Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Unstable Stud
Author: Ariel Tachna
Narrator: John Solo
Series: Lexington Lovers #1
Heroes: Clay Hunter/Luke Davis
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 4 Hours, 48 Minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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?
Review – Book: Nikyta reviewed the book here.
And… I can’t say that I agree with her.
I agree that 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.
Impression – Writing/ Story: 5 of 5 stars
Impression – Romance: 2 of 5 stars
Impression – Book: 3.5 of 5 stars
Review – Audio: I was really glad I listened to this rather than read it. If I’d read it, I would 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.
Impression – Audio: 5 of 5 stars
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*