Anne Reviews: The Sinner and the Saint by RJ Scott

TITLE: Ellery Mountain, Book 8: The Sinner and The Saint

Author: RJ Scott

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages: 131

Characters:  Nick/Ben

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Series

Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Army medic Ben Rockwell is in Ellery to work with the Veterans Center creating a new specialist unit for post trauma care. Desperate to make amends for battlefield decisions he regrets, he is focused on the unit and nothing else. Until some stranger moves in next door and throws him a curveball. He’s no hero, even though everyone says he is, and the lies burn inside him.

Leaving drama and chaos in his wake, Nicholas Merrick fled London and is hiding out in his friend Jason’s house, until everything back home dies a death. The choices he made in his life were to keep his best friend safe, but as a result everyone sees him as the bad guy.

When these two meet, the attraction is instant. Can they ever be their true selves, and find love as a result?

Review:

This is the first RJ Scott story I’ve read, and I really enjoyed it. Ellery Mountain is a series where each book centers on a different couple, yet those from previous books turn up in later books too.  I love this kind of series as it brings with it a mix of meeting new people, yet still checking in on previous characters.  As seems to be a trend with me of late, I’m starting with the latest book in the series so need to play catch up.  Needless to say, jumping into the series at this point wasn’t detrimental to my enjoyment, apart from leaving me with a feeling of ‘oooh cool, more books to read.’

Nick and Ben are both interesting characters dealing with the consequences of their pasts.  When I started reading the book I thought The Saint referred to Ben as he is nicknamed that by the community, but as I kept reading I changed my mind.  I think he is The Sinner, at least in his own mind, and Nick—because of his actions in regard to his best friend—is the Saint.

Ben was a harder character to warm up to, but that makes sense as he is struggling to come to terms with his past, and the PTSD that still affects him.  There were times when his attitude to Nick and bluntly asking for sex seemed a little out there, but I thought it worked because of his background.  His coldness, bluntness, and not wanting to make an emotional connection make sense, and I thought the author did a great job in writing his mindset, and slow thawing as he realizes he wants more than just a physical relationship with Nick.

I liked Nick immediately, and his stay in Ellery doesn’t get off on the greatest start.  His inner monologue was amusing and I’m always a sucker for a British character.  I liked the way he and Ben warm up to each other as friends, and that it does take a while.  I loved the way Ben acted protectively toward Nick, even before he admitted how he felt. Actions say more than words and all that.

The supporting cast was great, and I loved the characters who populate the town, apart from one woman to whom Ben gives a piece of his mind. The town felt very real, I could imagine it easily, and I hope there are more books to come in this series, especially as I suspect someone new to this book needs his own happy ending.

I’d recommend The Sinner & The Saint to readers who enjoy light, sweet, contemporary romances with interesting characters, and a great supporting cast.

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to purchase The Sinner and the Saint by RJ Scott

Splintered Lies by RJ Scott and Diane Adams


Title: In the Shadow of the Wolf Book 3: Splintered Lies
Authors: Diane Adams & RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Pages: 169
Characters: Joe, Nick
POV: 3rd
Sub genre: Paranormal Romance, Series
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

Joe Christie is consumed with grief, and when new information about his wife and baby comes to light, his first instinct is to kill.

Nick Alexander is first and foremost Joe’s best friend. When Joe met Mara, Nick stood to one side and respected Joe’s decision to settle down, despite being in love with the man who was his lover. Now, in the middle of a case that is murder and betrayal, he has to fight his love for Joe and the people who are trying to kill them both.

Review:

Joe Christie is a wolf shifter who is mourning the death of his wife and unborn son after they were killed in an accident. Nick Alexander is his best friend and his lover before he married his wife Mara. Nick has been in love with Joe for years but stepped aside when Joe and Mara got together. Joe has been fighting his feelings for Nick because he believes that if he gives into them that it will dishonor the memory of his dead wife.

