Monday, May 21, 2018

Roped In by A.M. Arthur

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 title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I still love the Clean Slate Ranch, but this second-chance romance has enough break-up/make-up angst for a Taylor Swift song. In the past, Avery and Colt loved each other but they couldn’t work through their issues. Reunited on the ranch, they attempt to make their relationship work.

It’s probably realistic, but this story circles round and round the same issues over and over again. Their relationship is long distance and these two can’t agree on the distance, the sex, or even the kink that brought them together in the first place. Because of the long-distance issue, the second third of the book is a series of brief meet ups that involve a little bit of sex and kink – and a whole lot of arguing. The story is missing the escalating sexual tension and intimacy that a good romance needs.

My other problem is that I didn’t love Avery. His character didn’t always make sense to me. I still don’t understand why a man on the Ace scale of sexuality chose a side job as a professional dom. He feels quite selfish at times. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t immediately look for jobs that would take him closer to Colt at the ranch and I grew frustrated with the compromises Colt was expected to make for Avery.

I really loved Colt in the first book and I’m glad he got his own story. I have huge sympathy for him and I kept feeling frustrated for him as both Avery and Mack kept making him jump through hoops to prove himself.

Despite not loving this story, I really enjoy the Clean Slate Ranch and the growing network of characters involved with the ranch. The best scenes in this book are quiet scenes of downtime on the ranch and the moments of closeness between the men who work the ranch. I hope I enjoy the next books more than this one.

This is the second book in the series. You could read it as a standalone, but I think you would enjoy it more if you read the previous book. I liked Colt in book one and I fell in love with him in this book. He is the guy that everyone likes, never met a stranger, and will do anything for anyone. Colt loved Avery five years ago but ran off when things got tough. Avery is at the ranch to help with the ghost town and Colt can't stop thinking about him and what they had together. Avery hasn't stopped loving Colt or thinking about him either, but he knows he's only at the ranch for a limited time. Distance separated these two once before and Avery wasn't sure his heart could handle it again. Avery and Colt were hot together and also very loving. They had a Dom/sub relationship in the bedroom, which was a good dynamic with them. Colt really wanted things to work with Avery, he slipped up once again towards the end of the book. You'll have to read it to find out how it turned out. I enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next one.

Roped In is the second book in the Clean Slate Ranch series. I haven't read the first book in the series and read Roped In as a standalone without issue.

Colt has made Clean Slate Ranch his home after his life as a SWAT officer ends. A shooting in which he accidentally killed his best friend, Mack's lover creating havoc in his friendship and his relationship. He walked out on Avery, his Sir, five years prior. They started off as a strictly Sir/pet relationship that grew into something neither could deny. They were hot and heavy until Colt's guilt and Avery's job pulled them apart.

Avery shows up at the ranch while working on a project, putting him and Colt back together. Can they get over Colt's sudden disappearance all those years ago? Can they deny the heat and passion they have when they are near each other? Can they rebuild the trust that was broken? Can Avery be the Sir that Colt needs in his life?

I loved the ranch/cowboy aspect. Even without the BDSM aspect it would have been a good read for me. It didn't add or take away anything for me. I felt that Avery took way too long to express his issues with wanting it all with Colt. It was one of those simple conversations that took way too long to have, but other than that I found Roped In an enjoyable read.

This is the second book in the series and links to others, so if you are familiar with Ms. Arthur's cowboys, this will be a complete delight to you. I would recommend that you read the series in order, although this stands alone well too.

The blurb gives you some good insight into what to expect – so I need not repeat it – but for me, the most interesting thread running through the book relates to the word Sir. Colt had called Avery that when they first met and had a strictly non-sexual BDSM contract and that is what Avery expected. But now, having met again years after a seemingly brutal romantic split, Colt starts calling him Sir again. Avery is now uncertain as to whether Colt wants him as a dom or as the partner Avery wishes to be. Very cleverly his uncertainty, and inability to ask, ramps up the intensity and issues between them. They hurt each other so much before, and for Avery, there has never been anyone else he has been romantically involved with... it is a huge leap of faith to try again – even if the D/s trust is still there.

It is a clever juxtaposition of the issues of love, romance, sex, and D/s – and I found it as much amusing, as frustrating, and as satisfying!

Also Available in the Clean Slate Ranch Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Wild Trail post.

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 Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.

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.

Contact her at with your cooking tips (or book comments).

Connect with A.M.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Roped In (Clean Slate Ranch #2) by A.M. Arthur to read and review.

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