Title: Heartache & Hoofbeats
Author: Maz Maddox
Series: Stallion Ridge #1
Well this was an interesting western! This was a fantastic mix of fantasy, paranormal, and western elements to create this wonderful world filled with centaurs, minotaurs, wraths, and who knows what other kinds of creatures.
This book also had a trope that I really enjoy – law enforcement falling for the criminal. Sheriff Calhoun, a centaur shifter, catches himself a member of the notorious Iron Bandits who have been robbing trains. Unfortunately, while he waits for the judge to arrive for a sentencing he finds himself falling for Jesse, who isn’t the cold hearted killer he expected. I really liked how protective Calhoun was. He knows that Jesse has done wrong but he doesn’t punish indiscriminately, which I think makes him a good sheriff.
Jesse is a flirtatious man who is just trying to help his family. I loved his dedication to his family but he was also very naive at the same time. He should have considered the consequences of his actions before he tried to rob a train but it works out for him in the end. These two had an instant attraction and I really enjoyed their flirting. The steam level between these two was so hot! I loved the poker scene.
For world building, I found this world to be very interesting with its mixture of elements. We don’t get a lot of information about this world but there is enough for this first book. I am really excited to continue reading this series to see what other kinds of creatures will show up and learn more about this fascinating world.