The Dark Horse (The Dark Horse, #1)by Published 01 Apr 2007
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Paul Hammond is dead. That's what tough and sexy LAPD Detective Daniel Moran tells his lover, Hollywood actor Sean Fairchild--and Sean wants to believe him, but what about those threatening postcards in Hammond's handwriting? The last thing Sean needs is someone doubting him. But then, what does Sean really know about his new boyfriend? Dan is a dark horse--and maybe Sean is betting too much on this relationship. He can't afford to take foolish chances. It not just Sean's career at stake or his relationship or even his sanity--it's his life. [Publisher's note: this book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: m/m homoerotic sex practices.]
The Dark Horse (The Dark Horse, #1) Reviews
4.5 stars.****Review completed June 21, 2013
Lanyon had me at…
I stared for a long time while Dan's deep voice receded into the cries of the gulls overhead and the pound of the waves on the beach a few yards away, until those too faded to a kind of white noise.
I had an inkling this would be good. And it was actually more than good.
Dan's large hand slid under my fingers nervously fiddling with a teaspoon. "It's over, chief. Trust me."
"I do." It came out more husky than I'd intended.
He turned my hand palm up, lightly kissing it. The warmth of his lips against my surf-chilled skin made me shiver. I dropped the teaspoon. It hit the edge of my saucer with a silvery chime. He grinned.
Actor Sean Fairchild has been stalked for a year by Paul Hammond. Hammond, however, ended up dead after he lost control of his car during a police chase on Highway 138 and crashed into the California Aqueduct. Interestingly enough, the police never found Hammond's body and suddenly Sean is getting unsettling postcards again. But since everyone is convinced that Hammond was dead who had sent the cards? Or is Hammond not dead yet? A game of cat-and-mouse begins and Sean is getting jumpier by the hour and questioning his sanity.
Lt. Daniel Moran of the LAPD is improving his meager cop salary by working as a consultant for the film industry. Dan acted as Sean's bodyguard when Hammond threatened him, and as soon as Hammond was dead their relationship began and both of them fell hard for one another. Sean has a rather long history of emotional issues [spoilers removed]
"He chooses the dark horse. He chooses [spoilers removed]
He got one arm around my waist and the other around my thigh and managed to flip me over onto my back. The Swedish mattress swallowed my frame a few obliging inches.
"The bed is having me for dinner," I said, laughing up at him.
"And I'm having you for dessert," Dan said, his voice deep and velvety.
I said, in a very bad imitation of James Cagney, "Okay, copper. You got me fair and square."
His lean cheek creased in amusement. "Oh? You're going to come quietly?"
"I always do," I whispered.
Granted, the premise of the gay cop who is accidentally also the poster boy of the new and sensitive LAPD falling for the gay Hollywood actor is kinda clichéd. Having said this, I didn't mind and Lanyon delivered a wonderful little story that provided a well-thought-out plot that was spiced up with interesting psychological aspects, complex and well-drawn characters and engaging writing. In fact, my love for Lanyon is growing. Irrevocably. I can always go back to his books when I need to read a great short. The Dark Horse is no exception and fit the bill. It's an amazing little gem, and I honestly don't know how he does it but the man knocks them out of the park all the time.
It doesn't come as a surprise that I loved Dan. The man is in his mid-thirties, mature and (sexually) experienced, very smart and I quote: old-fashioned movie-star handsome. He is very perceptive and I adored his tenderness. Besides, I really enjoyed their intimate scenes. They were well written, sexy, very sensual and even playful at times. I loved to see them laugh together in bed.
I have read quite a few books by Lanyon now and three things are (almost) a given. One MC is strong and gorgeous, physically very attractive or even handsome and the other MC is physically pretty average or above average and has to deal with health issues. Plus, one of the MCs is an excellent cook. The Dark Horse is the same although the MC with health issues is above average when it comes to looks. BTW, I got very hungry while reading this story because Sean sure knew how to cook a mouth-watering and delicious meal. Bon appétit!
To me it was very easy to figure out HUGE SPOILER[spoilers removed] Baba was right. *fist bump*
I loved how Lanyon kept playing with the book title and how he referred to The Charioteer. Sean really wanted [spoilers removed] Perfect. I guess I will have to read this book someday.
"(…)Maybe he's just afraid to lose himself by loving someone completely."
First of all: If you haven't read The Dark Horse and The White Knight yet, I think you should prepare to read them in a row, because the books twine together very nicely.
The Dark Horse was the first title Josh Lanyon wrote specifically for the m/m market. So, if you really stop to think about it, this book kind of made history, right?
What I most liked about The Dark Horse was the intimate moments between Sean and Dan: When they were talking, touching, holding each other and making love. Most of those moments were not perfect, nor were they smooth and polished – and that made them so special and fragile and perfect eventually. And the dialogue between the two men was charming to read. It was an odd (but very successful) combination of such serious topics and hilarious comments. And it really made my heart ache how at least at first Sean thought that he didn't deserve a man like Dan.
And I also think that I’ll finally have to read The Charioteer that I’ve postponed for a long time. :)
Another winner for me.
I loved this story. It was a bit different from my previous Josh Lanyon reads. This time the Cop wasn’t the closeted jerk. Instead Dan was the one most comfortable with his homosexuality and Sean was the more complexed character.
The story line was as interesting as the other Josh Lanyon mysteries I’ve read. It kept me guessing and even after I figured it out, or at least had my suspicions confirmed, I was still reading as fast as I could to get to the climax.
Dan and Sean had great chemistry for me, [spoilers removed]
Another must read for Josh Lanyon fans.
irritatingly neurotic protagonist whines his way through a dully-plotted mystery to a weak-sauce conclusion.
Oh, how I love Josh Lanyon's totally screwed up characters - the main hero in this book, Sean, was suicidal in the past. I loved Dan and his protective nature - even though he did go over the top from time to time, that's true - and it pained me to see how his and Sean's relationship went all screwy because they couldn't just talk, both having trust issues. The misunderstandings kept piling up and Steve's meddling didn't help. To sum it up, I loved it!