A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Roped In by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Roped InGraham has been riding the rodeo circuit for years, and he and his partner, Jackson, have won the calf-roping championship and set high standards for competitors many times. But this year is different. This year, there’s a complication—a group of animal rights protestors are creating a commotion outside the arena, and more specifically, outside the barn where Graham and Jackson house their horses and Graham intends to stop them. But when he gets face to face with them, he’s halted in his tracks by his sudden attraction to one of the young men. Kaz is a college student, vegan, activist, and gay, and he’s stunned by his attraction to the cowboy who comes out to confront his group. He couldn’t be gay too, could he?

Unwilling to act on his desires for men, Graham keeps them hidden from all but Jackson and now, Kaz. Last year, during the regionals, his long-time love for Jackson led him to accept Jackson’s drunken advances one night, but at the last minute, he chickened out and ran. Now, though he’s still attracted to Jackson, his attraction to Kaz is stronger. And when he bumps into Kaz one night at a local bar, the two go home together after Kaz indicates he’d like to show Graham something. What he shows him is a night of pleasure as Graham submits to being tied with rope and allowing Kaz more than he’s ever allowed another man. But the next morning, after Kaz leaves, Jackson confronts him, and it’s the beginning of the end of their partnership when Graham learns what Jackson has to say about their past encounter and Jackson’s opinion of Graham’s attraction to Kaz.

This is an enjoyable story, and it’s fairly short, though it would have been nice if it was longer. I love both of these authors, and the two together were making those ropes smoke! If you like enemies-to-lovers stories, or you like a little mild bondage in your MM romance, you should enjoy this one. And unlike some novellas with a similar theme, there’s much more here than the romance and sex. The story does a good job of highlighting both sides in the protests about cruelty to rodeo animals and even touches on equine rescue efforts.

Considering the length of the story, I found the characters well-developed—both MCs and Jackson.  In fact, I was hoping there was a follow-up story about Jackson, but there doesn’t appear to be one as this isn’t listed as being the beginning of a series. However, if the authors or publishers are taking votes, count my vote in for a Jackson sequel. I’d love much more of this world, and I’d certainly love to see Jackson emerge from the closet and “rope in” his own man.

Cover art by L.C. Chase is perfect for the story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd edition, 155 pages
Published June 20th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published April 20th 2014)
Original TitleRoped In
ISBN 1626494614 (ISBN13: 9781626494619)
Edition LanguageEnglish

L.A. Witt Talks “Research vs Real World Experience” in ‘Roped In’ by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt( Giveaway)

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Roped In

Roped In by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt
R
iptide Publishing
Cover by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has the pleasure of having the authors of Roped In here today to talk about the issue of research and writing.  Welcome Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt.

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Research vs Real World Experience

Roped In is one of those books that required some research, but also tapped into some of my real world experience. No, I’m not talking about the BDSM side of things.

See, I was raised around horses. Some of my earliest memories are of horse shows. I actually have a horse show ribbon of my own from a couple of months before I turned three (my mom was leading the horse), and that isn’t the first horse show I remember. As a teenager, I rode competitively in Washington state, mostly on the Morgan horse circuit. Even though I haven’t competed in a while (really really really need to get back into that…), everything horse is pretty much in my blood.

So… you could say I have some experience with the hooved ones.  More often than not, if my characters are interacting with horses, it’s at least some personal experience talking. I would like to say that isn’t true about the scene in one of my hetero books where a character is trapped inside a trailer with a panicking horse, but no, that scene came from real life. Not really a good way to spend an afternoon, would not do again, 0/5 stars.

Anyway, when it came time to write Roped In, there was also some research needed. After all, I’ve never ridden in a rodeo in my life. I’ve never done roping or anything like it (y’all I can barely tie my shoes). I’ve watched it, and I have friends who do it, but firsthand experience? Not so much. So, I hunted down some of my rodeo-inclined friends, watched some videos online, read what I could get my hands on. (As did Marie, of course!)  For scenes like when Kaz and Graham are trying to rescue a scared and neglected horse, that mostly came from real-world experience.

And writing that book, just like writing After the Fall, only made the “OMG I WANT A HORSE” voice get that much louder in my head. Hopefully that voice will be getting its wish sometime next year. After all, I’ve always wanted an Andalusian horse, and I do live in Andalusia…

About Roped In

Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.

(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)

About Marie Sexton

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.

Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

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About L. A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Roped In, Marie and L.A. are giving away $20 in Riptide Publishing credit plus one ebook from each of their backlists. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 25, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!