Author: Caitlin Ricci
Series: Part of LT3's Devil's Land Collection
Rating: One Petal
On the Author's Website:
Justin was sent to get a mare, and is helpless to explain to his unhappy boss why he came back with an untouchable gray stallion instead, but there's just something about the horse that wouldn't let him leave it behind.
Of course, because an angry boss and a horse they don't need isn't enough, the horse goes missing—leaving a strange man in his place, a man who speaks in riddles and seems more than a little crazy, but he's also just as hard to refuse as the stallion...
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This story started out well. Justin's descriptions as he walked into the horse show and how he decided to choose which horse to buy were very interesting. Ricci took the time to introduce Justin as a character, giving him depth and interest. Unfortunately, that very short scene was the only good one in the entire story. The rest of the book was a jumbled, near-incomprehensible mess.
I could not discern a plot. The summary laid it out for me, but I honestly couldn't find it in the story. Justin brings home the stallion and without any build-up, suddenly the stallion is a man. There is no description given about the stranger, the reactions to his presence are disproportionate, and within moments Justin is taking the man to a nearby truck stop. And then, BAM!, they're having sex in the car. It started so out of the blue I did a mental double take. The answer to the mystery of what happened to the stallion is told to the reader, but there is nothing further done with the issue despite what the summary implies.
The story lacked emotional weight of any kind. Any worry about the missing stallion was short-lived and felt fake. The sudden appearance of a stranger in the stallion's pen brought a brief moment of surprise that was quickly lost. The sex was soulless and, quite frankly, the story would have been better served without it.
Many other issues became evident as I continued reading. For example, a magical horse that has spent its entire life in the American wilds is calmed with a reference to an antelope. I can't figure out why an African creature would have any bearing on this story. It was very clear that very little research has gone into this book.
Worst of all was the ending. The stranger says that Justin can be a magical creature too, Justin makes a decision on whether he wants to or not, and then the story ended. It felt like I had read a poorly written prologue and then the author decided to chop off the rest of the book with an axe. It was that abrupt.
I do not recommend this book. There was no plot, no emotion, and no real purpose to anything that occurred in the story. It was poorly written overall and very disappointing.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.