ARC REVIEW: Roped In by A.M. Arthur

About the book

Roped In
(Clean Slate Ranch #2)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook
Publication Date: May 21st 2018 by Carina Press
>> Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion <<

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.

review
Roped In is the second installment in the Clean Slate Ranch series and I have to confess to not liking it as much as I liked Wild Trail, the previous book. The main reason for that is the BDSM theme. I’m just not into the whole Dom and Sub thing, or as it is here, the Sir and pet thing.

The other parts of the story I absolutely liked. How Colt had to deal with that big secret of him that’s now out of the bag, and no, I’m not talking about him being gay. That we already knew. You know what secret I’m talking about, if you read book one. Which you absolutely don’t need to have done, before reading Roped In, just saying. The whole dynamics between the different characters I also really liked.

This would have probably been a 4,5 star read, if not for the BDSM thing… which makes me sad, because I basically like everything A.M. Arthur writes.

If you like to read about BDSM and want to have a good angsty M/M read, this is probably a good book for you. Me not so much, but I’m definitely looking forward to Miles’ and Reyes’ story. These two appear broken and I’m really curious.

Rating: 3,5 stars

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[Review] Cost of Repairs by A.M. Arthur

About the book

Cost of Repairs
(Cost of Repairs #1)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook
Publication Date: June 5th 2012
>> Review copy provided by A.M. Arthur in exchange for my honest opinion <<

Samuel Briggs moved to small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, to escape his tragic past and try to start over. When he’s not out walking his beat as a police officer, all he wants is peace, a manageable routine, and time to fix up his newly-purchased project home. And Samuel absolutely does not have room in his new routines for a relationship. Except a chance encounter with a handsome diner cook unexpectedly shakes his resolve.

Rey King lives for his work as a short-order cook, part-time hardware salesman, and full-time handyman. He’s in debt up to his eyeballs, so he isn’t looking for complications. And the gorgeous blond cop who comes to Rey’s rescue is a complication he definitely doesn’t need. Lucky for him, Samuel feels the same way.

But what starts as an afternoon of no-strings sex inevitably complicates itself, as the two men learn how deeply each other’s emotional damage goes. When Rey is seriously injured protecting a friend, their already shaky foundation cracks a little more. Samuel barely pulled his life back together after his first lover’s death and falling in love again isn’t part of his recovery plan. He knows renovations are always a gamble, but this one isn’t about risking money—it’s about Samuel risking his heart.

review

After reading two books by A.M. Arthur that were a bit lighter on the angst, we are now back to the angst level I’ve come to expect whenever I’m reading an A.M. Arthur book. And I’m totally digging it. Some people might say that Cost of Repairs had too much angst and too many twists, and on some days I might agree, but those are usually the days I want something fun and light, which I did not want today.

I made the fatal mistake to start this book at midnight and of course I got hooked and couldn’t put it down. Thank God the following day was a Sunday. I’m not the only one that always is like “only the first few chapters” and ends up reading the whole book, right? Tell me I’m not. LOL.

Anyway, I really liked this style of ~1/3 of the book from Samuels POV, ~1/3 of the book from Reys POV and the last third was kinda a dual POV. Haven’t encountered that in another book so far, usually it changes every other chapter or it stays on the same person the entire book. Anyway I liked this POV style and the writing style in general, of course.

Like I already mentioned this book had a lot of angst, so naturally our characters were somewhat broken and had a lot of secrets. What I liked was that they never pushed the other one to reveal all those secrets. They were comfortable with waiting till the other told them because they wanted to share. Overall their whole relationship was kind of a slowburner, emotionwise. I liked that, it was interesting to read. So many things I didn’t expect.

Also I liked the side characters, especially Jenny, poor girl. I hope to see more of her though the other couples in the next books, even if it’s just a glimpse here and there.

Did I mentioned that this book turned a bit thriller-ish at the end? That was an interesting twist.

I am also aware that Rey and Samuel got a second book later on in this series, but I’m not sure if I’m going to read that, not because I didn’t like this pair – I definitely did! – I’m just not that big on follow-up books. That’s probably just a weird quirk of me, but only time can tell if I pick it up or not. It’s called Acts of Faith, in case you want to check it out.

