Wild Horses by Asha King
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (138 pages)
Other: M/F, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Aster
Popular blogger Danyiah Jackson is known for finding the humor in anything--until some of her fan mail turns threatening and a stalker makes it clear he's been watching her. She grudgingly accepts the advice of a threat assessment expert and disappears from the online world, taking temporary refuge at a family friend's quarter horse ranch in the country.
Head horse wrangler Adam Cooper isn't thrilled about the smart-mouthed young woman suddenly living and working at the ranch--even if she's drop-dead gorgeous. But their verbal sparring sets his body ablaze and gets his heart racing, and he's drawn to her despite his misgivings.
However as Danyiah and Adam fight their attraction, her stalker draws near, putting not only their fledgling love, but their lives on the line.
A pampered city girl moves to a rough and tough country setting, complete with a rugged, handsome cowboy - who happens to be irritated by every move she makes. That's the beautiful set up to Wild Horses.
Danyiah Jackson is a typical city girl. She likes shopping, sipping latte and blogging. When a crazed stalker begins sending her messages, she's forced to set her blogging, and her many followers, aside and hide away on a remote horse ranch owned by an old friend. For security reasons, her true reason for staying at the ranch remains a secret and instead she's put to work as a ranch hand.
Adam Cooper, the lead horse wrangler, is immediately annoyed by Dani's presence. Her high heels, painted nails and request of a soy chai latte tells him all he needs to know about the type of help she would be. He begins by teaching her lessons on ranch life - the hard way. To his surprise, however, Dani is a quick learner, and within days she's not only keeping up, she actually becomes help in a crisis.
The progression of Dani and Adam's relationship was wonderful to read. The transition from antagonists to lovers was paced wonderfully and I sat at the edge of my seat wondering where the relationship would go next. These two were not star-crossed, their relationship was initially physical, but as they continued, the feelings each felt for the other started to develop and I was rooting for them to find a way to stay together.
The underlying mystery of Dani's stalker took a bit of a backseat and mostly served as a way to place her at the ranch, but it still helped the story along. I did have to remind myself of who the stalker was, once the identity was revealed, but the wonderful relationship between Dani and Adam made up for any weaker points the rest of the story may have had.
In the end, things were not exactly wrapped up, but the impression is left that Dani and Adam got their happily ever after. I would have liked to have seen how that worked - did Dani move to be closer to Adam? Did she fall in love with the life? Things may have been hinted, but we never really get a definitive answer.
With that aside, the story was a joy to read. I'll definitely put Ms. King on my list of authors to read in the future, and if you enjoy a good love/hate relationship, this is a great short story to pick up!