Six months later Mara and her unborn son are exhumed after new information comes to light that she was murdered to cover up the fact that she had been given an an inhibitor to prevent her unborn child from being able to shift into a wolf when he started puberty. Apparently there is a conspiracy to find a way to keep shifters from being able to transform into their wolf as a way to control them and prevent their numbers from increasing.

Nick and Joe launch an investigation into the facts behind the information and they find out that a big pharmaceuticals company, connected to a very powerful senator, has been spreading the inhibitor in prenatal vitamins and other drugs through clinics set up to deal with the health and welfare of shifters.

As Nick and Joe track down who is behind the conspiracy, they discover that young shifter females have been disappearing after getting pregnant. They track these young women to a home for unwed mothers that is run by the same company that has been spreading the inhibitor to the shifter population. When they get to the place, there is only one woman there with her newborn daughter and find out that all the other women are dead and that none of their babies had survived birth.

While they are there, the senator and his gang of thugs shows up and Nick is severely wounded in the firefight. As Nick is fighting for his life in the hospital, Joe realizes that he does love him and that his feelings for Nick won’t diminish the memory of his wife and that she would want him to be happy.

This book by Diane Adams and RJ Scott is a hauntingly beautiful tale that combines murder, heartbreak, angst, conspiracy and redemption into a very compelling and enthralling story that I really loved. If you are looking for a gripping book to spend an afternoon with, this is the one for you!

Reviewed by Pat

BUY LINK

Silver Publishing Author: RJ Scott

Buy Link – https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/glbt-mystery-suspense-action-c-53_59/products_id/706/

Cody Garret arrives in England to restore Mill Cottage, but he’s actually come to heal. What he doesn’t count on are Sebastian Toulson-Brown and the destinies woven into the story of the mill, including the sycamore trees that surround it.

Cody Garret is only just finding his way after an abusive relationship ended with his ex in prison. Coming to England to restore Mill Cottage is his way of running so he has time to heal. His goal is simple—hire a company to help make the mill cottage saleable then go back to the States.

What he doesn’t count on is meeting Sebastian Toulson-Brown, the brother of his contractor and the man who may be able to show him he can stop running.

But first Cody and Sebastian must deal with the ghosts of lost loves and the destinies that are woven into the story of the mill and the sycamore trees that stand on its land, one of which might be the gallows tree.

~**~

About the setting of the book – my visit to a nearby village in England

The Gallows Tree is set in a village that is probably fifteen or so miles from me in the county of Buckinghamshire in England.

A beautiful village it is allegedly the most haunted village per head of population in the whole of England.

There are a few small houses, a mill, and a wonderful Manor House. There is also a beautiful old church with the most amazing headstones in the grounds. That is the entire contents of the village – yes places like this do exist!

The entire church is encircled with a stone wall and on the day I visited there was a very eery mist settled on the ground. It was autumn (Fall) and the ground underfoot was just as Cody describes when he first walks from where he is staying to the Manor House and stops at the Church.

There is an old ghost story about a young pregnant girl who commits suicide by throwing herself in the Mill Race and this was the perfect start for my story.

Hubby drove me over and we spent a long time wondering the beautiful village and fields. We visited the church where Tristan preached every three weeks, saw the Manor where the Toulson-Brown boys lived, and saw the cottage that I decided made a perfect Mill Cottage.

Photos:

Tristan’s Church near the Gallows Tree

The Manor House. Home to Justin, Sebastian and Tristan Toulson-Brown

The Inn where Cody stayed and saw the lovers kissing on his first night

Britain has the most amazing history and is absolutely the perfect place to set a romance and a ghost story.

The Village with the Mill. The river is what flows under the Mill.

The Gallows Tree by RJ Scott

Title: The Gallows Tree
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Pages: 232
Characters: Cody Garret, Sebastian Toulson-Brown
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5




Blurb:

Cody Garret is only just finding his way after an abusive relationship ends with his ex in prison. Coming to England to restore Mill cottage is his way of running and giving himself time to heal.

