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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Half Pass by Astrid Amara

Half Pass by Astrid Amara
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary, suspense/mystery
Length: Full Length (385 pages)
Other: m/m, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Myrtle

He looks good on a horse, but it’s hard to love a man with a big ego and a small alibi.

Paul King’s inheritance is named Serenity Stables, but for him it’s far from serene. He has one plan for the crumbling facility: unload it as fast as possible. But two months on the market, and he’s still mucking stalls and dreaming of his old life back in San Francisco.

It doesn’t help that he seems to have misplaced a horse. Not just any horse—Tux, a million-dollar Warmblood who, despite lacking opposable thumbs, has an Olympic medal to its name. So does its Brazilian trainer, Estevan Souza, a man whose darkly sexual, smoldering glances almost make Paul forget his horse phobia.

Intriguing as Paul finds Estevan, distractions are piling up. The boarders are picky. The arena roof is leaking. His drunken cousin is wreaking havoc. Tux’s owners are threatening to sue. On top of that, a bucket of blood points to possible murder.

Suddenly, Estevan’s glances are looking more suspicious than sinful. And, if Paul can’t come up with a plan to save Tux, he could lose not only his chance with Estevan, but his life.

“Life takes a dump, and you scoop it up and move on.” That is how Paul King felt when he lost his job and inherited a run-down equestrian boarding facility from his aunt Beth. Most of us can all relate to downsizing in today’s economy and know how if feels to let go of a job you love and take on a job you hate, like cleaning horse stalls in a backwoods town you left behind years ago.

It was the title and horse on the cover of this book that caught my eye and the rest was history because I had to get it. I have never read any of Astrid Amara's books, so I was very pleased at her knowledge of horses and the running of equestrian boarding facilities, which not only added a feel of realism but also created an incredible entertaining story. As I watched the unique and charming personalities of Paul and Estevan Souza come alive as well as the secondary characters, I found it hard to put the book down. However, this story is not a short read so I could not finish it before bedtime.

Up early the next day, I had my nose back in the book eager to see if a missing horse had been found or if he was dead. I also needed to find out if there was anything going on between Paul and Estevan, who seemed to be dancing around each other without really coming out and giving you an idea if there was more than friendship connecting them. To say that I was completely blown away with the plot and all the action that took place within the story is an understatement, for I found myself completely enchanted by the story line as well as the characters and chomping at the bit to see what would happen next.

There is definitely conflict, trust issues, mystery, and suspense found through out the pages that made it hard to lay the book down. I found it well written and jam-packed with all the elements that make a book worth reading. I'm definitely looking for more books by this author. It was a pleasure to review this story and recommend it to all my friends.

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