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Publisher's Summary

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

When he wakes up in the hospital, the victim of a brutal beating, John Doe has no memory 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.

Detective 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 12 years ago.

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

©2017 RJ Scott (P)2017 RJ Scott

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Spectacular audiobook

The Rancher's Son is the second book in RJ Scott's Montana series. It picks up pretty much right after the end of book one, Crooked Tree Ranch, but with a much different tone. While the first book in the series was relatively light, with plenty of humor and only a bit of angst, this book takes a much, much darker turn into missing people, death, cops and lost memories.

Ethan is a police officer in Missoula, Montana, but he is the oldest son of one of the owners of the Crooked Tree Ranch. Ethan's younger brother Justin went missing 12 years ago, along with his best friend, Adam, the youngest son of one of the other ranch owners. The two teenagers just *poof* disappeared one day after going for a swim in a lake. Ethan has never stopped looking for Justin and Adam, wanting to know what happened, if they are still alive and if they are, what is keeping them from coming home.

When Ethan finds Adam, badly beaten and suffering from almost total amnesia in a Chicago hospital, it doesn't answer the question about what happened to Justin 12 years ago, but it does open a door to Ethan's quest to find his brother. Or does it? Without his memory, can Adam help Ethan solve the puzzle?

Ethan takes Adam home to Crooked Tree Ranch. During the long drive home, tiny pieces of Adam's memory come back back, disjointed and sometimes as part of nightmares, but the question of why Adam and Justin left is left a mystery. Meanwhile, Ethan and Adam try to rekindle a love born to them when they were just teenagers. It's hard to make that happen when there is such a gaping black hole in Adam's memories and so much time has elapsed, with each man having had many experiences that did not include the other.

Back at Crooked Tree Ranch, long-buried family secrets surface as well as the secrets of what may have happened to Justin and Adam to keep them from returning home. Many of these secrets are dreadful memories and a few very good ones. This is a brilliantly crafted story and not all parts of the mysteries that abound at the ranch are resolved by the end, but enough is revealed to have more than one HEA. There is a huge twist in the final pages to leave the reader more than eager for the next book in the series.

I suppose you could read this book as a stand-alone, but I don't recommend it. The background on the ranch and the families is built in the first book, and The Rancher's Son would be less of a story without that context. Do yourself a favor and buy both books and then marathon-read them. You may lose a little sleep because they are almost impossible to put down once you've begun to immerse yourself in the lives and loves of the people at Crooked Tree Ranch. Totally worth it. I mean, what's not to love about cowboys, SEALs and cops all in one book?

I'm adding a bit to the review after listening to the audiobook version. This was spectacular! The narrator, Sean Crisden, is one of the best voice actors on an audiobook. Most of the characters are men, making it a trick to distinguish different voices, but Mr. Crisden does an exemplary job of it. Each voice matches the character to which it is assigned. Well done.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Second chance love at Crooked Tree Ranch

In Book 1, we met Marcus Allen, who tended to the financial aspects of Crooked Tree Ranch, the 300 acre land in Montana shared with The Todds (see book 1) and The Starachs. We also got a small glimpse into his strained relationship with his son Ethan especially regarding the disappearance of the youngest son Justin.

Marcus’ wife died and his son Justin disappeared 12 years ago with his best friend Adam when they went swimming. Marcus’ oldest son Ethan Allen never accepted the “death” of his brother Justin and best friend Adam, and left his family’s ranch and joined law enforcement.

In this sequel, Marcus still struggles with his health and still doesn’t believe Justin is alive. His relationship with his son Ethan was still strained and the return of Adam absent answers to what happened twelve years ago added to the tension. As a police officer, Ethan had put out feelers and one day got a call about a John Doe asking for Ethan and Crooked Tree Ranch. At the hospital, Ethan comes face to face with Adam, although, now Adam is an amnesiac. Ethan brings Adam back to the Ranch to help jog his memory.

This book was more emotional and angst than book one, but I love it just the same. Ethan was a really great guy. He was so hopeful, steadfast and patient with Adam as the families tried to figure out what happened those years ago. Again, the narrator gave a masterful performance as he returned the reader to Montana with the same families, giving more detail to the subplot of the Allen’s family. RJ Scott does a great job slowly building these characters and their stories. These characters feel like people I could relate to and I definitely rooted for their happiness. I had a hard time deciding which couple I liked best, Ethan & Adam or Nate & Jay. Plus, Gabe (Nate’s middle brother) & Ashley (Jay’s sister) was an added extra dose of sweetness to this story. While this particular love story ended well, some other threads remain loose and I look forward to the author’s next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great, emotional addition to the series!

This is book 2 in the Montana Series and while it can technically be read/listened to as a standalone, you'll be missing out on a lot of background story and a fantastic read if you don't read book 1. Ethan has been trying to find his brother and their friend Adam ever since they disappeared 12 years ago. When a man that fits his description appears out of the blue in Chicago, Ethan drops everything to go find him.

Adam has no memories of what his life has been up to waking up at the hospital. Not the last 12 years nor the previous 16. However, there's something about Ethan that makes him trust him and together they begin the journey back to Crooked Tree Ranch as they strive to get Adam's memories back.

I loved this book! It was emotional, heartbreaking and hopeful, I just adored the depth RJ Scott gave to Ethan and Adam and their journey as Adam remembered the fateful day when Justin and he went missing. The book leaves a few loose ends that will come into play in the next installment, but overall, it's a really great read.

My favorite part about the narration was the great variety of voices that Sean Crisden brought to life. He did a fantastic job with that. However, I had a bit of trouble with the tone he used for Adam's voice. It was too deep and it made him sound older than Ethan, when it's the opposite and that took a bit of getting used to. I also found that some scenes sounded a bit monotonous, but other than that, I think the narrator did a very good job with the audiobook.