His aim is simple. Hire a company to help make the mill saleable and then go back to the States. What he didn’t count on was being haunted by the ghosts of a highwayman and his lover or meeting the gorgeous Sebastian Toulson-Brown and finding love.

Review:

When I started reading The Gallows Tree by RJ Scott I had a feeling that I was in for a real treat. I’ve read books written by Ms. Scott before, and I’ve always enjoyed all of them. Ms. Scott has a real knack for getting into the heart and soul of her characters, and once again in this book, she does a stellar job of writing interesting, likeable people that I really enjoy reading about.

Cody has had the difficult task of rising up from his fears and trying to live a normal life. Cody suffers from the pain and anxiety of being involved with a man who terribly abused him in the past. Since then, Cody has been through a lot of therapy and heavily relies on his family to help him cope and gather the strength to get on with his life. When Cody gets the opportunity to travel to England on business, he makes the difficult decision to go and face his anxieties and fear alone head-on. Cody knows this will be a milestone in his life and although it’s a steep one, he’s determined to try to get on with his life without his well-intentioned family hovering over him.

Cody decides to stay at a local Bed and Breakfast which houses and neighbors some very interesting characters. Despite their friendliness and well-intentions, Cody still suffers from panic attacks and anxieties. One day he is practically run over by a big dog named Jack. When Jack’s owner, Sebastian, shows up and apologizes, Cody finds him attractive and this scares him. When there is a mystery between two star-crossed lovers, both Cody and Sebastian team up and become determined to find out the truth. As the two men get to know each other and the attraction grows between them, Cody is faced with the difficult decision of letting his fears go so he can welcome true love in his future.

I loved this book! As a reader I appreciated the not-so-easy task Cody takes on himself throughout the novel. Realistically, he knows he must go on and try to get past his mental problems, but wanting to do this and actually doing it, isn’t an easy thing. I liked how Ms. Scott did not wash over these issues, but also allowed Cody to grow stronger and face his fears, not only for himself, but so he may have the love of a great man.

I enjoyed every minute Cody and Sebastian had together in the book. It’s obvious that there is a strong chemistry between them and I liked how well they really worked together. I liked how Cody was allowed to lean on Sebastian when he needed him, and Sebastian did what he could to be supportive of Cody’s needs without being overbearing or too motherly. Both men ended up being very well-written and strong characters that I really grew to like and admire.

I also enjoyed the paranormal aspect of the story. It keeps the storyline reading even more fresh and interesting and I thought the plot itself flowed almost effortlessly from Ms. Scott’s fingers. If you are looking for a romantic read with just the right amount of angst and romance, Ms. Scott’s book, The Gallows Tree is a perfect choice. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more books by RJ Scott in the future.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Buy Link:

Love is in the Title by RJ Scott


Title: Love Is In the Title
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Pages: 24
Characters: Luke and Cameron
POV: Third Person
Sub-Genre: YA m/m romance
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:
Luke requests songs for the late show with Roscoe. Songs that mean something to him and the people around him. Lately he has been requesting songs for the boy he watches from afar. The gorgeous dark haired blue eyed captain of the football team, Cameron.

One night, and the last request, and all of Luke’s secrets spill. It seems though, that he isn’t the only one with secrets.

Review:
This really short teen story was very sweet. It was about a boy named Luke who was kind of a geek, and for the longest time he’d been crushing on the captain of the football team, Cameron. He didn’t have the courage to approach Cameron so he called in dedication requests for love songs to the local radio station. He’d make the dedications anonymously. Luke worked at a little diner, and Cameron would sometimes come in with his teammates. One night Cameron stayed over to chat with Luke, and he confessed to Luke that he was gay.

This story is definitely not plot-driven. It’s so short that it doesn’t have much plot. It’s 100% about the feelings and interactions of the characters. Luke is absolutely adorable and I can pretty much guarantee you that in 24 short pages you’re likely to find yourself in love with Cameron too. They’re a great couple, and I hope we see more of them in this series.

