Audio Review: Ariel Tachna – Unstable Stud (Lexington Lovers 1)

unstableAuthor: Ariel Tachna
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Narrator: John Solo

Summary: 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: Luke Davis is a simple man with simple needs, primarily financial. When his mama passed away after a long illness he inherited a huge debt and mucking stalls at the stable owned by sexy, businessman Clay Hunter is helping him chip away at the debt. Living frugally in a garage apartment, he enjoys the company of horses and his landlady and that’s about it.

One day when Mr. Hunter sees how his prized stallion, King of Hearts, interacts with Luke, he’s so impressed he arranges to make Luke King’s permanent handler at a pay raise that Luke finds hard to believe. He certainly can’t accept other kindnesses like using the hot tub at the main house after a hard day’s work. But slowly and surely, Clay breaks down Luke’s resistance and the young man starts to hope that he’ll one day be recognized by Clay as more than King’s handler.

Clay struggles with overcoming his fears for Luke when Luke starts riding King. King hasn’t been ridden since Clay’s lover fell off King and was trampled in a steeplechase accident, but it looks like Luke has what it takes to ride and race with the beautiful horse. Until Luke falls, and Clay breaks down. What chance does Luke have to ever find something more with Clay? Can Luke survive riding? More importantly, can Luke survive his broken heart?

I say this every time but I love these Dreamspun Desires stories. They are hokey and reminiscent of romances I read as a kid, but with MM couples as MCs, of course. But they get to the heart of romance quickly, and like some others I’ve read, this one has endearing characters, including King!

I listened to John Solo’s narration of the audiobook version and enjoyed it thoroughly. His vocalizations were good, each character completely different, including Luke’s landlady. The story itself was sweet and the slow burn between the two men just divine. If you are looking for a few hours of pure entertainment, by all means consider this audiobook.

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