Professional horse trainer Amanda Vogel was on her way to realizing her dream of riding jumpers in the Olympics when she witnessed her best friend die in a riding accident. Traumatized, broke, and desperate, Amanda takes a summer job teaching the spoiled daughters of an A-list movie star. Three months in Aspen promise to be torture. But things are not what they seem. The hot-shot movie star has a sensitive side, and the bratty girls crave structure. Now she has a choice: return to the horse show circuit as a professional trainer or risk her heart for the chance of a family.
While I was originally put off by the length, it ended up working in the story’s favor. The story takes several more twists and turns than usually happen in romance novels. This helped me to get a better sense of the love interests, Amanda and Grady, and the flaws that threaten to keep them apart. It also caused me to become even more invested in the relationship. I wanted Amanda and Grady to be together, to create a family for Grady’s daughters.
I also found the characters relatable. Take away Amanda’s job as a professional horse trainer, and she’s a young woman struggling to chase her dream of riding in the Olympics. She has her doubts about being able to achieve her dream. But that doesn’t stop her from going after it even when others doubt her. While Grady is a Hollywood actor, he’s also a widower with two daughters. His over-protectiveness makes him vulnerable, and his sense of humor gives him charm. Everything he does is done because he believes it is the right thing to do. Women can see themselves in Amanda and would be attracted to a man like Grady.
This book would be a good read for someone who has a basic knowledge of horses (though a lot is explained). It is a good vacation, weekend, or plane read since it draws the reader into the story.
Rating: five of five stars
Thrown by Colette Auclair will be published Pocket Star and available for purchase on December 16, 2013.
*I received an advanced copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.