This is a sweet and gentle romance in the Clean Slate series
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is another one in which the lack of a direct conversation could have removed much of the uncertainty over the relationship’s future.
However, that’s not the primary driver in the narrative and so it didn’t bother me as much as it has in some of the other instalments in the Clean Slate Rance series.
What does drive the plot is actually a really sweet and heartfelt examination of the strength it takes to move on from trauma.
Both Levi and George have suffered from significant incidents in their past, which causes them to have a hesitancy about being able to move on.
I really appreciated the time A.M. took to build up the trust and security that each felt with the other as they went from friendship to relationship.
There is an 11 year age gap, but at no time does it feel like Levi is in a position of power or influence over George. The younger man is already taking his own steps to try and gain control back of his life when he runs into Levi again.
I’ve said in all of my reviews for this series that I absolutely love the setting and, once again, the ranch and the community which has grown up around it is a central element to this story too. It really does feel like it’s a character itself.
The intro prequel chapter, while it shows the moment he found his three kittens, didn’t really give much of an insight into the past as far as it related to his wider background and the element which drove his distrust of new relationships.
We already know he went on a year long bender after the death of his younger brother as that was related in a previous book Lucky Break about his former brother-in-law Robin moving on with Shawn.
But, overall this was another solid addition to the series and I very much appreciated it took a slightly different path with the sexual element of their relationship, one which was wholly in keeping with both their backgrounds and experiences.
#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review