I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Unstable Stud by Ariel Tachna
Series: Lexington Lovers, Dreamspun Desires
Release Date: April 15, 2016
Pages: 204• Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Dreamspinner • Amazon • ARe
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?
This was so damn sweet.
Again, another fun and romantic read from the Dreamspun Desires series and another new to me author under my belt.
Unstable Stud, just the title makes me wonder exactly who we are referring to; King of Hearts, aka King – the horse, or Clay – the studly owner since both are a bit unstable after the death of Nick, Kings rider and Clay’s lover.
We meet Luke Davis as he is working at the Bywater Farm just doing his job, mucking out stalls and doing it with his utmost determination and loyalty because Luke needs this job and the money. You see, Luke is dealing with the recent passing of his mother and having to pay off her medical bills while he lives of the bare necessities and never quite having a social life.
Luke loves working at the farm and with the horses. King is a special horse as he was ridden by the late Nick and King is not keen to many people doing this around him but King was a champion and folks want his babies. Yup, there is a lot of breeding talk in the beginning of this book that honestly, had me kinda uncomfortable. It’s a personal issue for me so I won’t speak much on it but it’s there and parts are odd but, this book is about a horse bringing two men together so it’s relevant. Relevant but not my favorite thing.
Anyway, Luke and King get along well and when Clay sees the horse that used to love only he and his late lover Nick, take to Luke, he promotes Luke from a stable boy to Kings groom and this gives Clay and Luke a chance to be around one another more.
Luke has crushed on Clay the entire six months he has been there but Luke, he doesn’t think too highly of himself as men in the past have basically told him he’s nothing but a pretty face with nothing going on upstairs. It’s gonna take a good man with a lot of love, patience and determination to change Luke’s mind and it’s a good thing Clay is a good and patient man.
I like the approach to the romance, Clay and Luke take their time with the relationship through there is enough UST and tender moments to sustain the reader. I will admit the turnaround happened quickly and it took me a minute to buy that Clay was really into Luke for LUKE and not all the similarities or reminders he brought up of Nick. But once I settled into the romance when it began, I was hooked. I was hooked and it was worth it.
King was a character all his own in the story, his presence was always a joy to read as I am a huge animal lover and once fancied myself a Equine Veterinarian until contradictions arose within my conscious but I sill love watching and being around horses. I wish I’d had the privledge my older siblings did of learning to ride horses as the times we get with riding in the book, made me wistful and nostalgic. I cannot leave out the amazing Mrs. Twitchell as she was a great comfort to Luke as well as a positive influence on him in so many way.
Have I said how much I love this series? Speaking of series, this is listed as “Lexington Lovers” as well, I’m curious where the series will take us next.
Unstable Stud was a lovely slow burn romance that never rushes the gallop of love, but lets you trot your way through until you are comfortable. It’s a story about falling off the horse – literally – and getting back in your seat because it’s where you belong, with the man who will be there with a promise at the end.