Review: Taming the Brooding Cattleman by Marion Lennox

 

Title: Taming the Brooding Cattleman

Author: Marion Lennox

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Alexandra Patterson swaps city chic for the dusty outback when she arrives at Werrara Stud Ranch. As the new vet, she may be more used to pampered puppies than prized stallions, but Alex is determined to show that she can cut it.…

Brooding rancher Jack Connor is in for a shock—the women in his life have only ever caused him pain and anguish…and Alexandra was supposed to be Alexander. Instead, the person before him is a petite blonde with a pink suitcase and is distractingly, infuriatingly attractive!


Review:

My Larkville Legacy reading journey continues!  This time, we find ourselves in Australia, on a horse farm.  Alex Patterson is a large animal vet, and she wants nothing more than to work at a large horse breeding operation, but the big names in the US will barely give her the time of day because of her lack of experience.  When her father uses his connections to land her a job in the Outback for six months, she is overjoyed.  She’ll be earning some practical experience, so she will have something to put on her resume.  She isn’t even bothered by the knowledge that she will also have to pitch in as a farm hand.  She is hard-working and determined, and she will do whatever is asked of her.  Did I mention that there are horses?

I found the premise a little hard to swallow, but quickly set that aside.  Perhaps Jack could be confused and think that Alex was a guy.  Perhaps Alex’s father, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, could have either misled him or truly been confused about his child’s gender.  Perhaps Jack would be adamantly against hiring a woman, given the primitive conditions.  Jack inherited the horse breeding operation from his grandfather, a harsh man he grew to despise, and he hasn’t been back to the farm in years.  He was too busy trying to take care of his younger sister, who suffered from deep and overwhelming depression.  After her death, he left the big city to get away from any possibility of human entanglement.  At the ranch, he is dismayed to see how run down it has become.  The overseer was stealing from him, the house is in ruins, and entire place needs a ton of TLC.  At least the horses were well cared for, but this is obviously no place for a woman.

When Jack is confronted with Alex for the first time, he rails against her for lying about her gender.  Quick to take the defensive, she argues that she never said she was a man.  When Jack tells her that her father pitched the skills of his “son” Alex is aghast.  Then she’s infuriated.  What difference does it make, whether she’s a woman or a man?  All she wants is the opportunity to prove herself.  While I had a few issues buying into the idea of Alex’s mistaken gender, I did like Alex and how she quickly put Jack in his place.  I loved how she pushed him out of his comfort zone for the entire book.  He’s cold and determined to stay detached from his feelings.  Alex isn’t about to let him do that.  Even if it means overcoming her distaste for the scary outhouse behind the house.  The plumbing in the house needs serious attention, and for someone used to much more luxurious surroundings, the lack of indoor plumbing is almost a deal breaker.  More so than Jack’s unwelcoming attitude.  After recently suffering from a lack of running water when our well went out, I could completely sympathize with Alex.  No flush toilet would be more of a challenge than a rude, dismissive employer for me, too!

Alex quickly proves that she is worth her weight in gold by saving a mare and her foal.  Alex shows Jack that she is a competent vet, and against his better judgment, he agrees that she can stay the six months.  He will even have the plumbing repaired.  Yay!  I thought, the question of her worth was quickly answered.  But then the demons in Jack’s past pop up, challenging him with every encounter with Alex.  She dares him to care for the unhappy boy who lives with his step-mom on Jack’s land.  She dares him to re-establish emotional bonds with the people around him.  Like a skittish colt, he constantly pushes back, unwilling to be hurt again.  I found Alex’s willingness to put her own heart on the line admirable, and I grew impatient with Jack.  For every attempted outreach she made, he stubbornly rejected her.  He’s not nice about it, either, but Alex takes his rejections in stride and never gives up on him.  Bravo!

While certain aspects of the story did not work for me, I found the characters so engaging that I overlooked my skepticism.  I wonder what is next for the Larkville Legacy crew?

Be sure to read my interview with Marion Lennox here.

Grade: B

Review copy purchased from Amazon

Review: Three River Ranch by Roxanne Snopek

 

 

Title:  Three River Ranch

Author: Roxanne Snopek

Publisher: Entangled – Bliss

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Needing a fresh start from her two-timing fiancé, Aurora McAllister answers a realtor’s ad for a guesthouse on the beautiful, serene Three River Ranch. She shows up at Three River tired, heartbroken, and with no one but her trusty Labradoodle as a companion. Cowboy Carson Granger has enough trouble in his life without adding a woman and her dog to the mix. There’s the untamed mustang he’s prepping to release into the wild, not to mention his father’s crazy will, which stipulates that if Carson wants to fully inherit Three River, he’ll need to find a bride. Carson wants nothing to do with love and especially not a marriage of convenience. But he soon realizes Rory, and everything she represents, might just be exactly what he needs. Sometimes love arrives on your doorstep when you least expect it…

Review:

Ah!  A series romance with mustangs!  How could I resist? Especially when Three River Ranch is a launch title for Entangled Publishing’s new Bliss line.  I was most eager to start reading this one! 

