Roped In

Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
Series: Clean Slate Ranch Series, Book 2
Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: LGBT, Romance
4.5 out of 5 stars (196 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 book is approximately 88,000 words.

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!

Carina Press acknowledges the editorial services of Alissa Davis.

©2018 A.M. Arthur (P)2018 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mo
  • 09-25-19

Avery ropes in his willing cowboy

I don’t particularly care much for reading or listening to D/S relationships but because this is the second book of a trilogy and I really enjoyed the 1st book I decided to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised.

The setting and what bring the characters together is a lot of happenstance and some of the scenes had me rolling my eyes a bit because trauma victims don’t just get over their issues like this story seems to suggest. But I get that a lot of fast-forwarding was because this is a love story and that’s the main focus.

Colt Woods is an expert in making mistakes and running away and that makes him such a real and relatable character. The D/S scenes weren’t a fix it to all and it made sense for his Dom to help him with his sexual fears but not the exterior ones. Avery was there to support him and forgive him for his redemption journey. Avery is also a Demi sexual Dom and smaller than his Sub which is not something you read about every day and that was a really nice break from the norm.

Greg Boudreaux is an amazing voice actor and he was such a good fit for this story. I’m fast becoming a devoted fan and I’ll probably go looking for more stories narrated by him after I’m done with this series.

Gives this books a shot and fall in love with these two as Avery ropes in his willing cowboy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Enough with the gratuitous sex.

I cannot believe that this is by the same author who wrote the Breaking Free Omegaverse stories. Those novels, while heavy, are fantastic. This series basically has the thinnest whisper of a continuing plot and about 80% of boring sex scenes, chapter after chapter after chapter. I am totally fine with gay sex in my books, and sometimes even seek it out. These scenes just go on and on, yet I still can't feel any heat between Colt and Avery.

As an aside, Avery is the whiniest Dom I have EVER come across in all my reading. It's like he doesn't have one dominant bone in his body and all his inner ruminations sound like they are from a 14 year old girl. He CONSTANTLY feels insecure about Colt's true feelings and motives regarding him, then on a dime, switches personality and starts flinging commands and whips. It's not believable.

I'm also really tired of the Colt-Mack situation. It just lays there like some sort of dramatic subplot, but it doesn't really go anywhere, at least where I stopped listening, which was about 2/3 of the way through the book.

Despite Greg Boudreaux's stellar performance (the man could make an appliance user manual sound interesting), I can't even finish this. At least book 1 had Wes and other characters who had thoughts and actions, and some actual plot. This book lacks even those. Any other people in this book are like shadows.

I just want a refund and will probably skip future books in this series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this series

Poor Colt carrying that horrible secret for all those years and now we he has to not only try to mend his friendship with Mack but also work with his ex Avery. But Colt can't stay away from his "Sir" & Avery can't stay away from his "Pet". I loved that we got to see how they came together originally. We also get some back story on their families. I loved watching these two slowly work back towards each other. Even though they are afraid to open their hearts again to each other, they can't deny their feelings. I'm happy to see that Colt & Mack are working things out. I don't really believe Colt's father but maybe 16 or so years changes things. I can't wait for the next book in the series. As always, Mr. Boudreaux does an amazing job narrating this story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Perfection

Wonderfully flawed characters. What an epic narration!! Not to mention an incredibly sexy story. I personally love the BDSM elements to this take.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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THIS ALMOST RUINED SERIES FOR ME HATE AVERY

ALWAYS SOTRA LIKE SOME LIKE SOME BDSM BUT NOT A SISSY DOM THE WHOLE STORY WAS SO UNREAL AND MADE ME SORTA SICK FOR COLE

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Wasn't Roped In

I enjoyed book one more. I admire the narrator's ability to create such distinct voices for the hero's of the story... but sometimes his emphasis is off.... story wise I didnt find the Avery character to be the least bit likable. the family stuff was done very well.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Really liked most of it. Really didn’t like the last 20%.

