Title: Dark Horse
Author: Kate Sherwood
Length: 384 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: Moderate
Overall Rating: 4 tearjerking hearts
Synopsis: Dan thinks about just driving, leaving the whole mess behind. He’s got enough money. He could just arrange to get his stuff and his horse shipped to wherever he’s going. Taking off is what he used to do when things got to be too much, and it worked pretty well, really.
Dan Wheeler thought he’d found lasting love and stability with his life and work partner, Justin Archer. But when Dan finds himself alone again, still working as a horse trainer for Justin’s parents, he has to find a way to accept that his perfect life is gone forever.
Then he meets billionaire Evan Kaminski, who arrives to buy a horse for his younger sister, and Evan’s lover Jeff Stevens, a horse trainer who seems to understand more than just Dan’s job. Struggling to deal with all the upheavals in his life, Dan finds himself drawn to both Evan’s mercurial passion and Jeff’s quiet wisdom. Is Dan strong enough to take a chance on new love, or would it be better—safer—for him to be alone?
– via goodreads
Review: Why did I put off reading this one for so long?
I really loved that the author took the time to develop relationships in this one. No instalove, thank god. The first half of this book broke my heart though. Dan’s love, and his grief for Justin were almost tangible. More than one tear fell while I read about them and it amazed me that I could become so attached to a character that I never met. Dan’s memories were rather powerful, and full of so much love I can’t imagine anyone not loving Justin.
Evan. What can I say about Evan? He got on my nerves initially. I didn’t like him much. He was too pushy, too domineering, too obnoxious. Just too much. Ironically though, the very reasons that I didn’t like him, made him almost endearing a few chapters later. I can tell you the exact moment I fell for him: Sitting in the parking lot of the drive-thru restaurant with Dan, hunched down in his seat b/c he fears his assistant can somehow see him. He kept saying that she knew everything and she scared him. I can picture that so vividly and it made me smile. He’s got a playfulness to him, but also a very sensual, sexy side as well. The kiss on Jeff’s neck in front of Dan when they proposed their arrangement was far hotter than it had any right to be. (Although, it could’ve been my exhibitionist kink too. Who knows. 😉
Jeff. Jeff reminded me of a warm fuzzy blanket you could wrap yourself up in on a cool night. Pure warmth and comfort. He was very gentle and sweet, nurturing and kind. How he took care of Dan during Justin’s funeral just broke my heart. You would think him and Justin wouldn’t work together, but somehow they do and it’s a sweet thing to witness.
Dan. That boy is so damaged. More than once I wanted to smack him, but I also understood where he was coming from. I’m not sure if he’ll ever recover from losing Justin. Moreover, he’s got even more baggage from a past he not only ran away from, but also continues to haunt him. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of it either.
Some authors write characters where they only differ by name, but these three couldn’t be more different if they tried. It made for very interesting reading and I loved peeling back the layers of them as I got further into the story. I can’t wait for more from this series. I hope that it continues to be as good
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon