Reviewed by Vicki
AUTHORS: A.J. Marcus & Nicole Godfrey
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 12th, 2016
After a run of bad luck, gifted horse trainer Cole Frasier thinks he’s lost his touch. When he’s offered three times his normal rate to gentle a stallion, he needs the money badly enough he jumps at the opportunity, even if his boss is of questionable morality.
Once he meets Midnight Blood, he knows there’s something special about the horse, but he doesn’t know how special until he begins sharing dreams with the magnificent steed.
Derek Dancing Hawk is a horse shifter trapped in his horse form due to guilt over losing the wild herd he was guarding. When he meets Cole, as Midnight Blood, he wants to find a way to be human again. During a fight between Cole and the ranch foreman, he manages to shift and save Cole, but his transformation from horse to human is captured on camera. This not only gives Cole’s boss blackmail material, but also creates the need to warn the horse shifter council of the threat to their anonymity. The existence of shifters is a closely guarded secret, one they will go to great lengths to keep.
The blurb for this book sounded like it would be right up my alley, I like a good shifter book, especially with something other than the typical wolf shifter. I thought I’d give it a try, but unfortunately it fell way flat for me.
The plot started off interesting, Derek Dancing Hawk is a horse shifter, a guardian of his herd, who lost his herd and is trapped in his horse shape. He’s been sold to a man, to be used as a competition horse for the man’s wife. Derek is pretty pissed off at the world, and happy to just go hide out in the pasture and ignore everyone. He knows he’s being watched, so he can’t shift back even if he could. Along comes a new trainer to see what can be done for him.
Cole Frasier is a very skilled horse trainer, normally anyway, but something went badly wrong and he lost his touch. He’s been offered lots of money to train a fiery horse, Midnight Blood. He shows up at the ranch and realizes pretty quickly he’s in a bad place. But he’s stuck. He feels an instant kinship and connection with Midnight Blood, and senses something different about the horse. He begins to bond with the horse, and bring him in to the barn. He also begins to have some strange dreams involving a horse that talks to him.
Eventually it all comes out that Midnight Blood is a horse shifter, Mr. Lopez is a psychopathic drug dealer, and out to cheat on some sort of horse shows using Derek, who he knows is a shifter. There is this whole attempt at using some Native American myths, plus a shifter counsel with enforcers, but none of it worked for me.
It was all just very weird, and not very well done. Every character in this book is just over the top. There was no subtlety, no originality, no mystery. The characters were all predictable and stereotypical. I didn’t like anyone, including Derek and Cole. The writing was off, the dialog was cheesy, and the characters were too over done for me. Parts were way too long, then other things were skipped right over.
I hate to write reviews like this, I wouldn’t have finished this book, and wouldn’t have rated it if I wasn’t doing it for the blog, but I have too….