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.
I was looking forward to reading tis as it’s a shifter story that is a bit different, what with it being a horse shifter and a trainer. It was an easy read and I really enjoyed it, though I will say it felt a bit rushed. We’re only given snippets of the past in brief paragraphs, no real backstory until the very end. The ending felt a bit uneven in the writing as well. I see this written by not one, but two authors, and it shows in the way the storytelling wanders a bit and then the pieces are all stuck together in the end.
The angst is palpable when reading about Cole, but I failed to completely connect with Derek as he was not presented quite as three dimensionally. A lot of reiteration on the single occurrence that led to his traumatic shift and being stuck in his horse form, but not much else really seems to go on besides avoiding Cole and then wanting to get it on with Cole, until the last quarter of the book. Likewise, the mystic aspect with the coyote was fascinating, but strangely left more questions than answers, and not just in the way that book perhaps intended. I think if the book had been expanded bit to explore more of the backstory and given more page time to coyote and other secondary characters who became suddenly important in the end, it would have been a much better book. As it is, it’s a good book, just not a great one.