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Saddle Up

Lu par : Greg Boudreaux
Série : Clean Slate Ranch Series, Volume 3
Durée : 9 h et 4 min

Prix : 25,60 €

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Description

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/one-time rescuer happens to work at the ranch. Miles has never been one for the outdoors, but the super-hot 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 audiobook is approximately 86,000 words.

Carina Press acknowledges the editorial services of Alissa Davis.

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

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cranky Reader
  • 14/04/2019

It’s fine

This book is fine. There’s not much there, but it’s mostly a pleasant way to pass time by listening to it. As the 3rd in a trilogy, it’s partly extended epilogue for the previous two books. The best part of Saddle Up is seeing how the Ghost town functions. Reyes & Miles are fundamentally decent, reserved guys who like riding horses together.

Aside for trigger warnings about discussions of a former rapes and threatened rape, and some bloody noses, it’s pretty tame. They have some very careful sexual encounters that escalate carefully. I like the settings, foundations of character, activities, and friendships the author puts together. I just think they get the emotions/actions enough wrong at the climactic scenes to really throw me. I wish they were better at adding low-trauma excitement & writing climactic scenes & endings. This is the 2nd of 3 books by AM Arthur that I liked rather well for 2/3 then went “what the hell? Why are they thinking and doing those wrong things?” in the last third. It’s like going on a long pleasant stroll that ends in white water rapids.

The first third of the book is setting Miles up in his new role as ghost town chef. It’s fun. There are also threats from Miles’s ex, Dallas, and some vague mutterings from Reyes about a bad past. This book contributed to my stockpile of annoyance regarding the “I have a secret that’s super terrible but the reader can’t know it even when we have a POV character thinking about it” plot device. We get hints but the hints are askew from the issue. They don’t help; what they prepared me for was not what got revealed.

The rest of this review is all *Spoilers*, all the time.
The second third is dealing with Dallas’s threats & escalation and the ranch owner’s heart attack. There is some real content about how police don’t take stalking and sexual assault seriously enough. There’s much rushing around but nothing to seriously strain the primary relationship. This relationship is smooth sailing, all the way. They take minor stressors in stride. While this makes for a good indication of compatibility and a foundation of fundamentally being ok with each other’s quirks and needs, not much really rocked the boat. It was pleasant, but there wasn’t a lot to grab on to. It would make for a really nice comfort read except the last third goes haywire.

(Spoilers here) In the last third of the book, the police finally take the threat of Dallas seriously. Yay! BUT. It turns out Dallas has filmed himself raping Miles, so we get clips of that described. Honestly, I kept waiting for Dallas to just start posting a barrage of bad reviews of the ghost town, ranch, and saloon from multiple fake accounts which would have actually been a threat to Miles’s livelihood. But he just sends direct threats that are less bad than what an average woman gets in a month of expressing opinions on the internet. Not that the threats aren’t serious, but the author is seems out of touch with just how badly men are allowed to behave toward sexual partners. People should get hammered for these threats but they don’t. In that light Miles wanting to let it drop is reasonable but I’m glad he filed the restraining order. Still, the videos in the threats are a weird choice.

(Still spoiling away) Then with a another weird choice using a “come to Jesus” moment with a guy from his past, we find out that teenaged Reyes used to run with a gang (we knew about the gang) that did some gay bashing which escalated to gang rape. Reyes was in no position to do anything about it because his stepping in or going for help would have gotten him killed, and probably also raped. He managed not to participate and that in itself was a small miracle. It was less traumatic for him to witness the rape than to be raped but, It was trauma for him too. Unlike Dallas who hurts people repeatedly & deliberately and when called on doing harm does more harm, Reyes changes his life completely after being part of severely harming someone. By the time we meet Reyes, he’s been living his life of attempting to do good works for decades. In part to atone, in part because he discovered he really prefers to be the helper, not the bully. What I don’t get is why everyone flips out when Reyes finally, finally admits that he witnessed a gang rape that he was unable to stop. Yes, he had chosen to be with people who did that, but he got out. He turned himself into a safe person. He’s so soothing to be around that everyone should have suspected a past trauma. I get why the author thinks Miles should be freaked out by the revelation, but I don’t agree with the feelings or reasoning of the characters for getting freaked out. I just did not feel that way at all so the big reveal put me off. If Reyes had been an asshole for 20 years, Miles would never have met Reyes or stuck with him. All my sympathy was for Reyes and the blast from the past. There was literally nothing he could have done to help that victim in the moment. He could not have prevented that boy’s death. The fact that Miles helplessly, but partially in collusion with the perpetrator, witnessed a similarly traumatic death at that same age should have been overlaid in the processing and it was not. There was no other reason for that backstory car accident. Miles could have acted out in some other way and had some other reason to stop acting out or not, still gone to college and still have been prey for Dallas without that car wreck, so why is it there if not to give him sympathy for Reyes’s younger self? That Reyes also turned his life around for good is more important.

