Wednesday, January 26, 2022

His Fresh Start Cowboy by A.M. Arthur

Two cowboys will have to risk their hearts—again—to find a home on the ranch.

Two cowboys will have to risk their hearts—again—to find a home on the ranch.

Hugo Turner's boots haven't touched Texas soil in almost a decade, and he's not sure they should now. Being in the state is complicated, but Hugo can't resist going back for a job working with his teenage crush. His best friend's hot older brother is now the ranch's foreman, so he'll be Hugo's boss. Inappropriate? Probably. Will it stop Hugo? Probably not.

Brand Woods isn't ready for the return of Hugo Turner. He decided long ago to keep his bisexuality private and to focus his life on running the ranch. Working next to the most dangerously tempting man he’s ever known stirs up questions Brand thought he'd put to rest.

The sparks that send their hearts galloping lead to a deeper passion than either man expects. But by giving in to the chemistry without taking a risk and committing to each other—or, more importantly, to themselves and living the lives they've always wanted—Brand and Hugo might lose their second chance at true love.


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His Fresh Start Cowboy by A.M. Arthur

Book 1
Buy Links

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Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
Carina Press (HQN)




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

His Fresh Start Cowboy is the first book in the Woods Ranch series. The Woods Ranch series is a spin-off from the Clean Slate Ranch series. Anyone that has read the Clean Slate Ranch series will know Hugo. Brand from Woods Ranch is the brother of Colt from Clean Slate Ranch. You don't need to read the Clean Slate Ranch series before this one, but I wouldn't discourage it at all!

Hugo ran from his past years ago and ended up at the Clean Slate Ranch but finding out the Woods Ranch was in trouble and needs experience, Hugo knows it is time face that past head on.

Hugo and Brand share a complicated past. Brand has buried those feelings Hugo brought out all those years ago but him being there on the Ranch is bringing those feelings right back into the light. I loved watching Brand and Hugo getting to know each other as men instead of the boys they once were. They had this slow angst that built throughout. Watching them grow and learn who they were and how they would fit in this new world was heartwarming. Watching Hugo come to grips with his past and letting go was emotional.

I think A.M. Arthur did a fantastic job merging these ranches and creating this new world that I can't wait to get more of.

This is the first book in a new series, but anyone who enjoys A.M. Arthur's Clean Slate Ranch will find we start out in a familiar world. I am looking forward to seeing how life at Woods Ranch progresses.

Hugo is ready to face his past, so when he hears that Woods Ranch needs some experienced help, he applies for a job there. Thus he reveals his identity to his boss, Colt, who had left his family ranch before Hugo started hanging around with his youngest brother.

We get the story from both Hugo and Brand's perspective, and it helps to flesh out the past as well as the present and even their fears of the future. I greatly enjoyed the immersion into cowboy ranch life, as well as the tentative steps of a now grown man dealing with his ongoing feelings for a man who once kissed him as a teenager.

There are lots of side characters who I am hoping get to feature in future installments, although I want more Hugo and Brand too!

Hugo decides to return to Texas after 10 years away. He takes a job working on the ranch of the family of his childhood best friend. He is also returning to face things he’d run away from. A bad home life, an abusive stepbrother, and Brand, his best mate’s brother who he has been crushing on for years.

This story is written from the point of view of both Hugo and Brand but for me, Hugo was the star. He was the one that I connected with. I thought he was so brave to go back to Texas to see his mum, who he left behind, and to confront his demons. There are some really difficult and heartbreaking scenes that had me crying my eyes out more than once.

The tiny glimmer of hope for Hugo is that there might be a possibility of a relationship with Brand. But there are obstacles in the way, not the least of which is Brand himself not having the courage to actually go after what he really wants. I liked Brand but there were a few times that he made me crazy.

While this story takes its time but is never boring. I really liked the pace and simplicity of life on the ranch. I really loved Hugo. He goes through a lot of ups and downs, and it was an emotional rollercoaster for me. But it was all worth it to see Hugo happy. His Fresh Start Cowboy is a great first book in a new series and I look forward to reading more stories from Woods Ranch.

This is a spin-off of the Clean Slate Ranch series but you don't have to read that series to read this one. I loved most of the books in the Clean Slate Ranch series, so I was excited to start this one. Honestly, I struggled with this book. I thought it was slow and I found myself skimming at times. I couldn't really connect with either Hugo or Brand and that might be why I didn't love this book. The hot and cold, back and forth, and the slow burn just wasn't working for me. I will read the next book in the series; just because this one didn't hit the mark doesn't mean I won't love the next one.



Author Bio

A.M. ARTHUR was born and raised in the same kind of small town she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both the ocean and generational farmland. She's been writing stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. When not exorcising the voices in her head, A.M. can be found in the kitchen experimenting with food and trying not to poison herself or others.

Connect with A.M.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads



Carina Press.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of His Fresh Start Cowboy (Woods Ranch #1) by A.M. Arthur to read and review.

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