Crooked Tree Ranch by R.J. Scott
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I had difficulty with this novel from the start. The author waited far too long to introduce the heroes to each other (I'd noted that this was more than a quarter of the book wasted), and most of the information added there had no real significance to the story, and could have been summed up later in a sentence or two (ie. the fact that Jay was recently fired from his job -- you never see his friends again, so their part in the story is pointless -- and the long, drawn out explanation of the reason that the ranch needed to hire someone was repeated enough throughout the book that it wasn't needed at the beginning).
The plot felt very thin, there wasn't enough romance between our heroes (the story felt almost like it wasn't about the two men, but instead about their two families, and I didn't pick this book up because I wanted to read an adult coming-of-age) and there was far too much telling, and not enough showing. It's as though this author is so used to writing short stories, that when they tried to write a novel, they just filled the extra word count in with unnecessary extras.
One main thing that irritated me was that Nate has sex on-page with someone else during the narrative. I am especially upset that it happens 1/3 of the way into the book, when the romance should have already begun. This infuriated me. I was tempted to put the book down right then and there.
The writing just didn't feel quite "there" for me. I felt like the sex was rushed and hardly any detail was given. There isn't enough emotion in the narrative, not enough use of the senses. I got scents here and there, but that's about it. Everything was glossed-over, as though the author was giving us a summary of the novel, rather than actually putting us into it.
This is definitely not for me. I don't think I'll pick up another novel from this author, but I'm sure that their way of writing will appeal to others, so give it a shot.
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Award winning historical romance author, wife, and stay-at-home mom of four. Chocoholic, nerd, & bath bomb enthusiast.