Ah, who am I kidding? I’m probably still going to pick it up, because this story felt somewhat unfinished without that one thing happening that I can’t mention without it being major spoilerish. It totally made sense to leave it unfinished though. I rather have some things not solved, to keep things more realistic.

Overall I liked this book a lot and can’t wait to read about Schuyler (-> Color of Grace). He was an intriguing characters for sure.

Rating: 4,25 stars

[Review] Wild Trail by A.M. Arthur

About the book

Wild Trail
(Clean Slate Ranch #1)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook
Publication Date: December 11th 2017 by Carina Press

Welcome to Clean Slate Ranch: home of tight jeans, cowboy boots, and rough trails. For some men, it’s a fantasy come true.

Mack Garrett loves the rolling hills surrounding his Northern California dude ranch. Leading vacationers on horse trails with his two best friends is enough – romance is definitely not in the cards. When a sexy tourist shows up at Clean Slate, he’s as far from Mack’s type as can be. So why is the handsome city slicker so far under his skin in less than a day?

Roughing it in the middle of nowhere isn’t anywhere near Wes Bentley’s idea of fun. Then he lays eyes on the gruffest, hottest papa bear he’s ever seen. But Mack is as hard to pin down as he looks – distant, sharp-tongued, and in desperate need of a shave. Until a campout gone wrong strands both men in the mountains with nothing to do but get to know each other.

Mack intends to keep his closely guarded heart out of Wes’ very talented hands. But for a seven-day cowboy, Wes is packing some long-term possibility. The cold country air can do wonders for bringing bodies together – but it will take more than that to bridge the distance between two men whose lives are worlds apart.

review

Once again I’m reading a book by A.M. Arthur and I liked it, didn’t love it, because I had some issues with it, but I liked it.

Let’s start with the positive stuff.

#1: A.M. Arthur’s writing style, I liked her writing style in previous books and also liked it in Wild Trail.

#2: this book wasn’t as angst-filled as her other books, don’t get me wrong, I like angst, but this was a welcomed change.

#3: that action scene near the end was cool and I mean a different kind of action than sex 😉

#4 gay cowboys, I’ve read a lot of M/M books and non of them ever featured cowboys, and while I love my gay/bisexual sport players, this whole cowboy thing was a welcomed change as well.

#5: I liked the characters, especially Mack, and while I liked them and how they all interacted, they are also the cause of all my negative points, which are the following.

The whole daddy/boss nickname situation between Mack and Wes – I did not get that at all, because there was not one element of the whole BDSM dominance stuff in this book and whenever I read one of those two nicknames, I had to cringe inwardly. It just felt off. Might only be me though that thinks so.
Another thing that bugged me just a bit was the relationship overall between Mack and Wes. While I loved that they didn’t immediately jumps into bed to have wild sex, I didn’t get what their relationship was built on. Yes, they have deep talks and date and romance – and I liked it – but I just didn’t feel it. Maybe I’m defective. LOL

Overall I still liked it and will definitely check out the next two books, because I’m curious how the whole Avery and Colt thing will work out, also I’m eager to see if the book about Reyes and Miles will be as slowburner-y as I think it will be.

You know what thing I think A.M. Arthur could also write really well? NA M/M sports themed books, because her books are always – in my unknowing mind – well researched and like I already mentioned I’m a sucker for that setting. LOL, don’t mind me and my cry for more sports themed books, I read a bunch of them and are running out.

Rating: 4 stars

ARC REVIEW: As I Am by A.M. Arthur

*I received this book a while ago, but due to a stressful internship and my very last finals – which are still not over – I kind of abandoned my blog and all the books for which I still own people reviews. So here’s me catching up. I’m sorry it took so long*


About the book

As I Am
(All Saints #3)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook
Publication Date: February 13th 2017 by Carina Press

Will Madden is healing.

Thanks to therapy and a growing support system, he’s taking baby steps into a promising future. One of those steps leads him to an online chat room, where he quickly bonds with fellow PTSD sufferer Taz Zachary.

