Fire Horse - Mickie B. Ashling 4.5 stars

My first book by Ms. Ashling, but will not be my last. Fire Horse kept me reading and went places I did not expect it to.

Star polo player Preston wakes up in the hospital lucky not to be paralyzed after a serious fall from his horse, and is basically told he should give up playing to prevent that from becoming a reality. At 45 years old Preston is bitter and self-absorbed with 2 ex-wives and 2 children to support. Not the most likeable man.

Flashback to Preston as a 10 year old child from an unhappy and abusive Texas home meeting 15 year old Konrad, an up and coming polo player who takes him under his wing to teach him the game. What starts out as hero worship evolves to something more and on the eve of Preston leaving for boarding school in England, he confesses his feelings to Konrad. Over the next 4 years Preston pursues a long distance relationship with Konrad never wavering in his professed love. Konrad, however, is reluctant to allow anything more than friendship due to age differences and Konrad's fear of what will happen if anyone finds out that he is gay. Eventually Preston's persistence pays off and the two spend several years in a long distance, clandestine relationship. When Konrad's worst fears come true, both of their lives are changed forever.

I truly enjoyed this well written book. Both main characters had their flaws and at times I wanted to smack each of them for different reasons. There were good secondary characters and the story did not go the way I expected. Definitely a recommended read.