This is a nice introduction to the Bliss line.  The story moves along at a rapid clip, and it reminded me of a Harlequin Romance.  Just enough angst to propel the plot forward and softer sex scenes.  A feisty heroine who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and a slightly socially awkward hero to challenge her resolve to not get involved with men. I am not a big fan of baby books, so I wasn’t totally charmed to learn that Rory is pregnant, but her situation made her character more interesting.  After being dumped by her two-timing fiancé, she is left to fend for herself, pregnant and jobless.  When she rents a house on a ranch, she thinks her prayers have been answered.  She’ll take a little time for herself, have her baby in a less stressful setting, and then make a life for herself and her child, all by herself.  Men are heartless jerks and she’s better off without one.

It is with a great deal of dismay that Rory first sets eyes on her new home.  The place is a complete dump, and it’s not fit for her to live in.  Then she discovers that she actually rented the other dwelling on the property, which has been kept up since the death of the ranch’s owner, but that his estranged son, Carson, is back in town and he intends to living in the house.  Oops! Perfect set up for lots of conflict between the protagonists.  Like Rory, Carson wants nothing to do with a relationship.  Women are too much trouble, and he has to focus his energy on his dream of establishing a mustang sanctuary.  He doesn’t have the time or the money to waste on women.  Well, except for that stupid clause in his father’s will.  If Carson wants to inherit the ranch, which he desperately need for his horses, he has to get married.  Pronto.  So maybe Carson and Rory can work out a mutually beneficial arrangement what will get them both what they want.  The land for Carson, and financial security for Rory.

I liked how large a part the animals played in the story.  Rory has a service dog, and because of a heartbreaking event in her past, she wants to help families with children with disabilities obtain service animals, because she is firmly convinced that they make an impact on the lives of those families.  Carson has rescued a pregnant mustang from certain death, and he is determined to nurse her back to health so she will be strong enough to deliver a healthy foal.  The animals interacted with each other, which guaranteed that I remained engaged in the plot.  Whenever an animal was part of a scene, the story rocked for me.  When they weren’t, things got a little bogged down.  Why?  Because Carson could be a jerk.  I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for him when he was acting like a spoiled child.  He took his frustrations out on Rory, and if I were her, I would be running as far away from him as I could get.  When even his best friend had to tell him he was a thoughtless douchebag, one had to wonder at how quickly he could turn over a new leaf.  Carson constantly shifted blame for his bad behavior to his emotionally distant and demanding father.  I wanted him to take ownership of himself and his actions, and it just took too long for his light blub moment.

Overall, I did enjoy Three River Ranch, with the reservations mentioned.   This is the first Bliss title that I have read, and I am looking forward to sampling more of them.

Grade:  B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Deals for Your Kindle-Get Up and Ride ‘em!

It’s amazing how one, harmless Amazon query uncovers a load of books to add to my wish list.  I love horse stories – I don’t think I will ever grow out of them. Here is an assortment of horse books for all reading levels, all priced under 5 bucks.

 

Keeping Secrets by Maggie Dana- $2.99 MG

Series: Timber Ridge Riders–Book One
Ages: 9-12
A valuable show jumper is dead, and it’s all her fault . . . which is why 14-year-old Kate McGregor has put horses and riding out of her life. Forever!
But her new summer job as a companion to Holly Chapman, a former riding star who’s now confined to a wheelchair, takes Kate back to the barn–the last place she wants to be. Can Kate keep her terrible secret from Holly, who is fast becoming her best friend? More important, can she keep her secret from Angela Dean who lives for only two things–winning ribbons and causing trouble? 
Then a riding accident forces Kate’s secret into the open … and it’s just the moment Angela has been waiting for.

 

 

The A Circuit by CATHERINE HAPKA & GEORGINA BLOOMBERG – $1.99 – YA (I really liked this one!)

The A Circuit is the top of the top when it comes to horse showing. It’s a world with its own rules and super-privileged lifestyles. Teens employ private tutors so they can travel the circuit all year showing horses that cost as much as some people’s homes.
Tommi, Kate, and Zara are all elite competitors on the circuit, but they come from totally different backgrounds. Tommi is a billionaire heiress trying to prove she has real talent (not just deep bank accounts). Kate puts the working in working student-every win has been paid for with hours of cleaning stalls. She’s used to the grueling schedule, but Fitz, the barn’s resident hot guy, is about to become a major distraction. And then there’s Zara. She’s the wild child of a famous rockstar, but she’s ready to take riding seriously. Can a party girl really change her ways?
Readers who enjoy peeking into the elite world of series of Gossip Girl or The A-List will feel right at home in this new series with its friendships, drama, and privilege set against a backdrop of competitive horseback riding.

