Book Reviews

Still Standing (Four-Legged Friends 3) by A.F. Henley at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Disability / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 25-February-2021

Book Blurb

Bryson Merritt may have started life as a broken baby in a basket, but he got lucky with an extraordinary set of circumstances that brought him his adoptive parents. Rich, supportive, and kind, they've given Bryson everything he's ever needed in order to deal with his ongoing recovery issues. If only they could give him some luck when it comes to picking out the right kind of guy.

When Bryson meets Duke at a horse auction, all he can think about is getting Duke's sweaty hands all over his body. Until he meets Beau -- the beautiful dark horse in Duke's care, who shares Bryson's mobility and pain issues -- and realises exactly where Beau's final destination is. Enraged by what he sees as an unfair, undeserving, and cruel punishment, Bryson decides to buy Beau, problems or not, experience or no, and walks away without looking back.

However, once again forces have gathered to help Bryson out, and Bryson finds himself working alongside Duke for the sake of Beau. Bryson's attraction is rekindled, but now Duke isn't interested at all. Worse still, it looks like a possible relationship with Duke isn't the only thing that is going to end in tragedy.


Book Review

“Scars show toughness: that you've been through it, and you're still standing.” ~ Theo Rossi


Bryson Merrit, of ‘Still Standing’ by A.F. Henley, appreciates the advantages that his wealthy family has given him, particularly the endless surgeries to correct the physical deformities he had when they adopted him. But as the old saying goes: “Money can’t buy happiness”. What he longs for is a man whom he can love who will love him back, despite his limitations – and all the money in the world can’t give him that. An accidental meeting at a horse auction brings Duke into his life, a man who makes his heart and other parts of him sing, but, like many things especially in Bryson’s life, it’s complicated.


At first, Bryson is ready to hook up with Duke in the horse trailer, but while he is waiting for Duke to finish his work so he can join Bryson, he sees Beau, the horse left in the trailer. Immediately, Beau reacts positively to Bryson. He asks Duke about Beau and learns that he is lame and is on his way to the glue factory. Bryson’s reaction turns from lust to rage. So much for their hookup! Even though Duke tries to tell him that he’s just doing his job, Bryson is still furious that a young, otherwise healthy horse is going to be euthanized because he is lame. He insists that Duke call the owners and Bryson arranges to buy Beau. 


After telling his mother about Duke and buying Beau, his mom ascertains his interest in Duke as well as Beau. She takes it upon herself to find the best stable possible so Beau can get the excellent care he will need. Also, she hires Duke to be Beau’s caregiver, therefore putting him in a position to bring Bryson and Duke together frequently. Bryson knows he is attracted to Duke, but can’t figure out how Duke feels about him. He takes excellent care of Beau but doesn’t baby him. Duke does the same for Bryson, encouraging him to do what he can but chastises him for being stubborn and proud when he pushes himself too far. Despite Duke’s protestations, Bryson is determined to win him over. When Duke’s past comes back to haunt him, he has a choice. Face it or leave. This is an issue that could go either way. He can give in to old securities and take the easy way out or face it head-on. His choice will determine both his and Bryson’s future together.


This is a story of courage and determination in the face of adversity. I loved Bryson although I thought he was a bit too stubborn for his own good. Duke was harder to warm up to, but as I got to know him better, his caution was understandable. Bryson’s best friend was wonderful. She always knew how to lift him up. His mom was amazing too. Of course, Beau kept stealing the show. Thanks, A.F., for the endearing story.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 53653 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-November-2020
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link