Seamus O’Connor thought his friendship with Zachariah Smithson was just that—a relationship born on one horrific night seven years ago. He never thought he’d end up inheriting the old man’s farm.
Tons of chores and hard work are nothing new for Seamus. The farm comes equipped with all he needs—and something he didn’t expect. Unsettling, late-night visits from Zachariah’s grandson Ri, a man who appears and disappears like a ghost.
Ri has had little contact with the outside world, with good reason. Horse shifters aren’t any human’s idea of normal. Plus, he’s wary of being the next target of the werewolves who took his twin brother. Trust his matchmaking grandfather to give him a reason to come home—Seamus.
As Seamus gradually learns the truth of Ri’s life, their relationship tentatively grows—and danger grows closer. For it was Ri who rescued Seamus on that terrible night long ago. Seamus is about to realize he’s had his own encounters with werewolves. He just doesn’t know it—yet.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I love me some shifters, and when those shifters are m/m… Even better! Then, getting to read about a horse shifter – something I’d never heard of before – was like the icing on the cake.
Seamus ran away the night he told his parents he was gay, and found himself in more trouble than he ever expected. But a friendly wild horse and an old man save his life, in more ways than one. Now that Seamus is older, he finds that old man has died and willed his farm to Seamus. He goes back to see if it’s worth keeping, and finds that wild horse as well as a mysterious man who claims to be the old man’s grandson.
Ri knows what it’s like to be hunted, having lived through it in the worse possible way. He lives most of his life as a horse, and although his grandfather told him he could trust Seamus, he is worried that might not be the case. But Seamus and Ri grown closer than either expected. When Seamus’ ex shows up, Ri freaks because the man is not only possessive, but a horse’s worst nightmare: a werewolf.
I have to start by saying mad props to Skye for creating such a unique and interesting shifter in Ri. Most shifters in today’s popular fiction are either wolves or cats, and getting to see a horse, an animal that is usually so docile and loving was such a neat and different experience. I loved the little things: like Ri being a vegetarian, his desire to always run, his need to go out and graze, his desire to be wild and free. It was all so well done and such an incredible twist on the shifters of today. Plus, add in the bad wolves who hunted down the horse shifters, and this was one paranormal book that is absolutely, positively unique.
A signification portion of the book was spent on building up Ri’s distrust in wolves, how scared he was of their intentions, and how worried he was that Pete, Seamus’ ex, was not a good guy. While the build up was significant and intense, the resolution of everything didn’t exactly live up to the hype. I was expecting a lot more action to resolve Ri’s fears and get to the bottom of everything, instead all the pieces seemed to fall perfectly into place at exactly the right time, wrapping it all up seamlessly with a bow on top.
The romance in this book moved very slowly. Seamus and Ri start off as hesitant acquaintances and slowly move toward a tentative friendship. While there is attraction on both sides, they also don’t know or trust each other well enough to do anything about it. Once they get to the point where they are both ready to act on it, things move almost too quickly. I would have liked to see these two spend a bit more time as lovers before committing so fully to one another.
All in all I think Skye did a wonderful job creating such a unique and intriguing main character with Ri. He was tortured and confused and somewhat naive, but also a hero I wanted to root for. I do have some questions that I hope get addressed in future books, mainly what happened to Ri’s brother and fellow horse shifter? While I don’t know that this book is my favorite in the m/m paranormal genre, it was definitely an interesting and unique read.
I give Running Wild a C+