Narrator: Sean Crisden
Book: Crooked Tree Ranch
Series: Montana #1
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Publication date: April 3, 2017
Length: 6 hours 20 minutes
Reviewed by Morningstar
When a cowboy, meets the guy from the city, he can't know how much things will change.
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.
To me, the story of this book, besides the growing relationship between Nate and Jay, was the growth of the whole Sullivan family. With a move from the city, from the only home they’ve ever known, the angsty life of a teenager, the damage that Ashley has to fix insider herself to feel whole again, and the complete change in the path Jay’s career had once been on, they have a lot to heal.
Jay is a strong character one who knows what he wants and is not shy about getting it otherwise he wouldn’t be good at his job. Working on a ranch and its stubborn owner is something Jay has never had to deal with. I loved how Jay was both supportive and protective of his sister Ashley. On top of dealing with a teenage girl who would rather slam her door than speak and his nephew who is more than happy to stay forever and ever on the ranch, Jay has to do his job. One he is growing every day to love more and more. That might have to do with a particular hot and stubborn cowboy…
Nate has done a lot of sacrificing in the name of helping his family and the ranch which he’ll continue to do because he wants for them what he didn’t have himself. And boy oh boy is he a stubborn and cranky man! Nate finds the ranch in trouble after letting the business end of things slide, and now all the Todd men and Marcus have to buck up to get what needs to be done, done! In walks city slicker Jay and Nate. He doesn’t think the men has what it takes to understand enough about what they do to help them and it annoys him that he finds Jay attractive. Jay is a little tease once he realizes that Nate is gay. No matter how many times Nate thinks he has things in hand, Jay proves him wrong. I loved the banter between these two from day one; it was fun and hot and helped build the tension between them. Plus they both fit perfectly for the other, challenging each other, and bringing out their softer sides.
This was a well-developed story with wonderfully solid characters. The secondary characters were just as important to the overall arching story line, and the author made sure to make them two dimensional, so the reader felt just as invested with them as the main characters.
The narrator, Sean Crisden, did an excellent job of giving voice to each character making them unique and so real that I got lost on more than one occasion picturing these people in my head as though it was a movie. It’s funny how going into an audiobook I’m always fearful the voice of the character won’t match what I thought. But Sean hits the nail on the head each time. He gave even more depth and life to this story than I thought possible, making me love it even more.
Although we are left with some questions about Henry, what happened to Justin, and Marcus’s health I am sure these will be answered in future books!
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