Racing Hearts, Melissa West
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well, I’m a sucker for anything involving horses and this had some great reviews…sadly having struggled through it – to the point I nearly abandoned it a few times – its not one for me. There’s nothing actually wrong with it, except that it just didn’t move me, I felt indifferent at best to the characters and annoyed at worst.
Horses? A book about racing that’s what you’d expect, yes? Except you’d be wrong. There’s one horse, just one, in a few scenes with a mention of a couple of others. No stables scenes or horse training, of life in a busy top training yard. No evidence of owners, jockeys, yard boys and girls, no horse related issues – nothing. That’s a big disappointment for me, I expected the story to be set around that kind of background, but we see more of the inside of the two town cafe/bakeries that the yard life. The cover should have tipped me off ;- )
Then there’s Emery, and I understood her issues at first when she was just 17 but she’s 25 now – time to stand up to her dad, not keel over and hide like a naughty ten year old. I didn’t really understand the issues stopping her and Trip first time round, why he didn’t tell her at least, why neither tried to contact each othe,r and now eight years on they’re still letting it hold them back. Argghhh, grow a back bone people.
Emery had a bad accident – hey its racing it happens all the while. As Him Indoors likes to tell me over and over, horses and accidents go together, but he knows, if they’re in your blood that doesn’t stop you. Jockeys though take it further, hide broken bones so they can race, and get back up with sprains, bruises, concussions as if its nothing. I’m not that tough. Emery boke her leg, I broke my hip ( falling out of a wheelchair, not even on my horse, just moving the electric fence for them) I was advised not to ride for a year, and that it takes 18 months for long bones like legs to heal fully. Emery though, a top jockey, hasn’t even sat on a horse for two years…is still using a walking stick and yet expects Trip and the horses owner to let her ride him? Why? He’s a multi million dollar horse, hard to handle, giving experienced jockeys an issue, and if she doesn’t handle it that could cost them all $$$$$$$$s What makes her think they should even consider the risk? She’s not putting herself out, hasn’t even kept up her fitness, and it takes a lot of stamina to control an animal of that size. That was just so unreal I was eye rolling when she asked, and gobsmacked at the result…..
So, the horse side, a let down and unbelievable when it did happen, the romance – they were like pre-schoolers in how they acted, even though the tension and sexuality between them sizzled really well on the page. The final straw for me was the feud between the two ladies and the way the town all rallied or otherwise. Wasn’t there anything more important going on? I know small town politics likes to blow things up – its the same here in UK, but this was just too OTT for me.
All in all sadly a book that I had high hopes for was a fail for me, but the high reviews mean its not for others – another example of how we all want different things from our reading, so read the sample, read reviews and make up your own mind.
Stars: Two, a good book potentially that for me just didn’t work.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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