A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Saddle Up (Clean Slate Ranch #3) by A.M. Arthur

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I’m enjoying this Clean Slate Ranch series that so far has featured love matches for three young men who were friends in San Francisco—two in law enforcement, one a fireman. A series of accidents and heartbreaking injuries and the death of a friend sent them north to work on Mack’s grandfather’s ranch. In book three, it’s Reyes Caldero’s turn to finally find love and happiness and he finds it with Miles Arlington, Mack’s lover Wes’s bestie. Complicated? Not really, but it does show that the book is best read after reading the first two since the characters are intertwined.

Miles takes a job as chef for the newly created ghost-town attraction that Mack is starting on a plot of land surrounded by the main ranch. Wes has talked him into it but Miles is really going because his former abusive lover, Dallas, is back and threatening to ruin the peace of mind Miles has nurtured over the past year away from him.

Reyes is tall, dark, handsome and a former firefighter. He’s stepped into Mack’s role of foreman of the ranch now that Mack is devoting all his time to making the ghost town a success. He and Miles are assigned to bunk together and though they’ve previously met, they finally get a chance to really know one another. And though a romantic attraction develops over the course of time, neither is ready to jump into anything—especially Miles who never told anyone about being sexually abused last year.

The story is fairly long, and it’s the perfect kind of slow burn romance I enjoy. Each man has ghosts to deal with and each needs to learn to trust the other before they can act on their attraction—maybe Miles more so than Reyes, but the author allows time for both the main storyline and several subplots to develop.

Dallas, meanwhile, has set out to find and then harass Miles from a distance, and he refuses to back off. I was pretty happy with the action in this adventure romance and very surprised at what occurs near the end of the story.

I had never read this author before this series, but I’m definitely coming back for more. There’s a sense of family, friendship, trust, and support throughout this story and the secondary characters were as well-rounded as the two MCs. Thoroughly enjoyable, I definitely recommend this to lovers of MM romance, especially if you’d like a little Western flavor to your romance.


The cover features a cowboy dressed all in black facing a man wearing jeans and no shirt. Though not very unique, I can see that it does represent the MCs closely.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: September 17th 2018 by Carina Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesClean Slate Ranch #3

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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