(Still spoiling) The unnecessary moment of moral panic did distract me from realizing Reyes never really processes his lack ability to be superman in the rookie’s fire death either. He does eventually show Miles his physical scars and that is a proxy for moving past it but it mostly just gets dropped. Basically, Reyes became a good person who tries to be a safe person to be around and largely succeeds. He’s a good guy, I wish the characters well. But his emotional arc was badly done.

(Spoilers here) I am also put out by Miles getting praise for his *success* at fighting off Dallas rather than praise for his *attempt* to fight off Dallas and relief that the result mostly came out in Miles’s favor. The scene struck me as a weird mix of taking some wrong actions for some wrong reasons mixed in with good actions. “Sticking up for yourself” doesn’t always mean being confrontational and egging an abuser into escalation. Miles could have chosen safer things to say and do and *still* have been successful, and possibly with less damage to himself, in sticking up for himself. There was a soupçon too much toxic masculinity in how he defined “standing up for himself” and it rubbed me wrong when I wanted to cheer him on. I was thinking “Don’t taunt the guy holding you at gunpoint, idiot!” not “Way to go!” in the moment.

People who think the way the author does about the varied events will probably like this book just fine. But for me, the author keeps snatching emotional defeat from the jaws of victory in the home stretch. I checked my progress and when, at 1.25X speed, there was 4 hours of story left, I was basically sold on the cosy low key romance. It could have easily ended there and been a nice little story. I was rightly leery of where it went.

7 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 22/05/2019

Good Read, thanks for the relaxation.

I liked this book, the emotional development and progression of the characters. The story was believable and enjoyable, I will listen to this author again. I really appreciated the way the survivors of abuse were treated in this book, it is very important to represent abuse properly and accurately Thank You.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • SaleneD
  • 09/06/2019

all the stars

I loved everything I love the story I love the narrator couldn't wait to get back to it when I got pulled away from it just all the Stars

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • keishie23
  • 29/03/2019

Perfect ending to this series

Reyes and Miles are beautifully flawed. Greg is an epic narrator. Love the truth of this book, in relation to love, loss, and life in general. Thanks A.M. Arthur

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Christina Wade
  • 05/11/2018

My favorite of the series

This has been sitting on my Kindle for a while. Honestly, after the last book I was a little nervous about reading it. This has not been my favorite series by this author…and I’ve been surprised by that because I’m a big fan of hers. But with Greg Boudreaux performing, I decided to listen to the story and I’m glad I did. This book felt more like a typical A.M. Arthur story and I’m glad for it.

I like the friends-to-lovers angle taken with these two because neither of them needed to rush into anything. Their romance was more believable with the slow build. The story was a bit predictable but it didn’t detract from the story.

There is quite a bit of angst with Miles’ ex continuing to stalk and pursue him. Reyes’ past was shocking but thankfully these guys get their HEA.

Mack and Wes as well as Colt and Avery continue to be big players in this book. We get some hints about a posible future character which I would stick around for if we get another book in the series.

As always, Mr. Boudreaux’s performance was perfection.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • 22/10/2018

I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!!!!!!

This series just keeps getting better. I hope that there will be more book stories in the future. At the very least we need weddings!! I am so glad we finally got Miles story. I knew something bad happened but I didn’t quite go in my mind where the story went. I am so glad that Dallas is going to get what’s coming to him. I’m hoping he’s going to be someone’s little b**** in prison. When happen with Reyes in his younger days was so heartbreaking. I can understand why he did what he did, he was in an impossible situation. These two real helped with the healing of each other. I’m so glad that the ghost town is turning into an amazing attraction and if it was a real place, I would most definitely be spending time there, as well as the ranch. I don’t know what’s up with Mack’s dad and the real reason he showed up, but I think there might be a story there. There are other things that happened in the story that happened but I can’t tell you about as it would spoil it for you. So, if you have read the other stories in this series, you need to pick this one up as soon as it’s available.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Keith b miller
  • 29/09/2018

it is so good

I love this series it is so worth it you will not be disappointed it is in tennis but s good!

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tams (TTC Books and more)
  • 23/09/2018

Save a horse, ride a cowboy!

Each new book in this series draws me further into the world Arthur has created at Clean Slate ranch. I love Reyes big, brooding, protective nature and how Miles brings out the best in him. Both men have darkness in their past but offer each other a safe place, a home.

Boudreaux does an amazing job making sure that each character is clearly definable and has their own voice in the story.

Fans of the author and narrator will surely already have this book in their library. But fans of sexy cowboys, hard fought happy ever afters and passionate romances will like this one as well.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zara
  • 22/09/2018

Sad and sweet.

Sad and sweet. Two men with sad and broken pasts, trying to find happiness together. But pasts are at times hard to keep in the past.

Love the book. Love the amazing narration. Very emotional and enjoyable listen.