Hoofbeats (Jaime’s Review)

Title: Hoofbeats
Author: A.J. Marcus, Nicole Godfrey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 2/12/2016
Genre(s): m/m Paranormal, Shifter, Equine
Page Count: 200 Pages
Reviewed by: Jaime
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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.

A.J. Marcus and Nicole Godfrey have written a unique book in the world of paranormal shifters. This is a horse shifter book and incorporates Native American folk-lore along with traditional equestrian knowledge. As a horse lover and owner I appreciated this book and the authors ability to put a unique perspective on shifters. Derek Dancing Hawk is our horse shifter, his horse name is Midnight Blood and as a horse he is causing his owner a lot of trouble. Derek is stuck in his horse form after witnessing a trauma and he is not about to allow anyone to ride him, train him or any other normal horse stuff – he outsmarts everyone. Which leads to Cole Frasier being brought in by his owner in a last attempt to tame the wild horse so his wife can show him in Grand Prix style horse shows. Immediately Derek is drawn to Cole and he allows himself to be captured and corralled so he can be closer to Cole. Cole feels a unique draw to Midnight Blood, something he can’t explain. When the horse shows up in his dreams as first a horse and then a man, a man who he is very attracted to — Cole realizes that there is something more to Midnight Blood than others know, and once he reconciles this with his brain – his and Derek’s relationship takes on a different route. The Horse Whisperer and Derek quickly realize that all is not what it seems on the ranch either and they have to work together to protect each other from owners with malicious intent.

This book was confusing because first its written in first person and rotates between present time, dream time, and the past – so you have to read it very slow to make sure you catch all the time shifts or you are totally lost. The ending is not clear cut and there are a lot of questions left open to interpretation. I am not sure if there will be a book two but if there is I hope the authors will choose a different tense to write in or keep it in the same time setting. Love the cover though ~ Very Sexy!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of provided by in exchange of an honest review.

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