Horsing Around a Multi-Authored Anthology by Torquere Press


Title: Horsing Around Anthology
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 230
Characters: Multi-Characters
POV: 1st, 3rd
Sub-Genre: Western/Cowboys, Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man. Inside and out, the men who love horses in this collection love other men too. Ride along from the equestrian world in England to the roadside circuses of sunny Florida to the desert sands of the West. Horsing Around stories offer love, lust, and wild rides all around. So dig out your chaps, polish up your stirrups, and oil up that whip. With six stories from Torquere’s best, award-winning authors, Horsing Around is sure to make you squirm in your saddle!

Stories included:
Ride Like a Stallion by Kiernan Kelly
Loadin’ Up by BA Tortuga
Old Scars by Aaron Michaels
Clear Round by Jane Davitt
A Secret in Indigo by Missouri Dalton
For Love and Money by Sean Michael

Review:

Ride Like a Stallion by Kiernan Kelly

As a teenager, T-Bone saves the life of a foal with a plea to his Pa. The foal ain’t worth much, so T-Bone gets him. Gander and T-Bone become inseparable. Then T-Bone meets Jess, a new ranch hand. Both of them are just boys but the attraction is clear and true. But there’s Elroy, a bigoted dick of a ranch manager, who torments both of them mercilessly. Coming out might just kill them both.

I liked how in this story we get the horse’s, Gander’s, point of view in the prologue and epilogue. It set the scene for the emotionally dramatic story. It was new and quite amusing in a good way. There are, however, quite a few clichés here, the main one being the homophobic, violent, cruel ranch manager who abuses T-Bone since childhood, while his Pa does very little about it. He doesn’t even fire the guy. And what that asshole does to Gander and Jess? A bit over the top, though not entirely unrealistic. Apart from that melodramatic piece of plot device, this is actually a pretty good cowboy story. I liked it. 4.25 stars.

Loadin’ Up by BA Tortuga

Kaycee, a horse rancher, and Julian, a safety man for a rodeo, meet, become friends, have a bunch of hot sex, and the promise of a relationship hangs in the air between them. That’s all she wrote, so to speak.

This one is a pretty straightforward cowboys-getting-busy erotic tale. I liked that, no fuss, no muss. The men feel real, rough salt of the earth types, who ride hard and love hard. Recommended. 4.75 stars.

Old Scars by Aaron Michaels

Parker trains horses by his lonesome. Years ago he helped in a prison program, to aid convicts train horses for leniency in their sentences. That’s when he met Jerry. Now, five years later, Jerry is out and looking for work at Parker’s ranch. Trust doesn’t come easy, especially when an undeniable attraction simmers between them. But a dickhead of a parole officer throws a wrench in the machinery.

These men have a hard time with their lives. They wish to love but trust isn’t easy, even when instincts say differently. When Jerry trains a scarred horse, Ace, he shows what he’s made of. I liked him a lot, and the romance for these two good men was one I hoped for. Thankfully, the role of the mean-spirited parole officer wasn’t a long one. Recommended. 4.5 stars.

Clear Round by Jane Davitt

Danny owns a stables in an English village where a traditional celebration takes place every year. But this year the new manor owner, Seth, refuses to let the people use his field. So Danny makes a deal with him about free horse riding lessons in exchange for the use of the field. They get to know each other, and despite their constant bickering, become intimate. But what happens when a perceived transgression jeopardizes their whole affair?

This was pretty much my favorite of the bunch. And it didn’t even have any cowboys in it! Weird. But the writing is good, the story’s intriguing, and the men are such polar opposites that their rowing dialogue was wonderful to read. Male egos dueling in a realistic, sensual way. Loved this. 5 stars.

A Secret in Indigo by Missouri Dalton

Blue has a weight on his shoulders, a past when he lost his partner in a fire. Now he’s working in a circus and Liam, a show rider, is wooing him. But Blue has to return home because apparently the fire that killed his partner wasn’t an accident, but murder. With revenge on the brain he goes home to find the killer, but Liam follows, intent on appealing to Blue’s better nature.

Blue and Liam are so very different. I liked their easygoing chemistry, Blue’s attempt to deflect Liam who is amiably pursuing him. Their moments together were hot and sweet. The writing’s good, the plot a bit on the melodramatic side, but that’s okay. A good story with a positive message in the end. 4.25 stars.

For Love and Money by Sean Michael

Deon is a famous football player. He’s been friends with Truck, a vet, his whole life. They’re friends but they both love each other secretly. Yet they have an arrangement of casual encounters. Then Deon needs help with his fear of horses for a commercial, and suddenly the promise of an eventual future together with Truck seems that much closer.

The moments when Truck helps Deon get closer to horses is very realistic, sensual and lovely to read. The dialogue and the intimacy showed what these men were made of, what their relationship was like, and what more could be if they held onto that promise of finally coming out and being together openly. A deeply character-driven tale of two men, horses, and a love with a big dash of hope. A lovely end to a great anthology. 4.5 stars.

Reviewed By: Susan

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