Don Bradshaw's Reviews > Horizons

Horizons by Mickie B. Ashling
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's review
Jun 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: athlete, college-guys, coming-out, damaged-individual, friends-to-lovers, gay-romance, family-drama, rich-boy, sports, opposites
Read from October 04 to 07, 2012

Reviewed on Hearts On Fire...

I passed over this book twice because the reviews and ratings were all over the place. A good friend finally recommended it to me strongly and I finally dove into this sweet, feel good love story. Jody is a serious trauma doctor with a penchant for falling for hard luck cases. Clark is a deeply closeted college football star who arrives at the hospital with a broken arm. There is more than the usual doctor/patient relationship between the two men but both are hesitant to act on it. This leads to a well paced and beautifully written slow burn game of cat and mouse between Jody and Clark. Both men are carrying around baggage. Jody's last partner was a wealthy HIV positive guy who was always in the gossip news making Jody into a celebrity. Richard died in the end leaving Jody broken hearted and gun shy. Clark is the youngest of five sons born to terribly bigoted parents. He was diagnosed with ADD but his father refused to have Clark put on meds that would have helped him and instead told him that he was dumb and pointed Clark toward a career in football. Clark threw himself into football and excelled but also threw himself into the closet so deeply that the door miles away emotionally. A gay man cannot make it in the NFL is all that runs through Clark's mind. He even has a girlfriend who he loves as a sister for sex but Clark craves Jody and so the struggle to find a balance begins between the closet case and the out and proud doctor. Ms Ashling writing style pulled me into this story quickly. Most of the book is written primarily from Clark's POV with other dialogue between Jody and others written in the third person. I found both Jody and Clark to be wonderful main characters and liked them immediately despite the sometimes over abundance of tears. Some of the scenes were very emotional and I felt their hurt, confusion or happiness and felt a tear myself as it was hard not to become emotionally invested in their story. I thought Lil was a terrific stereotypical gay man who was the complete foil for Clark's disgustingly bigoted father. All of the secondary characters were almost as well fleshed out as Clark and Jody which isn't often seen but helped to make the story flow perfectly. There were some places in the story that Ms Ashling should have done her research better which stops me from giving the book a 5 star rating. There was a lot of sex in the book but it was well written and necessary as Clark was trying to use sex to convey the feelings that he was afraid to say out loud. The twist at the end of the book was excellent and even though I knew the HEA was coming, it was a relief to read it. I highly recommend this emotionally charged book to anyone looking for a sweet and sometimes sappy feel good love story.
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