Horses were his passion, until he laid eyes on his boss.
Eighteen months ago, tragedy struck Bywater Farm when a riding accident killed Clay Hunter's lover and traumatized his prize horse, King of Hearts. Clay and King lingered in limbo, surviving but not really living, until a breath of fresh air in the form of Luke Davis, a new groom in the stud barn, revives them both.
When a fall from King's back sends Luke to the emergency room, Clay watches the shaky foundation of their budding relationship tumble down. Can Clay really love a jockey again, or will his fear of losing another man he loves keep them apart for good?
©2016 Ariel Tachna (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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"Fair story, good narration"
The writing was good, and Luke was a great character, however, I never felt the chemistry between him and Clay. If anything, this story reminded me of my days as a young girl reading Black Beauty and The Black Stallion – an homage to a boys’ love of his horse – more than anything. (Not in a squicky way!!!)
To me this was romantic fiction. A gay character helping to find himself and help to heal his boss. Yes, they fall in love at the end, but 99% of the story is a VERY detailed, step-by-step way to re-train a traumatized horse.
It was obvious the author knew what she was talking about, and I learned a lot (which is saying something given my day job ;) ) but Clay was almost never around and when he was around he was kind of a jerk. (Understandably, sure, but still a jerk.)
I felt like the occasional comments of “Oh, if only Clay were here…” were throwaway to bring us back to the fact that this was supposed to be a romance. Instead, it felt a little out of place.
That being said, it was an interesting story. VERY slow burn, only one true moment of passion (done well) but mostly a story about a boy falling in love with a new career as a jockey and the horse that made it happen.
Writing/ Story 5 of 5 stars
Romance 2 of 5 stars
Overall 3.5 of 5 stars
I was really glad I’d listened to this rather than read it. If I’d read it I’d have been tempted to skim and I’d have missed all the great work John Solo did. He did the landlady Southern Belle very well, and there were a couple of really emotional scenes when Luke is injured that he really poured out his heart for. I also stuck with the story far longer than I would have if I’d been reading it.
5 of 5 stars
Overall for the audiobook 4 of 5 stars
I am loving this line of books and this story is a perfect example of why. This was a solid romance between two characters with heart. There was enough emotional history and growth to give this one depth and emphasize the warm feeling the happy gives the reader. This one was well written and was a great addition to the Dreamspun desires line.
The narration was solid and brought out the best in all the characters. The emotion was clear and listening to the audio version was very enjoyable.
"Super Sweet, untried virgin romance."
I always enjoy big hot studs, and their trainers too. This book is full of cotton candy sweet romance. It's fun to see Luke's adventure into learning to gain a broken horses trust, and handle what other's had deemed a dangerous horse to the point of riding him. Learning to handle his owner could be just as trying. There is a smidge of angst here, dealing with a lost love, a dead mother, and two souls daring to love, but it's mild. As far as the steamy scenes, it's very slow, and very timid, and oh so sweet. I actually think, though I feel SO very wrong for saying it, that the hottest scene was actually near the beginning, where Luke's imagination gets away with him when King is performing his stud service, and his new boss Clay is nearby. It's totally weird, strange, but oddly hot. Not quite sure why, but that scene stuck with me. I imagined Lay riding Luke in the arena after that, but alas, this is not a kinky story. This is a slow build to a sweet romance, of the untried virgin variety, but knowing that, if you're looking for a sweet love story then that's what Tachna delivers, beautifully narrated, with plenty of interesting characters.
"It was just ok...."
The story was written solely from Luke's perspective. So I knew what he was thinking about his boss. But Clay remained a mystery. I didn't get the feeling from him as a character. I didn't know how, when, or why he started to pay attention to Luke.
I guess I wasn't really convinced because Luke also spent more time with the stallion rather than with Clay. I got more relationship feel between Luke and King rather than Luke and Clay.
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