Despite their virtual connection, Taz is initially freaked out at the idea of meeting Will face-to-face. A sexual relationship may be the last thing on his mind, but his craving for human interaction—and more of the way Will makes him laugh—gives him the courage he needs to take the next step.

In person, the chemistry between them is undeniable. But Will is hurt when Taz doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get him into bed. Still, acceptance, love and happiness all seem within reach for the first time in forever—until demons from the past threaten the future they both finally believe they deserve.

review~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

I love A.M. Arthur’s way of writing “broken” characters, they are so very real. Even though I don’t personally struggle with the problems the characters portray I feel so very connected to them. Another thing I really like about A.M. Arthur’s books is that her New Adult books take their time. There is no insta-love and I absolutely love how the characters get to know each other and fall for each other over time. I also love how we always catch up with characters from previous books.

I totally recommend her All Saints series if you want a M/M romance with some darker elements. I totally hope for a fourth installment in this series.

Rating: 4,5 stars

[Review] The Truth As He Knows It by A.M. Arthur

About the book

The Truth As He Knows It
(Perspective #1)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook, 289 pages
Publication Date: February 10th 2015 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Lies are the chains that keep you weighed down at rock bottom.

Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.

When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.

Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.

The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.

Warning: Following on from the Cost of Repairs series, this book contains a closeted cop who’s looking for love, an indebted stripper who doesn’t believe he’s worthy, and a tasteful abundance of dirty guy sex. Also contains references to past physical abuse some readers may find disturbing.

review~ A big thank you to A.M. Arthur for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion ~

I’m going to start this review of with saying that though I liked the story and the writing style and the like, I also had one major issue. Some of you might think I mean the abuse part of the story, but that’s not it. In fact I liked how the abuse was handled by A.M. Arthur in this book.

No, the major problem I had was the damn insta-lust thing. Truth be told they only had sex on their second meeting, but that first meeting they were both on their “jobs”, so that doesn’t really count. I’m not even quite sure if Shane knew Noel’s name when they had sex and I’m sure that happens often with one night stands, but it kind of bothered me.

Apart from that thing, I quite enjoy The Truth As He Knows It. Maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word, because this book was quite dark and sad – so grab some tissues when you decide to read it – but even though some dark and rough patches Shane and Noel occasionally still got me to chuckle.

Both Shane and Noel had big issues they had to work on, but I liked seeing how they grew together as a couple and how they would tackle the next big obstacle.

Also there was this side character, Tony aka Gabe, that left me quite curious about his story. Then there was Tristan as well – Noel’s friend, who has a problem with his long term memory due to an accident. I would love to know more about his story too and maybe see him getting an HEA. I just don’t know how A.M. Arthur could possibly deal with his memory issue. I don’t really see a solution for that. Tristan was really cute though.

I look forward to reading other books by A.M. Arthur in the future and will definitely return to this series.

Rating: 4 stars

 

[Review] Say It Right by A.M. Arthur

About the book

Say It Right
(All Saints #2)
by A.M. Arthur

ebook, XXX pages
Carina Press
Publication Date: September 12th 2016
ASIN: B01ERP4IKQ

After his parents kicked him out for being gay, Marc Villegas lived on the streets before getting a second chance. Now he’s giving back by working at a shelter for LGBT teenagers—because helping fight their demons keeps his own at bay. Including his infatuation with the former best friend he’s sure is straight.

Anthony Romano hasn’t seen Marc since Marc left home eight years ago. In his confidant’s absence, Anthony turned to heroin. Now at rock bottom, he has an offer from Marc to help him get clean. Detox is hard and ugly, but not as hard as admitting the truth: he’s in love with Marc. Always has been.

Marc swore he’d never date an addict, but he never dreamed the one in question would be the man he’s always wanted to be with. As the two explore their feelings for each other, Marc faces a difficult choice. Say yes, and it could cost him his sobriety; say no, and it could cost him his heart.

review I’m going to jump right into the review with saying that some people might feel like the romance of this book develops too slow, but I personally found that it had the right pace which worked perfectly with the way the story was told.

