Book Reviews

Horizons (Horizons 1) by Mickie B. Ashling at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Doctors/Nurses/EMTs/Vets / Athletes/Coaches / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 23-July-2013

Book Blurb

Twenty-three-year-old Clark Stevens, a popular wide receiver with a potential NFL contract, has a few problems. He's got a jealous girlfriend, a narrow-minded and controlling father, an attention problem, and an unexpected and powerful attraction to the trauma doctor—the male trauma doctor—who treats him for a broken bone.

Dr. Jody Williams is getting some really mixed signals. He can't ignore how much he wants Clark, because it's obvious Clark feels the same way. For the out and proud doctor, the solution seems very simple. For Clark, it's not! His world is not gay-friendly, and the obstacles he's faced have led him to deny his sexuality for years.

It's the Super Bowl of disasters, no matter how you look at it. In the end, Clark has to decide if he's going to stick with the only life he's ever known or take a chance on a new one with Jody.

NOTE: 1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, April 2009.


Book Review

I enjoyed this riveting “jock-comes-out” story tremendously, despite the fact that I am not a fan of football. Perhaps that is because it is about so much more than a gay football player. There is a tender sensitivity to the way the author approaches the story that had me engaged from the first page. Perhaps it was the degree of realism with which both characters were portrayed. At times I felt like a fly on the wall, privy to an intimate view of both characters' deep seated emotions. A very willing fly who rubbed his legs in both anticipation and encouragement, cheering for both men as step by step, they faced their demons and embraced their fevered attraction.

Dr. Jody Williams has only a few minutes left to his ER shift when a gurney bearing an injured football player is wheeled into the hospital. He goes into the patient’s room to find the athlete has an arm injury and is emotionally distressed; he does his best to tend to both. He tries to ignore the fact that the youthful football player is very easy on the eyes and is sending his libido into high alert, but senses that the attractive male is flirting with him. He manages to maintain his professional demeanor, but with each hospital visit the sparks between he and the closeted football player escalate and he begins to trust his belief that Clark feels the magnetic pull between them as well. When his initial overture sends Clark fleeing into a panic, Jody decides the man is worth waiting for, but will he be waiting in vain?

Clark Stevens is a man on a mission. He carries the dreams of his father and close-knit family on his shoulders. With their help he has grown to become a supremely talented college football athlete and has a very good shot at being recruited for the NFL, which would make the entire family’s life golden. So when he finds himself wowed by his doctor, so much so that he actually slips up and starts flirting with him, he realizes he’s in big trouble. With each visit to the hospital, the burning need to somehow act on his feelings intensifies. But how can he? If his father knew that he masturbates to images of men, or even that his pseudo girlfriend, Nikki, doesn’t move him sexually in the least, his father would probably kill him. And he wouldn’t fare much better from the rest of his family. Still, something is different with the doc, he can’t seem to push the feelings away and worse, he doesn’t want to.

Beautifully shown through the eyes of each of these outstanding leads, this is a tale of two hearts recognizing each other and longing to be together and the subsequent struggle to get the mind, with all of its contradictory data, to follow the dictates of the heart. As the doctor and Clark travel the journey to be one, many obstacles, from their own fears to other people’s prejudices, test their resolve. But the men find an abundant source of strength within their courageous souls.
This engrossing and intimate portrait of one man's struggle to be true to himself, and another man’s faith and patience to support that effort, is spellbinding, and had me swiftly turning the pages to devour another episode of the two well-matched characters' lives. I loved it! Thank you, Mickie B. Ashling, for this hypnotic and tantalizing tale. In a word “Enthralling!’





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 250 pages/70007 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 10-July-2013
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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