the past and acts as a father figure to her kids. There is also Nate’s family, where Nate had been the head of the household since his parents were killed when he was eighteen. Most of his decisions have been based on keeping the ranch running for his younger brothers. Both our main characters put their family first and are supportive and protective...."

Sid Love - 4.5/5 - "....One thing that is very likable is the connection between not only the main characters but also the families. A thing Mrs. Scott is very capable of doing I can say from experience. Besides the main characters Jay and Nate you also feel the moments between Gabe and Ashley and even the youngsters Luke, Kirsten and Little Josh...."

Boy Meets Boy - 4/5 - "....There are two things RJ Scott really excels at.  The first is the slow burn.  I’m not normally fond of the slow burn.  I’m more of an insta-love fan.  I have the patience of a four year old who was just told they were going to visit Disney World soon.  When I come across a slow burn, while reading I usually end up saying something like “When are they going to get together?” or “Just hurry up and fuck already!”.  But with Ms. Scott’s books I get drawn in and find myself more invested in the story than the sexy times.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for the sex but I like everything else that goes into one of her books just as much.  The way it is drawn out is not angst ridden.  It is more of a natural progression; something you would see or experience yourself in real life.  Funny thing is, this is the fastest I have ever read of her MC’s getting together.  Usually it takes months or even years with her characters.  This time it only took three weeks.  But it felt like a lot more time was spent with them getting to know each other.  It felt realistic and natural...."

Mrs Condit & Friends - 5/5 - "....For a Brit, RJ Scott sure can write her cowboys. I love them. I always get totally involved in the characters and end the book wanting more. In this case that’s no hardship because this is the first book in a new series...."

Click Cover to enlarge
Paranormal Romance Guild - 5/5 - "....This is a beautiful love story between two men, each with secrets they are afraid to reveal. It is about two men devoted to their families. Nate's is devoted to his two brothers and Jay's is devoted to his insecure, abused sister, and her two children. Can Montana be the place that finally brings peace and love to both men? Will Nate and Jay find the love they never had? Will Ashley finally gain the strength she needs to never allow herself to be abused again? And, can Jay bring about change at the Crooked Tree Ranch?

All I can say is bring on the next one...."

The Novel Approach - 4.5/5 - "....With this being the first book in the series, there seems to be a lot of foundation building and character introduction, and that sometimes makes the story slow down. One of the things I loved was that Nate and Jayden didn’t just hop into bed five minutes after meeting. They actually got to know one another. I think this makes the romance more believable and gives them something great to build on...."

The Romance Reviews - 4/5 - "....CROOKED TREE RANCH is an engaging start to a new series from RJ Scott, and like all of her stories, it's warm, wonderful and has a touch of sass. And as always, it is incredibly well written. This has complex characters with the city Jay versus the country Nate dynamic working here...."

Joyfully Jay - 4.75/5 - "....Crooked Tree Ranch is the first in R.J. Scott’s new series Montana, and I am already dying for the next book. This story is full of drama, mystery, and super-hot moments. I am a huge fan of Scott and her ability to draw me into a story. Crooked Tree Ranch is just another example of why I love her books so much...."

Smitten with reading - B+ - "....Then there is the whole Montana ranch portion of the story...Oh my, LOVE! Luke is a photographer and Jay is trying to showcase the beauty of the ranch. As a result, there were so many really visual descriptions of the scenery that I just loved. I felt like I took a quick trip to Montana in this book and it was beautiful...and romantic....and so fun!

This is only my second RJ Scott read, but I can guarantee you that I will be adding more of this author's books to my TBR pile. She writes beautiful stories that leave me feeling better for having read them and I love that in a book!...."

The Jeep Diva - 5/5 - "....Ms. Scott provided a fantastic story with passionate personalities. The secondary characters added life to the tale and I look forward to reading each of the brother’s story and the others at Crooked Tree Ranch.

R.J. Scott never disappoints in her writing, creating a world the bounces off the pages and captures one’s attention.

A terrific start to a new series, and one that I will definitely be reading...."

Guilty Indulgence Reviews - 4/5 - "....I will admit it took me a while to connect to Nate and Jay, but once I was into the story and I didn't want it to end. In fact I kept expecting there to be more pages because there was so much left untold. So well played Ms. Scott, I am hooked....well played indeed...."


Nate Todd pinched the bridge of his nose and attempted to quell the combination of anger and fear that churned inside him. When he woke up to an absolutely perfect Montana morning, he’d never expected his day to turn sour so damn fast. The voice on the other end of the phone kept going, the tone a mixture of apology and demand.

“I’m sorry, Nate. If it was just up to me then I’d let the feed delivery happen, but Dad is getting pissy with it being five months outstanding.”

“It’s probably an oversight,” Nate explained. Marcus was the one who looked after the accounts and they’d never had problems before.

Samuel continued. Nate had gone to school with him, and this was humiliating for Sam to be telling him this. Hell, Nate hated that people outside Crooked Tree might think they were struggling. “We spoke to Marcus last week, Nate. He said he was going to make good on the outstanding balance when we explained that the account was in arrears. I wasn’t going to bother you with this, but the account is still overdue and I kinda felt I owed you an explanation since your order we got yesterday isn’t going to be filled.”