Listening to the series in order, I started out liking this book more than the previous book. Depth was added with flashbacks, there was a lot to detail to work out to make the m/m relationship work, and it’s almost a favorite trope of hookups to lovers, except that it starts further back with a no sex D/s to lovers. The BDSM scenes are safe, sane, consensual, and smoking hot. Theres’s some continuation of plot/emotional arc from the first book that’s smoothly worked in. This book has noticeably more sex in it than the first in the series despite lovers with different sex drives. And a lot of the book worked for me. If the early part wasn’t so good, though, I wouldn’t have gotten so upset when it stopped being good. What I didn’t like probably isn’t enough to not recommend it…

HOWEVER (Spoilers until final paragraph.)
Colt has a lot of issues that he needs to work through. Avery has few overt issues and has mostly settled in his skin by the time we meet him. But this unbalanced the book. There was discussion about what to call Avery, given that he’s not totally asexual, but it was a lame “I don’t want to pick a label” discussion when it should have been about the fact that 2 lovers vowing exclusivity have wildly different sex drives and how that is more risky for Colt than Avery. Because Avery might be fine with no sex in the future but Colton will not be. They have a discussion that almost gets there but goes the wrong way. Their discussion had Colt essentially saying “oh baby, I love you so much I don’t need sex” which is unfair & untrue. Worse, Avery’s main panic in the emotional arc is that Colt only/mostly likes him as a Dom when he would likely be just fine with that arrangement more so than the reverse. So why does that cause Avery concern at all? Avery should be reassuring Colt that he’s dtf in this convo.

(more spoilers) Then, I think because Avery has few self driven issues, there’s some wildly implausible pushback from his mom. It’s totally possible that someone could be BDSM friendly but not gay friendly… but not for the reasons Violet gave. Her reasons were stupid and shallow. Avery’s thankfully short response was more than her non-bombshell deserved. An emotionally healthy 30-something who has never searched for his absentee father should know better than to think that his sperm donor’s disappearing act had anything to do with the quality of child he was and everything to do with the donor not wanting the responsibility of a child. This should not be a novel concept in this day and age. Little kids feel that way. If adults feel that way, they aren’t done with therapy and Avery is pretty put together. Like I said, it was short and out of character and completely threw me. I rolled my eyes HARD.

(Still spoilers) And I kept rolling my eyes until they physically showed up at Colt’s family home. Even though I agreed that Colt needed a scene when they had a scene, something about it made me cringe. Plus, they kept saying the “worst” outcome was getting a door slammed in their faces. No. In the middle of hundreds of acres of nowhere, Texas, the worst case scenario is that the family shoots them both dead and buries their gay bodies in the back of beyond. Thankfully, the family reunion goes pretty well, all things considered, and I was willing to forgive the detour to crazy town that started during Violet’s smoke break.

(yep, still spoilers) Also, don’t spring a new, serious relationship on the guests of honor during a huge public gathering. Give them a heads up. That’s basic courtesy unless you and your SO want to be shunned from family events for life. Avery’s grands are wonderful but the party was not about Avery. The party was about his grandparents.

