Saddle Up by A.M. Arthur (Clean Slate Ranch #3)
Released: September 17, 2018
Reviewed by Mandi
Although there are some darker subject matters in this book, I still found it to be a very sweet, and feel good book. And with that being said, I also found it a little hard to get totally engaged – as everything was just too predictable…and well…a little too sweet. (Am I a jaded and bitter reader????)
Miles is a sous chef with an obsessive, stalker ex-boyfriend. This ex, Dallas, not only roughly manhandled Miles, but Miles is certain he was drugged one night and raped. He broke things off, but Dallas continues to lurk around his work and apartment. When Miles’s friend urges him to take a new chef position at Clean Slate Ranch, Miles thinks this might be the perfect opportunity to further his career, and hide safely away from Dallas.
Reyes becomes Miles’s roommate at the ranch. They have mutual friends and know one another – and both have a great attraction to the other that they try to keep in check. Reyes is a former firefighter who had a tragic experience on the job, and those dark memories still linger with him. He is older than Miles, and has a “knight in shining armor” complex. He will do anything to keep Miles safe, and basically wants to murder Dallas with his bare hands for causing Miles pain. Miles doesn’t want Reyes to always feel this burden, as he tries to play it off that everything is okay.
As they get to know one another more, and work together, a natural progression to romance develops – but it’s slow. Miles isn’t ready for physical romance, still recovering from the trauma that Dallas put him through. Reyes is more than willing to wait and take things as slow as Miles needs.
It’s a very sweet romance. Both are very supportive of the other and Reyes getting growly over Dallas and keeping a keen eye on Miles’ welfare made me smile. But, as I mentioned earlier, it was just a little slow and predictable. We see a lot of the ranch and get some interactions from characters I assume appeared in previous books. It read well as a standalone.