My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really like the setting of AM Arthur’s Clean Slate Ranch series, the found families and friendships between the men and women involved are joyous to behold.
The series has been mostly a hit for me and this fourth book is no exception to the rule.
However, I also found both of the characters frustrating at times and I simply couldn’t understand why Robin had such a sticking point over telling people how his husband had died.
I mean, I totally got the trauma of his husband’s death, the guilt over thinking it was his fault, but when a similar situation arises with the person you’re trying to build a new relationship with, not talking about it just felt utterly alien to me.
Anyways, that aside, both men had issues with communication which skirted on becoming too much for me to enjoy the read but AM kept things tightly controlled without too much internal monologuing or introspection which mean this was a really good slow burn romance in the end.
I liked how they took their time to get to know each other, there’s an eight-year age gap which, while small, was actually pretty huge in terms of life experience. Shawn’s past (which he also refused to talk about!) played a big part in the time Robin took to move things beyond just kissing and heavy petting.
This really made the book shine for me, the care between both of them, even as their lack of communication (on the previously mentioned two specific issues only) – the rest of the time it was beautifully expressed dialogue about their fears and hopes – frustrated me.
There are great guest appearances from all the previous couples in this series, and Miles and Reyes remain my favourite of them all, and a few hints are dropped as to where things might go next and I’m excited to find out more about Levi, Hugh and the rest.
#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review