All in all, I highly recommend this book, it's very enjoyable in any of its forms!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is a fantastic book!

Would you listen to The Rancher's Son again? Why?
Yes! I'd already read the book and loved it, so listening to this while I was working or doing other things was a treat. I don't have time to re-read books but I've found that listening to favorites that I've already read and loved is just perfect and helps pass the time while doing mundane tasks.

Who was your favorite character and why?
It's really hard to pick between Ethan and Adam; they are both wonderful characters and both have suffered greatly, albeit in different ways.

Have you listened to any of Sean Crisden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No, I haven't. While I enjoyed his performance, I didn't love it. He did a great job with different voices for different characters but the emotions I felt when I read the book just didn't come through for me nearly as much while listening to this story.I don't listen to a lot of audio books so my opinion shouldn't be the deciding factor for buying this. The story itself is wonderful.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, but it just wasn't possible.

Any additional comments?
I love RJ Scott's Montana series and would love to listen to the rest of the books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Rancher's Son

4.5 stars overall

This book “The Rancher's Son” is a continuation of Book one, Crooked Tree Ranch. While book one was more family-oriented giving us some of the backstory for these families and the ranch and what they have all been through over the years, this book is more mysterious and suspenseful. It keeps you entertained and guessing what will happen from one page to the next. This author just has a way with words, making every word count in the process of giving us great books we will remember. We always get a flawless connection between all of the books in each series RJ Scott puts out from start to finish.

Ethan has been estranged from his family and Crooked Tree for years. He’s never given up hope that he will find his brother Justin, and Justin’s friend, Adam, since they disappeared without a trace 10+ years before, and has spent his life as a police officer since then looking for them both. My heart hurt for Ethan just knowing how much he’s been suffering in wondering what happened to them, and not being able to do anything more to find them and that Ethan’s dad acted so horrible to him afterward causing the discord between their families. But once Adam re-appears things start to clear up and fences start to get mended.

Adam has amnesia from an event that landed him in the hospital as a John Doe, leading a surprised and thankful Ethan directly to him. But over time, Adam starts remembering small details of his past and the time he was away. I love that Ethan was basically the only thing Adam initially remembered, it just shows us that no matter what happens and how long you’re gone there’s still a chance you can find your way home to the person you love. I really enjoyed the story for these two characters and how their love just seemed to grow and last no matter what happened and how much time passed it was a nice slow build up to some true lasting love in this book. The story for the two men ends on a decent note with an even better lead up into what could/might just happen next; in the third book of this series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good Story

Good story, good narrator, good author! Finally, a good story that does not rely on explicit sexual actions only! Yes, there are readers that listen to fictional stories like this. Please keep it coming!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • CK
  • 02-02-18

Liked this one better than the first book!

Narration by Sean Crisden was great, as usual! I enjoyed this second book in the series a lot more than the first. I felt the connection between the main characters. It was nice to have familiar characters from the first book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • JanetNAZ
  • YUMA, AZ, United States
  • 09-16-17

Another Great Montana Story

So good to hear more of the story of Crooked Tree Ranch. Trying to figure out the mystery is the fun part.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Love always finds a way

What did you love best about The Rancher's Son?

The way Adam was drawn to Ethan even when he didn't remember his own damn name.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Adam. He was so well written, full of pain, unable to think for himself because he has no memory and no one will tell him anything.

What does Sean Crisden bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brings the characters to life. He's the best "good ole boy" accent/tone narrator there is, in my humble opinion. And he can give you so many different tones, inflections and nuances that each character is distinct and identifiable.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The story itself is very intense and emotional. Between the writing and the narration, I really felt Adam and Ethan's pain as they navigated the rough waters surrounding them. Each for different reasons, but when you take a step back and truly see them, everything hinges on their bond, their love for one another that withstands separation and amnesia.

Any additional comments?

Scott has an uncanny ability to write characters that are flawed, broken and uncertain and then bringing both the characters and the story full circle in a way that leaves the reader (or in this instance the listener) breathless and sated. Add to that Crisden's marvelous ability to tell that story, bring the characters to life and draw the listener into the world the Author created and that makes this a must listen book.

Sexy cowboys, stubborn but driven men and the gorgeous back drop that is Crooked Tree Ranch are just a few reasons why you should listen to this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

it was great

i really like this story it is worth it and it has a way of making you what it to never end

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ginger Keith
  • 11-26-17

Story is not complete

I didn't get any idea about Justin's future if he had one.
There is no Man on Man relationship confirmed until the last couple sentences. And the story itself I found quite boring and difficult to get into. Not the usual R J Scott style of story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-31-17

Well worth listening to...

Would you listen to The Rancher's Son again? Why?

Yes, I would definitely listen to this audio again. I loved the twists and turns with the story and the narrator's ability to tell the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rancher's Son?

I loved the way the author built up the characters relationship, it wasn't rushed or peaked too soon. There are other moments but I don't like leaving spoilers. I can't wait for book 3 though.

What about Sean Crisden’s performance did you like?

I love the narrator's many different voices for each character. He's definitely one of my favourites. His voice pulls you right into the story.

Any additional comments?

I would definitely recommend this series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • RachelM
  • 07-03-17

Wonderful!

If you could sum up The Rancher's Son in three words, what would they be?

Emotional, romantic, perfection!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Adam, he's just lovely.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I had the time I would have, Sean Crisden is a brilliant narrator.

Any additional comments?

This is probably my favourite RJ Scott book and hearing it brought to life by the fantastic narration of Sean Crisden has only made the experience of listening even better. Can't recommend this book, and in fact this series, enough.

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  • Nick Hood
  • 12-10-17

great story

brilliant.... i really enjoyed it. he reads fast though. cant wait to next book. thanks