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Release Day Review: Unstable Stud by Ariel Tachna

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Release Day Review: Unstable Stud by Ariel Tachna

Book Info

Book Series
Dreamspun Desires Book 8
About the Author
Ariel Tachna lives outside of Houston with her husband, her daughter and son, and their two dogs. Before moving there, she traveled all over the world, having fallen in love with both France, where she found her husband, and India, where she dreams of retiring some day. She’s bilingual with snippets of four other languages to her credit, and is as in love with languages as she is with writing. 

Visit Ariel at her website or on Facebook or e-mail her at
Publication Date
April 15, 2016
163476854X (ISBN13: 9781634768542)
Lexington Lovers
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?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Delivering an expected, if sweet, end.
(Updated: April 15, 2016)
Unstable Stud is a well written, if predictable, trifle that trots down the road most traveled, delivering an expected, if sweet, end.  

The names, places, and particulars differ, but this horsey saga of a lovelorn stable boy, smitten by the boss man he believes is too far above him to care, is, like Beauty and the Beast, a tale as old as time. That’s why I’m hanging a scant triple crown of stars on the door of Unstable Stud’s stall.

Although familiarity does not breed contempt, along its familiar way, the overworked plot evokes quite a few “Ho-hums: tell me something I don’t knows.”

For six months, young Luke Davis has been diligently mucking stalls at Bywater Farm. That means he has been removing waste from them for the comfort and health of the horses.

Pretty Little Luke is head over horse crap in debt – bills incurred while caring for his now deceased mother. So the boy is shoveling s--- by day, and by night, returning home on his scooter to the modest little room he rents from the motherly Mrs. Twitchell.

Shortly after we meet him, Luke is suddenly, unexpectedly, promoted from stall mucking to primary groomer for King of Hearts. The promotion comes with a big salary raise and health insurance.  But Luke’s new charge, King, come with tragic baggage.

That’s because during The Grand National, the Crown Jewel of all steeplechases, in a freak, horrific accident, King’s rider, Nick Morris, the best steeplechase rider of his generation, was killed. Making matters worse, Nick was the husband of Clay Hunter, King’s co-owner, the rich as Croesus boss man of Bywater Farm, and a total babe.

Following the accident, King has been retired from competition and put out to stud. But the former champ is lonely, and he is not living up to his potential as a Romeo.

As for Nick’s widower, Clay Hunter, this handsome fox has been living a “shadow life” since his husband’s tragic death. Hot Glans Luke would like to change all of that. He fancies the boss man, big time. 

The young groomer brings out the best in King, and unknowingly, he also reignites the pilot light of love in Clay Hunter’s eyes. But sparks will never be fanned into a romantic flame for as long as Luke believes himself inherently unworthy of Clay’s attention. 

Quite simply Luke doesn’t “get it” that sometimes, being young, pretty, and decent, is enough. Such qualities can make it easy as pie to capture any man – including the man who has everything – or, at least – the man who has everything but love. But unless this is among your first romance reads, you can write the rest of the story yourself.

I applaud loudly Ariel Tachna’s writing, with its crisp, clean, and economical style. Hers is no-nonsense, nothing wasted, romantic prose – with romantic being the operative word. Unstable Stud is far more kittenish than it is sexually explicit – and this I cheer. The ability to be sexy without always being sexually graphic is something wonderful

And the author has a deft, sure hand with her characters: be they human, equine, or even unsympathetic. 

Even so, Tachna’s considerable talent would have been better served with a fresher plot. For this reviewer, it’s quite impossible to muster much enthusiasm for a story that was a gay cliché even before I was born.

Top 10 Reviewer 19 reviews
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