Author: Tudor Robins
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Meg Traherne has never known loss. Until the beautiful, talented horse she trained herself, drops dead underneath her in the show ring.
Jared Strickland has been living with loss ever since his father died in a tragic farming accident.
Meg escapes from her grief by changing everything about her life; moving away from home to spend her summer living on an island in the St. Lawrence River, scrubbing toilets and waiting on guests at a B&B.
Once there, she meets Jared; doing his best to keep anything else in his life from changing.
When Jared offers Meg a scruffy appaloosa mare out of a friend’s back field, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change both of them by the end of the summer.
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 of 5)
My Review: Don’t judge a book by it’s synopsis. This book was engaging. I would just sit down and read page after page after page, and it would take all my willpower to close the book and be productive. Definitely not your typical horse book, either. Growing up as a horse-crazy girl who was determined to read every book her local library had to offer, a girl who also frequented Half-Price Books… I ended up reading (and owning) a LOT horse books. My reaction to horse literature by now? YAWN. It’s always the exact same plot, same shallow not-well-developed characters, same never-ending series, same Suspense and Mystery (SARCASM). Don’t get me wrong, I loved those books! But after a while, they all bled together…
So, when I saw this book on NetGalley… Well, first off, the cover was gorgeous. Seriously, I would buy this book JUST for the cover. But I had low expectations. Very low. This book blew them away! I LOVED it! I’ve been a bit (okay, a lot) down lately, and this book was perfect. It was a wonderful world and story to escape into for brief snatches of time, and it leaves you feeling satisfied. This may well be my new Happy Book. The only real complaint I have about this book is that it wasn’t longer.
Every once in a while, I would just get lost for a few sentences. Nothing would make sense. Unsure about what day it is, how much time has elapsed, who’s talking to whom, etc. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, it was disconcerting. A brief trip back to the real world as I tried to discover what had just happened. I wish that the book could’ve been longer, that we could’ve spent more time following Meg around at her job, and just… being in her head during the slow, boring, moments of her life.
Thank you to Netgalley, for supplying me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Hero/Heroine: The romance was excellently written. It started as a friendship, but nothing was rushed, nothing was pushed, and they were still best friends by the end of the book. The relationship didn’t change that.
❤ Meg: I was terrified that she would be your sterotypical whiny teenage girl. Who, yes, went through something horrible, but then refuses to do anything the entire book except for whine about how horrible her life was. But Meg was different. Her pain was real, but so were her interactions with her friends and her family. She was REAL. She wasn’t a whiny teenager girl, but she still acted like a girl. She knew her horses, she had a job, she’d gone through some awful events, lost those very close to her, and lived in her family’s cabin, but she also knew what it felt like to have a crush on a guy. But it wasn’t unrealistic. The character development was superb.
❤ Jared: I was dubious, I’ll admit. In my experience with books like this, the guy is often thrown in solely as a love interest, with no character, backstory or development to go with him. But Jared was different. He was complex, and deep, and REAL. (Noticing a theme here? Tudor Robins writes wonderful characters!). He was country through and through. Country charm, country courtesy, country loveable! He was quite the gentleman, and even though he wasn’t a horse person, he loved watching Meg work with horses, and helped make that possible. He had been griefstricken, and he carried that with him, but he was just a wonderful guy. And, in his own words, he knew that “Grief isn’t a competitive sport.” ❤ ❤ ❤
Plot: I knew by the first page that I was in love with this story. Tudor Robins has such a way with words — frankly, it’s unbelievable how believable her writing is. I’ve been riding horses for about 8 years, and I was drawn in and enthralled by Robins’ descriptions and writing, especially while characters were riding. It was all so accurate, so real, I knew exactly what it felt like. It was breathtaking.
The plot itself was fairly simple. The spotlight of this book wasn’t on the plot, it was on the characters, their development, and the writing. This is the kind of book I want to buy, just so I can keep it on my physical bookshelf, and pick it up whenever I’m down. I loved this book more than I can possibly describe. Tudor Robins deserves my highest praise.
Content Advisory: Maybe a FEW minor cuss words (5, max). But I honestly don’t remember any. Some kissing. Some traumatic events.
To Sum it Up: This was an amazing book. I wholeheartedly enjoyed it. Ms. Robins knows her horses, creates fantastic characters, a unique and enthralling plot that made it nearly impossible to put down, a sweet romance, and a happy ending.
Appaloosa Summer’s Reading Posture: Enthralled Reading.
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?