Rating: 4.25 stars
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With hopes of a front page article, Will Yeats accepts an assignment from the owner of Flag to research and find a story involving a gay horse jockey. Easier said than done. After a week of research, Will discovers a story about a rumored couple in the center of a controversy at the Kentucky Downs in the 80s. Research into the couple opens up a story that is both confusing and dangerous.
After a disastrous phone call to the pair, Will finds himself confronted with a cease and desist order by means of a handsome lawyer Will can’t take his eyes off of. That lawyer, Francis LeBon, offers Will a deal – a face-to-face interview with the couple in France, but he can’t bring up the controversial race of 1984. Of course he agrees, and in the meantime, finds several ways of entertaining himself by way of the sexy lawyer until he leaves for his trip to France.
His growing feelings for Francis confuse Will, so the separation of a continent may do them good. As Will delves into the world of horse racing and into the lives of Louis and Nic, he finds himself in the middle of a story that doesn’t quite ring true. While in France, Will begins to uncover secrets that don’t exactly make sense to the bigger picture. And to top it all off, Francis started acting strange and isn’t returning Will’s calls. But when Will discovers that the secrets of 1984 may not be as laid to rest as they all think, past hurts and old rivalries are brought to light that have the power to tear apart not only the tenuous bond between Will and Francis, but also the seemingly unbreakable union that is Louis and Nic.
I was excited to start this book. I’m always up for something new – a new subject, a new approach, a new and unique story line. And the world of horseracing and jockeying is something that I haven’t seen a lot of in the m/m genre. And I am happy that I had the chance to dive into Faber’s world of sport and mystery. Thorns is a story of trust and deceit, of secrets and fears, and of love and honesty. It’s a mystery submersed in secrets and lies. It’s a romance full of lust and mistrust. I’ll be honest in saying the first half of the book is good, nothing great, but it is good. It’s the second half that is the best part of the story, where the real story happens. It’s the second half that kept me enthralled.
It’s the characters that make this story so good, Will in particular. Will is a strong and loyal character. As a reporter, he is trustworthy and honest. He has a good head on his shoulders and is extremely likable. Will is full of hope when it comes to his relationship with Francis, but also confused about his feelings for the sexy lawyer. I kind of fell for Francis when he was introduced. Not only is he absolutely sexy, but he’s confident and sweet, for lack of a better word. He’s confused, a little insecure, and patient in his feelings for Will, which makes him all the more attractive. And he’s fiercely protective of the people that he cares for, even to the point of jumping to incorrect conclusions.
And together Will and Francis burn up the sheets. I love that they don’t have the perfect attraction to one another. They fight through their issues. They make mistakes with one another. But they are willing to forgive and forget. They work through their problems and that makes them all the stronger. The fact that they’re an interracial couple comes only secondary to their passion for one another. Which makes them all the sexier.
Overall, Thorns is a really good story with great characters and a wonderful romance. I only wish the first half of the story would have been as entertaining as the second half. But truly, in the end, it’s such a good and precious story that my issues with the first part of the story matters very little. I definitely recommend Thorns by Feliz Faber, and I’m looking forward to what this author has in store in the future.