Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M cowboy romance from AM Arthur. ROPED IN is the second book in her Clean Slate Ranch series that features cowboys, cooks and city slickers–not to mention some actors, finding love with one another. I’ve read and enjoyed several books from Ms. Arthur, including SAVED, HERE FOR US, THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT, and FINDING THEIR WAY, so I was eager to check out this new series.
About the book:
At Clean Slate Ranch, the men are rugged, the trails are rocky and lassos aren’t only used for roping horses…
For Colt Woods, Clean Slate Ranch is home. The dude ranch in Northern California helped him heal from a devastating breakup. So when his ex-Dom, the man who broke his heart, waltzes onto the ranch, Colt doesn’t know how to deal.
A research job at a nearby ghost town brings history PhD Avery Hendrix to Clean Slate. He’s not in town forever, but it doesn’t take long for him to feel the familiar draw to Colt. When they find out they’ll be sharing a cabin on the ranch, it’s all Avery can do to stop himself from bending Colt over a saddle right then and there.
In such close proximity, Colt’s and Avery’s old feelings come galloping back. Soon Colt is doing his master’s bidding again and loving every moment of it. And the pair may be in for the ride of their lives—if the dedicated professor and his rugged cowboy can learn to trust again.
This is the second book in a series, and I didn’t read the first one, but I didn’t struggle to get acquainted to this world.
Colt Woods is a ranch manager at Clean Slate Ranch, a northern California dude ranch. He’s been there for years, nursing a big secret and a broken heart and trying to keep his life together. In the first book, Colt revealed his big secret–a terrible work accident that deeply affected his dearest friend Mac, who runs Clean Slate with his grandfather. Colt needs a strong partner to help his manage his guilt and grief, and he had a Dom that he really cared for, Avery Hendrix, back before he came to Clean Slate. Miscommunication between these men had Colt running and Avery feeling abandoned. Now, Avery is at to Clean Slate to help with the historical restoration of the nearby ghost town being managed by Mac.
Colt is really nervous about being around Avery again, and Avery has some reservations, too. He’s been a Dom for many years, but he’d not usually been sexually involved with his play partners. That was an exception he made for Colt, and one he hasn’t made since. Of course, the years of celibacy are a struggle, and so is the chemistry between these two when they are forced to share a cabin on the ranch. Avery is reticent to rekindle anything with Colt, since he’s shy of getting his heart busted again. Plus, he’s only a temporary consultant on the ghost town with a life and job that isn’t super close. Letting Colt into his bed and heart is a recipe for disappointment.
That said, these men can’t fight the need for one another. Colt craves Avery’s skilled, yet loving, Dom persona, and Avery needs to make some connections that will support him in ways his family never has. That’s one thing that Colt gained by joining the Clean Slate crew: a family of colleagues and friends. Reconciling with Mac will go a long way toward keeping those relationships intact.
I really enjoyed this book, with the lush descriptions of ranching life, and the excitement over the ghost town restoration. For Colt and Avery this begins as a bittersweet reconnection story, but the end seems resolved toward happiness and a future for these two. Having read on in the series, I know that Avery and Colt do stick together, so it’s a Happy-For-Now type of read. I’ve been picking up a cowboy romance every couple of months, so expect more reviews of ranch life and love coming down the pike.
About the Author:
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.