Reviewed By: Jeff

BUY LINK

The Decisions We Make by RJ Scott

Title: The Decisions We Make
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Pages: Novella
Characters: Daniel Keyes, Jamie Walker
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Young Adult
Kisses: 4






Blurb:

Daniel Keyes is an orphan, fostered by the Walker’s. The product of a lonely childhood, he is thrown into the chaos of the Walker family and into the life of his new foster brother Jamie.

This story is the journey of Daniel and Jamie finding their place in the world. Through Jamie being a victim of hate crime to coming out to family and friends, there are many decisions the boys have to make before they become men.

Review:

If The Decisions We Make has done anything, it’s proven to me that RJ Scott has definitely found her place in the YA LGBT genre. All the angst, agony, and emotion that make their way into her adult M/M romances translate beautifully with her teenage characters as they struggle to find a place to belong and build a path to happiness on the often turbulent journey to adulthood.

When the Walker family opens its heart and home to a lonely and hurting young boy, it also opens the door to a new life for Daniel Keyes. Being an only child and an orphan who is suddenly thrust into a boisterous but unconditionally loving and accepting family, Daniel has a difficult time adjusting to, let alone finding, his place within the fold. His new foster-brother, Jamie, becomes Daniel’s best friend and protector and, as the boys grow into young men, the object of Daniel’s love and desire.

As Daniel and Jamie work to discover who they are, accept who they are and what they mean to each other, and suffer the consequences of the decision they make to reshape their already close bond into something beyond friendship and family, the pain and sacrifices they’ve made could tear them apart even before they’ve had the chance to discover where they might go. It soon becomes clear to the boys that you can’t decided who you fall in love with, but you can decide whether that love is worth the cost.

This is a story that challenges perceptions in the reader and encourages some introspection into the definition of family and what is or isn’t taboo, when two young men who are brothers in every way but biologically toe the line between loving each other and falling in love with each other. RJ Scott handles the subject skillfully and is sensitive to the emotions and issues and ultimate support of a loving family whose concern is the welfare and happiness of its two youngest sons.

This is a story that challenges labels—whether it’s jock or piano prodigy or being physically branded with a single word that hatred uses to discriminate—and encourages overcoming those barriers to be true to oneself.

Reviewed By: Lisa

BUY LINK

Texas Winter by RJ Scott


Title: Texas Winter (Texas #2)
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Pages: 213
Characters: Riley Campbell-Hayes, Jack Campbell, Hayes
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance/Drama
Kisses: 4




Blurb:

Riley’s past comes back to haunt him both professionally and personally.

His dead brother left more than just bitter memories for Riley to deal with. The FBI get involved and suddenly it is more than his good name that is on the line. Jack is always there for him but how much more can Riley’s husband reasonably be able to understand?

Especially when Riley finds out on his delayed honeymoon that he has an eight year old daughter he never knew existed…

Review:

RJ Scott has a knack for blending just the right amount of sweet with just the right amount of conflict in her books, and she does it again with Texas Winter, the continuing saga of Jack and Riley Campbell-Hayes.

On their delayed honeymoon, Riley gets a phone call that will forever alter the course of the Campbell-Hayes household, as a past that included a lot of mostly forgettable women imposes itself upon Riley in the very tangible form of a little lady who needs him now more than ever.

Finding out you’re a father eight years after the fact is a lot to digest, especially when the reason you’re finding out you have a child is because that child’s mother has recently died and left specific instructions that her little girl be placed with her unsuspecting father. Jack and Riley suddenly become parents and must work through the logistics of that, all while Riley also deals with the ramifications of his dead brother’s misdeeds that have come back to complicate his life even further, as well as an attempt at extortion from his daughter’s uncle.

Drama, humor, and a precocious child make for a heartwarming story of what it means to be a family, to trust and to protect those you love, even when you might not go about it in just the right way. Sometimes even the best of intentions can lead to mistakes, which Riley isn’t immune to, but it’s never in question that his family, his husband and daughter, are his number one priority.

For fans of The Heart of Texas, Texas Winter won’t disappoint.

Reviewed By: Lisa

BUY LINK