Tension banded Nate’s head. This was the third supplier in the last week that had implied Crooked Tree was falling behind in paying. Hell, not just implied—two of them had refused to deal with the ranch. Did they all talk to each other? Jeez. When the first place’s delivery was stopped, Nate had considered that it was probably an error. He kept meaning to talk to Marcus about it, but never quite got around to it. When the veterinarian turned around on the call before this one, and basically said no to the usual Crooked Tree meds order without citing a reason, Nate had been angry but hadn’t been sure where to place his anger. Things had been up and down with the suppliers over the last few years. One day Marcus was on the ball, the next he’d be wallowing in grief and unable to keep on top of things. This made for uncomfortable relationships with those owed money by the ranch.

“I need the feed,” Nate said. The door opened into the kitchen and Gabe walked in. Nate turned his back on his brother and spoke quieter. “Take the money from my private account.”

Sam coughed and paused for a few moments. “You’ll need to top it up, Nate.”

“I’ll sort it this morning,” he said firmly. “You have my word.”

He ended the call and turned to face his brother, expecting to have to explain anything Gabe may have overheard. Instead he didn’t have to be worried. Gabe obviously had something on his mind if the concern written on his face was anything to go by.

“You need to come out and see this,” Gabe said. He turned and left without further explanation. Nate followed him and pushed the concerns about the unpaid accounts to the back of his head. He’d talk to Marcus as soon as he could.

“What’s wrong?” Nate asked worried. “Is it the horses? A guest?”

“It’s Luke,” Gabe said softly. Gabe pushed open the door of the small barn next to the house. Early evening sunlight flooded the dim interior and dust motes danced in the breeze caused by opening the door. It took a few seconds to focus in on what Gabe was pointing at.

Luke, his youngest brother, lay on the floor spread-eagled and naked, staring up at the roof and humming softly.

“Fuck, is he drunk?” Nate asked.

Gabe picked up the small bag discarded by the door and handed it to Nate who sniffed the contents. Nate knew immediately what his little brother, spirited and full of the need to explore his world, had done.

“Jeez,” Nate groaned. Then, squaring his shoulders, he crossed to his brother. Luke looked up at him and grinned like a freaking idiot.

“You’re not even seventeen yet,” Nate snapped at Luke.

“July twenty-eight today…” Luke slurred. “Hundred and fifty days ‘til Christmas an’ my birthday. I wan’ a bike an’ a Barbie an…” Luke giggled and held a hand in front of his face. Then he proceeded to examine his hand as if he hadn’t seen it before.

Nate despaired at the fact that whatever he said, Luke did what he wanted anyway. Luke looked up at him with a goofy grin and a spaced out expression on his face. Nate bit back his temper.

“It won’t hurt him, Nate,” Gabe placated. “We were younger than him when we tried it.”

“We were rebelling, Gabe. What’s he got to rebel against? He does what he wants anyway, not like we stop him.” That much was true. Luke was an independent teenager and a good kid—responsible, organized…everything Nate hadn’t been at sixteen.

Gabe shrugged then chuckled. Great. Now he had Gabe laughing. Admittedly, finding Luke naked in the middle of their barn, staring up at the roof and talking about his Christmas Day birthday, was kinda funny on the surface. Still, drugs anywhere near his little brother were a serious matter and one Nate had to take seriously. Crossing his arms over his chest, Nate widened his stance. Add Luke high on pot to finding out Crooked Tree owed thousands in unpaid feed bills and he was quietly losing his cool.

Gabe copied his stance but was still half smiling. “Seems I remember you were sixteen when Mom found you stretched out in the back yard, talking to the sky, and you told her you’d been drinking.”

Nate heard what Gabe said and instantly recalled the day with the familiar grief of remembering his mom.

He was angry. “That’s beside the point. You were younger than me when you did it, but we never got found out.” Even as he spoke he knew what he was saying was complete crap, and just ever so slightly irrational. He also knew Gabe was going to call him on it.

“What exactly are you angry at?” Gabe began in a patient tone. “That Luke has pot, or that he was caught with it?”

Nate pointedly ignored Gabe. “You’re both my responsibility.” He wasn’t lying. He wanted his brothers to have a different life than he’d had, a better life, more choices. Why did they seem to follow what he did and then not listen to him? He wanted them to see that they could take a better path than the one he’d had to follow out of stupidity and necessity.

Gabe thumped him on the arm. “Jesus, Nate, I stopped being your responsibility the day I turned eighteen.”

“I’m still the head of the family,” Nate snapped. That was always his final defense and one he knew wouldn’t stand up with his brothers. Ever since their parents had died in 2004—when he himself was eighteen, Gabe fifteen and Luke barely nine—he had assumed the mantle of sometimes-parent, even though he was fully aware it was a losing battle. Hell, Gabe had been the easy one and Luke had been a good kid until he’d fallen in with the Hemsley twins.


  1. Why in the world would you think refused? OMG I think you have a home run hit here let me tell ya. I cannot wait until I see the books you can give us with in this set up.


    1. Thank you Cinders... I hope you like the end article... TEB would like all three books... so I am smiling... :)

  2. This looks so good I can't wait for it. I must read faster.

    1. Sometimes I think I should write faster... rofl... HUGS X

  3. Sounds great, can't wait to read it.

    1. I can't wait to write it! *excited* Hugs RJ X

  4. Looking forward to this new trilogy, RJ!


  5. You've already shown that you do cowboy great with the Texas series. I'm anxiously awaiting this new series as well. Keep up the good work!!!