Fire Horse - Mickie B. Ashling This book. This goddamn book.
Okay, before I start on my little rant for the day, I just want to say that one of those little stars up there is for the fact that this book prompted me to google Argentinean polo players, and for that I will be forever grateful. But otherwise, it's quite perplexing and kind of infuriating.
It spans a couple of decades in the life of Preston Fawkes, son of a Texas rancher who becomes an international polo sensation. It's meant to depict the tumultuous relationship he develops with this other polo-playing guy. And a great deal of the book is dedicated to the teenage romance that seems to set the stage for everything else that happens in Preston's life. The polo thing is interesting enough, I think. I'd love to read a story about two polo players having an illicit romance while playing the international polo circuit or whatever. That's enough. That would be a great story. Instead, we get a story with all these ridiculous, dramatic occurrences and outlandish coincidences and stupid misdirections that completely detract from the point of the story. There is very little polo, and that's a disappointment, because I liked those bits best.
Then there's the issue of the bizarre dialogue and syntax. Seriously, it read like if a person who had only ever written serious academic textbooks decided to write a novel for the first time and also forgot what real conversation sounded like. This was especially irksome when Preston was a teenager. No matter how mature he was for his age, no-one talks like that. It ruined the flow for me.
I feel the worst kind of let down because there was such potential here. But why do authors feel the need to manufacture unnecessary drama, when a simple, more straightforward approach would have been a hundred times better?