Destin Bellingham has inherited a problem. Thanks to his late playboy father, Destin faces putting a For Sale sign on his family’s historic horse farm. Getting his talented stallion, Black Sambuca, into the Grand Prix show ring would put Bellmeade back on the map—if only someone could make “Sam” behave like a show horse.
Disgraced top rider Tonio Benedetto has his own problems, but he can work magic with difficult jumpers, so Destin hires him despite his bad-boy reputation. The street-smart, openly gay loudmouth from Miami and the closeted, buttoned-down son of Old Dominion Virginia make a rocky pairing, but time is running out to save Bellmeade from bankruptcy.
Opposites attract, sparks of tension grow into flames of passion. But if Tonio fails to tame Sam, will true love become a lost cause too?
I had to think a lot about this book. The scene setting is good. The descriptions give a sense of how beautiful the area is. The romance side took a back seat to Destin’s struggle to keep the farm afloat. I didn’t have a problem with that but both Destin and Tonio seem to have problems that were only skated over. Destin has to come to terms with his feelings about his father and Tonio with his behaviour that triggered his bad boy reputation. Together they have a chance of making the farm viable again. On the romance side I didn’t really feel it. There was something missing for me and I can’t identify it. In my opinion the star of the story is Black Sambuca, Sam for short. This is one smart feisty horse. His stubbornness keeps Tonio guessing and almost proves too much of a challenge. In the end though it all comes together in a happy ending.
3 of stars out of 5