Dark Horse by A.L. Brooks

(6 customer reviews)

$9.99 / E-BOOK

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Read an excerpt here: pdf | epub

Author: A.L. Brooks


When facing her demons in the hometown that once exiled her, cool, butch, biker Sadie meets the most perfect opposite—a pretty, loving, bisexual hotel desk clerk who warms all the places in her heart she didn’t know she had. A hot, butch/femme, opposites-attract, lesbian holiday romance.

Sometimes, going back is the only way forward. Punished for a crime she did not commit, Sadie is sent away to live with her grandmother in Sydney, Australia.

Now, several years later, Sadie’s an aloof, lone wolf, café-manager who loves only her best friend, her gran, and her motorbike. Returning home to see her dying mother, she’s forced to face her past.

In the midst of family turmoil, she connects with the most unlikely of people. Holly, a beautiful hotel desk clerk, is Sadie’s polar opposite and a beacon of warmth and light amidst Sadie’s darkness.

It’s a lot to take in. Between Sadie’s growing love and those old family lies, can she build a new, bright future with Holly?

Additional information

Publication Date

February 2017


epub (for Kindle Reader/Kindle Apps, for iBooks, Nook etc.), mobi, and pdf


99,000 words




978-3-95533-786-5 (mobi), 978-3-95533-787-2 (epub), 978-3-95533-788-9 (pdf)


Ylva Publishing

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6 reviews for Dark Horse by A.L. Brooks

  1. Dee


    This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and while vastly different to the first, it was still an enjoyable read.

    Don’t be fooled by the cover that this is a biker story. While the heroine does indeed own a motorcycle, it doesn’t feature anymore into a story than a character who has a car as their mode of transportation.

    With that said the title is fitting as Sadie is the black sheep, or should I say Dark Horse, of the family. When she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, it’s the final straw for her A-hole of a father and she is sent to live with her Grandmother at the tender age of seventeen. I saw this is a cloud with a silver lining, Elsie was such a wonderful character, I’m sure Sadie was much better off living under her roof than with her unsupportive parents.

    Twelve years on, when Sadie receives news her mother has a brain tumour, she returns to her childhood town/home. From that point on the story is a touching one of redemption and second chances.

    Staying at the hotel, rather than with her parents, Sadie becomes involved with Holly. Their relationship is a slow burn and not without its issues. I actually thought the connection between Holly’s Aunty and Sadie would cause a whole lot of chaos but alas, it dropped off as quick as the blow-up.

    Sadie’s father and sister are rather one-dimensional characters, but given I didn’t care one iota for either of them, that wasn’t a bad thing.

    This story touches on many issues, abandonment, second chances, grief, conflict, homophobes, coming out, and a happy resolution.

  2. Karola


    **free ARC
    That was my first book of A.L. Brooks, but it’s sure not the last. She has a very nice writing, with funnny parts, sad and filled with love parts. Sadie is the typical human, who is very much certain, that for her there is no happy ever after. Her past has given her this idea. It takes the illness of her mother, the falling in love at first sight with her by another woman and her not taking no for an answer, a very good friend to make Sadie believe and see what’s in front of her. And driving that bike to loosen up her thoughts.

  3. Karen Mcintosh


    Sadie has a lot of insecurities to deal with and a past she’d rather forget. When she has to deal with all of it suddenly, how will she cope? Meeting Holly has the potential to change her and their relationship is just what she needs. This wonderful story deals with heavy emotional stuff and is intense. It is also beautifully romantic and unbelievably sexy. It is about letting go of the past and opening up to those who really love you. Love is love and sometimes people need a nudge to realise it. This is a fantastic story that I couldn’t put down.

    I was given this ARC by Ylva Publishing in return for an honest review.

  4. jane shambler


    I loved this book. It has a bit of everything. But what I liked the most was the personal story of the lead character and the way the author portrayed it. The book is very well written and I found it hard to put down. It’s a situation many find them selves in but I liked the positive outcome despite the sad events. Yes, this is my first book by this author but it definately won’t be the last. The author bravely hit on issues many face and dealt with them in a compassionate manner. I really enjoyed the story and I found I could relate to it and I expect many more can. Enjoy, I did

  5. pharridge


    What I liked about this book was it’s strong main characters, Sadie who was disowned but had the fortitude to fight through and Holly who is growing emotionally and looking to find her path in life.

    Set in Australia with the backdrop of a small counrty town mindset where everyone knows each other and their families. Sadie has to come to terms with an estranged mothers’ dying attempt to reconnect with her daughter, whilst fighting her family history. Added to the mix, the of frightening thought of opening herself up to trust someone again and let them in close.
    I enjoyed this story which was made stronger by the support characters of Elsie (Sadie’s grandmother) and her BFF Nicole.
    I received an arc copy in exchange for a honest review.

  6. lobster


    This is a very easy and enjoyable read, and I mean this in the best possible sense. It’s a romance novel, simple as that, and it has all the ingredients I want when I pick up a romance.

    You have two attractive main characters (‘attractive’ not only in terms of pleasant to look at, but also in terms of personality and character), back stories for both of them to make them come alive, they’re grown up and strong but also flawed and insecure at times. In short: real human beings.

    There’s just enough fluff to make you go ‘aaaawwww’ but won’t rot your teeth, there’s just enough angst to make you go ‘hnnng’ but won’t make you lose sleep, there’s just enough heartache to make you blink but won’t traumatise you. Know what I mean? It’s the perfect balance for a good read.

    Oh, and the sex scenes are brilliant. I mean, brilliant. All too often romance novelists try too damn hard and their ‘sexy times’ turn out either flowery-vanilla or soullessly pornographic. AL Brooks is nicknamed ‘writer of filth’ (or something like that, I can’t recall the exact wording) but while she keeps the filth on a tight leash here, she still delivers. Hell yes, she does!

    Yes, you will find the usual clichés here, too. Sadie’s father is cruel, her ex is a cold-hearted bitch, her sister is dating a homophobic arsehole but in all honesty, I don’t pick up a 270-page novel with the expectation of in-depth character studies for everybody making an appearance in the story. They serve their purpose (add some detail to Sadie’s background story, then fade out) and that’s good enough for me. We get to know the people who count and who push the story forward: Sadie’s grandmother who has taken her in after she got kicked out by her father; Sadie’s mother whose disease forces Sadie to return to her hometown; some of her friends, too; and we get to know Holly’s parents who come across prejudiced and ignorant (well, her mother) but who are willing to listen, change and learn.

    (And on a personal level, the close relationship between Elsie and Sadie reminded me so much of my own Gran with whom I had a very similar relationship that I had to blink away the odd tear or two. Also, I could relate very much to what Sadie was going through with her mother at the very end because I’ve been there, too.)

    She’s a good writer and storyteller, A.L. Brooks is. I found her story to be well-composed and her writing style to be well-crafted, pleasant and, like I said above, a thoroughly enjoyable read!

    The only reason I’m giving four and not five stars is that I found the cover (although I love the photo!) plus the ‘punished for a crime she did not commit’ bit a little misleading. For some reason I expected more of a biker story with a possible involvement in criminal activities at some time in the past. Maybe it’s just me and somebody else may well find this to be nitpicking but I did go, ‘huh?’ when I started reading. But I quickly adjusted because the writing and the story are good and I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a good romance story!

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