I received this book for free from Carina Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Saddle Up by A.M. Arthur
Also in this series: Roped In
Series: Clean Slate Ranch #3
Published by Carina Press on September 17, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Small Town, American West, LGBTQ
Source: Carina Press
Reyes Caldero keeps his past buried deep and his emotions buried deeper. But what he doesn’t say he always makes up for with his actions. When the hot chef he once saved from an abusive ex turns up at Clean Slate Ranch, the quiet cowboy is happy to act on their sizzling chemistry, even if he’s not ready to share his secrets—or his heart.
Miles Arlington needs to get the hell out of San Francisco, and heading north for a job near Clean Slate Ranch seems like just the thing. It doesn’t hurt that his secret crush slash onetime rescuer happens to work at the ranch. Miles has never been one for the outdoors, but the superhot Reyes has him ready to saddle up.
Reyes is happy to keep things casual, even though his heart has other ideas. And when Miles is forced to confront his past again, Reyes and Miles will have to put all their trust in each other if they want any chance at building a future together.
One-click with confidence. 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!
This book is approximately 86,000 words
Carina Press acknowledges the editorial services of Alissa Davis
Saddle Up is the third book in the Clean Slate Ranch series, and this is my first introduction to this author. I don’t get a chance to read too much gay romances very often, but I have been itching to read more diverse reads which include those in the LGBTQ community and I saw this one available on Netgalley and I was so thrilled to be accepted to review this one. I just love a good western and with some sexy male love….BRING IT!! I first want to say that this book was AMAZING, so much better than I ever imagined, and I will say that this won’t be the last time that I pick this author up, I was so intrigued by the idea of the Clean Slate Ranch and even though I started at the “end” of the series, I was still able to enjoy this one since you can read it as a stand alone, alone from seeing the other couples, I definitely want to grab up books one and two. The character that we find in this story was so endearing and just thinking about them just makes me smile, I love how close knit their ties of friendship are with each other.
So our fun story begins when with one of our main characters Miles. Miles is a chef and currently works in a restaurant in California, but he is being stalked by his ex boyfriend, Dallas. Now Miles has some serious issues with his ex boyfriend who was very manipulative and abusive and Miles suspects that he raped him a couple of times. Because of how Dallas has treated Miles, Miles is more reserved and a bit shy. He doesn’t feel too comfortable around men, and when his friend Wes convinces him to move to Clean Slate Ranch, to have a fresh start where Dallas can’t reach to him and he would be the head chef in their saloon restaurant. And Miles knows that this is what he needs and he knows his roommate…Reyes who protective him once from Dallas.
Reyes, has his own torment that he deals with in his life, and he hasn’t ever found anyone that he would want to be in a relationship with. Reyes, has a dark past. He turned rebellious as a teenager, hoping to get attention from parents that ignored him, and turned to drugs and a gang but then something horrible happened and changed his life forever and he vowed from then on to only do good in his life. He became a firefighter, but lost a friend in a fire and damaged his legs which brought him to the Ranch which has brought him a semblance of peace but his past still haunts him.
When Miles comes to the ranch, there is a strong attraction between Reyes and Miles, but Reyes knows about Dallas and that Miles is trying to get over the abuse he suffered and offers his hand in friendship. Miles wants Reyes more than anything, but there is a part of him that is terrified, but at the same time he is intrigued and feels excitement around Reyes, a kind of thrill he has never felt before. They take it slow for a while, go riding together, camping out under the stars and just being comfortable together. But much to Reyes shock, Miles makes the first move in the relationship and boy I loved that. We see how much he is tormented by his ex, so I really liked seeing him get stronger every day and make active moves in the relationship.
He was certain he was fighting a losing battle against letting Miles Arlington steal his heart away
Their romance was so heartfelt, there were so many poignant moments that took my breath away, these small moments just breathes life into this story. We see them go from good friends to lovers, plus a slow burn romance and you get one full belly satisfying romance that will curl you from head to toe. I just wanted to do a little dance with every move these two made in their relationship. They are both damaged from their pasts, and it was so provoking seeing them move past their struggles, be open and honest with each other and find peace in each other and of course passion….and LOVE!!!
Strength like this is part of a person. It had just been stomped on so much and beaten down, that you needed time and patience and love to discover it again. You did have strength before me.
The sex scenes in this story were pretty hot….but not too hot. I really admired the way that this author wrote the sex scenes, they were so informative but also sensual and with just the right emotion mixed in to create some elegant love scenes that I just wanted more of. Each of these intimate moments that build between Reyes and Miles just added to their romance step by step. I really don’t think I have read such a diverse read that filled me up with so much emotion. It’s a story that will fill you with pleasure, learning to overcome abuse and rising above the ashes of your past to conquer the demons of the present to savor your future. It’s a love tale that will give you all those happy feels and has such an intense yet tender feel that will bring you to tears and smiles!!