Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fire Horse

Title: Fire Horse
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62380-578-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

With a refined English mother and a rough Texan father, who liked to use his fists, Preston Fawkes had a troubled home life. By age ten, he wanted to become a polo player. Meeting fifteen-year-old Konrad Schnell at the San Antonio Polo Club sends him on a path that will change his life.  As Preston grows older, he and Konrad grow much closer and when he’s sent to boarding school in England, they’re both devastated.  

The distance and their age difference make it hard to keep up a relationship and Konrad is traveling, while playing polo. But most of all it’s the fear of what would happen if their relationship is exposed. Then the worst happens and they’re separated, sending Preston on a path that will rule his life—being the best polo player possible. But is he happy?

Fire Horse is the newest release by Mickie B. Ashling. It’s well written, with a complicated plot that moves seamlessly from the present, to the past and back again.  The pacing is smooth and there are lots of vivid details that help bring the story to life. Since I know so little about polo, I liked learning about the ‘sport of kings’ and enjoyed it as the story premise. 

The story is told from Preston’s viewpoint, so we never learn what went on in Konrad’s head, only Preston’s reaction. It’s a big drawback for me because of the obvious deep emotional pain both men felt and the amount of baggage they carried. The differences between Preston’s life in Texas and England are handled nicely. It’s just one example of Ms. Ashling’s descriptive ability that permeates the entire story. Now to the characters. The personalities of all the characters are well developed but I still have mixed feelings about them—Preston in particular. He really doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. He’s rude, arrogant, conceited, annoying and won’t listen to anyone. I truly think he’s a character you’ll either love or hate, with no middle ground.

Maybe I should have seen it coming but I was surprised by the last scenes. I think you’ll like it. I am a bit disappointed at how abruptly the book ended and while I’m not a big fan of epilogues, I think in this instance a short one would have been nice. 

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