After reading the first book of this series – and liking it – I was quite happy when I saw that it would get a second installment and was available for review on NetGalley. I have to be honest now and say that I had Say It Right for more than 3 month now. I’ve been kind of procrastinating reading it, because I wasn’t sure I would like it as much as the first one. The reason why I thought that was the image of Marc I had in my head from book one. I wasn’t that interested in his story, but after just the first chapter of Say It Right, I was hooked and loved his POV’s.

I’ve read a few books by A.M. Arthur and this has to be the one with the darkest undertone yet, because it deals with sexual abuse, drug abuse and illness of the body and mind.

Both our main characters struggled a lot, both with their problems and their feelings and I loved to see them develop. From how they didn’t trust each other at the beginning to how the lean on to each other at the ending. They had some really heartbreaking scenes.

I really like how the book was written and should there be a book three in this series, I will definitely read it. Not sure about which character it could be, but I’m all for a third installment of the series.

Rating: 4,25 stars

Come What May by A.M. Arthur

~ Come What May by A.M. Arthur ~

(All Saints #1)
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Date of Publication: May 23rd 2016 by Carina Press
Source: Author, NetGalley

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Synopsis:

Jonas needs Tate. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Or at least, he doesn’t want to admit it. Because there is no way Jonas Ashcroft is gay. He’s a straight, carefree frat boy player, just like any good son of a conservative state senator. If only his struggle to convince everyone —especially himself— didn’t leave him so miserable. No matter how many girls or bottles he drowns himself in, Jonas can neither escape nor accept who he is.

Enter Tate. He’s smart, confident, and instantly sees right through Jonas’s surly exterior. Sure, he’s done things in life he’s not proud of, but he knows who he is and what he wants. And what he wants is Jonas. As their easy friendship intensifies into something more, Tate introduces Jonas to a life he’s never known. One filled with acceptance and sex and a love that terrifies and excites them both.

But some inner demons refuse to be shaken off so easily. When Jonas’s old life barges in, he faces a shattering choice, one that could destroy everything he and Tate have fought so hard for. Sometimes love just isn’t enough—and sometimes it’s exactly what you need.

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[Review] Getting It Right by A.M. Arthur

~ Getting It Right by A.M. Arthur ~

(Restoration #1)
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Date of Publication: March 16th 2015 by Carina Press
Source: Author

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Synopsis:

Detective Nathan Wolf might just be a junior detective, but he tackles every case with the passion that he lacks in his personal life. A series of failed relationships with women has left him still single at thirty-four—because he’s too scared to admit to his longtime crush on his best friend James.

Dr. James Taggert likes to keep his profession as a psychiatrist separate from his party-animal persona. Known around the gay clubs as Tag, he’s the guy who screws them, leaves them, and never looks back. But James’s drinking is getting heavier, and when bad memories from the past resurface, he’s close to becoming the worst version of himself.

After a drunken blackout ends in a hot and heavy make-out session with his very straight best friend, James has no memory of the steamy affair. But Nathan isn’t sorry for the kisses that James can’t remember. Nathan finally musters the courage to tell James how he really feels, but a life-altering event might force them apart before they can ever be together.

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[Review] What You Own by A.M. Arthur

~ What You Own by A.M. Arthur ~


Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Date of Publication: November 29th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Source: Author

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Synopsis:

For Ryan Sanders, the Paige Community Center is more than a place where he teaches at-risk teens about musical theater. He found a sense of belonging there during one of the hardest times of his life. With the center facing a financial crisis, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep the doors open—even soliciting fundraiser donations from Langley-Quartermaine Financial.

Adam Langley has a plan: survive an internship at his father’s company, finish college, get his trust fund, and find his former high school best friend Ryan and beg his forgiveness. In that order, because if Ryan does forgive him, Adam believes he’ll finally find the courage to come out to his wealthy, bigoted father.

Adam’s carefully considered plan is shattered when Ryan appears at the office a full ten months before Adam is ready, and Ryan is just as stunned. Against his better judgment, Adam gets involved with the fundraiser—and Ryan. Old feelings won’t be denied, and as Ryan and Adam reconnect, they realize neither knows the entire truth about the horrific night three years earlier that tore their friendship apart.

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