Note: This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
“I need you,” Justin said, his lips only inches away from Sam's own. “To make things right in my head, to balance my life, to be my everything, to give me hope. And all I'm doing is fucking things up.”
“But I don't know what to say, or how to get you to see that, or even think that I deserve you.”
If you asked me what it was about the Montana series that has made it such a favorite of mine, I wouldn't be able to limit it to just one specific reason. I guess you could say it was a combination of the themes that all revolved around love, whether it be love for family, love for a best friend, love for the land, or love for “the one”. The series started on a high with the five-starred first novel, Crooked Tree Ranch, followed by the five-plus-starred sequel, The Rancher’s Son. With this third release, which I originally believed was the last one, author RJ Scott has once again taken things a notch higher, with a tale of a young man many thought was no longer living but unwittingly becomes a prodigal son, brother, and friend who is on the run from those who want to silence him and he makes his way back home to Crooked Tree. But Justin Allens is no longer the sixteen-year-old that disappeared a dozen years ago, and now he's deathly afraid that if his family and friends ever knew the truth about him, they would wish that he'd never returned to them at all.
The teeny, tiny glimpse we got of Justin in the second book had me fervently praying that RJ Scott would release the third one sooner rather than later, and it became a clamor that was shared by other fans of the series. Thank goodness she spared us the longer wait because she went ahead and released the book a few months earlier than she had originally planned. Justin Allens’s story had my heart aching for him and for those he was forced to leave behind. He had been through so much pain and anguish and that was taken advantage of. I can’t go into great detail because then it would spoil the book for those who have yet to read it, but what I was say is that I can only imagine the impact the truth had on him twelve years later and the knowledge of all the things he had done within those “missing” years of his. He had been gone for so long and the knowledge that his brother had never given up hope of finding him—something that was mentioned in book one and was so gut-wrenchingly evident in the second—had my heart squeezing tightly.
Aside from the story of Justin’s return, there’s also the love story he shares with Sam Walter, whose own story of rejection from his parents was heartbreaking and the treatment he received from them and his grandmother stirred my anger. But Sam is the epitome of resilience, creating a new life for himself and using his gift in the kitchen of Branches to set him in a position that has earned him the love, trust, and respect of the Crooked Tree Ranch families. He becomes a source of strength and support for Justin as well from the very moment they unexpectedly meet. My expectations for this book were very high, and I was so pleasantly surprised with the direction that RJ Scott chose to go with. In the end, she’s gifted us with what was ultimately a story of home and hope and how, even when there are times you feel lost and alone, for as long as you have one, the possibility of the other is never too far. I adore this series and with a fourth novel in the offing, I hope it continues on for a long time. A Cowboy’s Home gets five-plus stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Montana series:
Crooked Tree Ranch (book one) - five stars - My Review
The Rancher's Son (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review
A Cowboy's Home (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 08 July 2016
Date Read: 08 July 2016
Learn more about RJ Scott.
Purchase A Cowboy's Home on Amazon.