Ruari Byrne may not have had an easy life, but now he’s determined to live in the present, not his past. Trouble is, it’s hard to be independent when you’ve no money and no qualifications. All Ru knows is horses, and when he finds out that his beloved Joni and Cookie are off to auction, his heart is in his throat. How can he protect them if he can’t even look after himself?
Jasim bin Rajhi hadn’t intended to buy two working mares; the horses in his rarefied life are expensive polo ponies, but there’s something that intrigues him about the guileless young man who’s so concerned for their welfare. They might be worlds apart in every way, but Jasim doesn’t want this to be the last time he sees Ru. It can’t be, because Ru might just be the one he’s been waiting for.
Reunited at Jasim’s polo grounds, the pair bond over lives lived in darkness and secrecy. But there’s a truth about Jasim that should make Ru bolt like his beloved horses. Jasim knows he should let Ru go for his own safety, and yet it feels like happiness might be within their grasp. Can they overcome their pasts to trust in a future, or will Jasim’s obligations forever have a hold on him?
Warning: contains references to past abuse and paid-for sex (In a different book), physical violence and abduction. There is one oblique reference to suicide. But no horses were seriously harmed in the making of this tale 🙂
There is much of this book that I loved. But…there are parts that left me wanting. I will say you must read A Long Way Back to understand what happened to Ru and his brother. You could glean it all from this book, but reading the other will add to the story.
What I loved. Ru. Ru not accepting his parents. Ru feeling almost torn about his aunt and uncle. His love of horses and his crow Bela. I really loved that the other main character, Jasim, was Saudi. Definitely an underrepresented nationality in the book world.
What I didn’t love. That Ru is just going about life without any help. I’m sorry, but after going through what he did for 12 years, and to come out fairly unscathed without any therapy at all is a bit much. AND that Ru is fairly sociable, he is funny and witty. How did he become that way when for 12 years he only had a mentally ill aunt and an abusive uncle to speak to? Too much unresolved there. And I get that he is not only a virgin, but had very little physical contact and has no issue with that now.
Back to the story!
I was afraid that reading about polo would be boring. But it really wasn’t. My knowledge of polo is seeing pictures of the royal family on horses and the scene in Pretty Woman when they run on the field to fix the divots. There’s quite a bit more to it than that. Teehee
Jasim wasn’t nearly as cold as he thought he was. Stand offish, yes. But you could see the teddy bear underneath that was dying to come out. Unfortunately, as a Saudi Prince who is a Muslim, he lived in the closet. He feared his family would kill him if they found out he was gay. Which is an actual fear. I just can’t imagine and it breaks my heart that it is really that was in Saudi Arabi. Because of that, I really didn’t see how Jasim and Ru would get their happily ever after. Never fear, readers.
There’s quite a bit more story in there involving the polo team, Jasim’s family, the other polo grooms- including one who has it out for Ru, and we check in with Ru’s brother and his boyfriend Tay.
It’s an excellent story that was interesting and heartbreaking and exciting. My issues with Ru not getting help aside, this is a great finish (I think?) to the series.
4 pieces of eye candy
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