(Still more spoilers & venting of spleen.) So I was back in the saddle after Colt’s attempt to reconnect went pretty well. But the scene afterward where Colt was looking into job options for Avery and Avery’s control freak self goes haywire? It was wrong in just about every way. Yes, the person making a job change or relocating has final say. But to think for a second that job changes or relocation should not be thoroughly discussed by the couple in advance is pure insanity. Both people in the relationship get to have their say. Only in an abusive situation (or sudden incapacity) should one person be making major decisions about where either of them live & work without soliciting the other party’s opinion. Avery walking off his mad was the only smart thing in that whole act. Avery being mad that Colt was looking for options was crazy. Avery needed to grovel for getting angry at Colt’s totally normal job inquiry. There was some nonsense about how “Colt totally used to pressure him all the time” but it came out of the blue for this reader. Colt never pressured Avery to *move* before this scene in the current arc & it wouldn’t have been required in the flashback arc because they both lived in LA until Colt dumped Avery & moved north. Plus, we got plenty of flashback scenes but we never *see* Colt pressure Avery not to travel or take certain jobs, we just get Avery saying it. But this was a long book. There was room for that scene and it needed to be there to justify Avery’s stupid snit. Of course Colt wants Avery to move! (1) Academics almost always move after getting a PhD. (2) Avery’s work is demonstrated to be largely portable and remote location friendly. (3) Colt has found his “forever home” at the ranch, not just a job. Unless he decides to break out on his own (something he never wants), Avery will HAVE to come closer to Colt or give up the relationship. I’m not saying that people who prefer to live apart can’t make that arrangement work, but Avery is basically staying apart as some sort of asinine purity test for Colt, not because he wants to live separately. I’m saying tuis couple should not live separately after Avery defends his thesis. And Avery’s job does not require him to live separately. So to think that Colt is out of line for inquiring about local job availability for his lover is ass backwards. Avery should be apologizing for keeping his own inquiry into moving north a secret. Or stating that he meant to discuss it after the stressors of the Grandparent shindig & the Texas trip. Delaying until info is in hand and emotions are calmed is fine. Springing a relocation on a significant other like a surprise party is abhorent. I get increasingly mad at Avery & the author as I think about this scene. My previous quibbles took off half a star. This act knocked off at least 1.5 stars. (Colt left but came back. That is a healthy progression in his learning not to leave. It was fine, showing healthy personal growth, & I have no beef with that part.) Avery was a great guy until this scene. I am also not entirely fond of how their living situation is shaping up.
(end /spoilers)

There you have it. I liked the book until it went off the rails. And where it went off the rails for me will probably surprise folks as the bdsm plays no major role in what goes wrong. It’s the healthiest thing about these guys. I won’t warn you off this book but I will say that it starts out great and crashes hard with character violations & relationship no-nos about 80% of the way through.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hot, passionate, and endearing

A unique trait of this gay romance series is that the sequel was just as exciting as the first. This second book does a fantastic job in keeping the story interesting by growing a new relationship between two supporting roles from the first book. My favorite quality is that the characters are multidimensional and really grow throughout the book. Of course, the sexy scenes definitely keep the story enticing. I highly recommend!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful D/s Second Chance Romance!

What a beautiful story of a D/s relationship. A second chance romance for these guys in their mid-thirties, and their history has so many levels, so many challenges. I adored how slow the pace is in this story, giving everyone time to process and develop trust - it was lovely.

Both Avery and Colt have things they need to address and rushing right in to a happily-ever-after is definitely not realistic. Thankfully A.M. Arthur doesn't do that to us which makes everything mean so much more.

(Also, I loved the ending - I was a bit surprised, but it was great.)

Some of the loveliest BDSM scenes I've read in ages, and the rope scenes? esp the details of the Shibari work is incredible, it's easy to imagine just how Colt looked tied up like that - beautiful.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wow

Love this series. Good story, great characters with interesting plots and personalities.
Really enjoyed listening to this book.

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  • Pixiebell
  • 06-05-18

Great follow up

This is the second book in the series and I would recommend that you listen to Wild Trail first as it sets the scene to Colt and Avery’s story.
A second chance love story with a BDSM theme running throughout. The BDSM is more of a dynamic within the relationship rather than them having a full blown 24/7 D/s relationship.
I liked how the back story was interwoven within the main story but it sometimes became a little confusing where I was but I orientated pretty quickly.
The other wonderfully developed characters we are introduced to and met again at Clean Slate add depth and set the scene for further books. I’m intrigued to know what Mile’s story is and if Reyes is his Happy Ever After?
As alway Greg Boudreaux did a stellar job at narrating.

1 person found this helpful