 

 

 

Ribbon Chasers by Becky Rodgers Boyette – .99 MG

Jenny Rogers enters the show ring with one goal, to beat spoiled Laci Miller and her pampered gelding, Blue. Armed with her fabulous new horse, Dancer, Jenny thinks she’s willing to do anything to bring home the championship. But when she sees how dirty some competitors are willing to play, how far will she go to win the prize? Find out as Jenny joins the ranks of the Ribbon Chasers.

 

 

Hearts Over Fences by Toni Leland – $3.99  – 18+

Romance is the last thing on equestrienne Bethany Webb’s mind as she gazes across the lush green fields of Highover Gate, her prestigious world-class training facility – the dream of a lifetime. Before the day is over, Beth’s future is snatched right out from under her in one wet, terrifying instant.
Ambitious and handsome Brett Hall’s only objective is to unseat the national champion in Three Day Eventing. As Hall steadily gains on his goal, a chink in his armor allows his heart to peek out – a weakness that seriously undermines his focus.
Hearts Over Fences glows against the backdrop of Olympic-level equestrian sport – a world filled with drama and excitement – and a large measure of ambition.


Pony Club Rivals: Showjumpers by Stacy Gregg – $4.74  – This is the 2nd book in the series

 

The stakes are raised in the second book of this glamorous horse riding series set in the USA – winner takes all as the rivals compete for the showjumping cup! Don’t miss the latest instalment of pony adventures from the author of the UK’s bestselling pony series ‘Pony Club Secrets’.

Georgie has secured her place at Blainford Academy for now, but knowing who to trust is tough when you’re all competing against each other. Some new-found friendships might already be close to breaking point as competition heats up in the showjumping arena.

Is cute boy James about to become an ally or is his scheming sister Kennedy going to wreck Georgie’s dreams?
And can she really trust her rivals? Find out in the exciting second term!

Review: Pidgy’s Surprise by Jeanne Mellin

Title:  Pidgy’s Surprise: The Little Shetland Pony with a Big Heart

Author:  Jeanne Mellin

Publisher:  Willow Bend Publishing

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Early Chapter Book Ages 7-8   Pidgy’s Surprise is the story of Cindy Sawyer and her plucky little Shetland pony named Pidgy. Cindy is always dreaming of the beautiful horse she hopes to own. Ponies are nice, but a horse would be wonderful. Cindy’s dream soon becomes an obsession and her parents realize that she is becoming a very unhappy girl. After a summer full of fun and riding, a morning comes when Pidgy goes missing. Not until she looks into the empty stall does Cindy realize how much she really loves her pony. Over 80 detailed drawings by famed equine author/illustrator Jeanne Mellin.


Review:

If you follow the blog at all, you know how much I love horses.  When I saw this book by Jeanne Mellin, I was dying to read it.  Originally published in 1955, Willow Bend Publishing worked with the author to update the text to make it more relatable to modern readers, without changing the flavor of the original story.  I thought they did a wonderful job; the story flows smoothly, and the dialog  doesn’t feel stiff or unnatural.  Cindy’s dream to own a horse instead of her stubby little pony will resonate with young, horse-crazy girls.  It certainly resonated for me!

Cindy Sawyer dreams constantly of owning a sleek, graceful, and bold horse.  What she has instead is Pidgy, a chubby Shetland Pony.  Unremarkable in any way, Cindy feels that she’s outgrown her childhood companion, and now all she can think about is getting a horse.  She wants to compete at the summer horse show, and, besides, all of her friends have horses now!  It’s unfair that she’s the only one who still has a pony.

After initially disliking Cindy because she seemed a bit spoiled to me, I gradually warmed up to her.  When I was her age, I would have done anything to have a pony or a horse.  I would have done anything to even be able to take riding lessons.  My parents did not understand the depth of my equine obsession, but it never went away.  When I moved out of the city, I continually talked about taking riding lesson.  The DH, finally fed up with hearing me talk about it but never do anything about it, told me I wasn’t getting any younger and if I was serious about learning to ride, I needed to do something now, or I needed to stop talking about horses.  Several years later, I am the proud owner of not one, but two, horses, and I’m sure he wishes he hadn’t said anything to me at all!  I will remain eternally grateful!

So, getting back to young Cindy, she had a perfectly pleasant pony she could hack around on.  Pidgy is about as bomb-proof as they come, and Cindy often jaunted about town bareback.  For her to wish and wish and wish for a horse seemed a little greedy to me.  But then I began to sympathize with her and her dream to own a horse.  All of her friends had gorgeous, flashy mounts that were spirited and fun to ride.  Comparing the shaggy little Pidgy to these beautiful horses was a little bit like comparing a Smart car to a Ferrari.  Being surrounded by all of that horsey hotness made Cindy miserable.  They were everything that Pidgy was not.

I liked the portrayal of Cindy’s parents.  They are sympathetic to her unhappiness, but they also can’t see anything wrong with Pidgy.  Her mother actively attempts to find a solution for her daughter’s misery, and after allowing her to show Pidgy in a local horse show, they allow the pony to prove to Cindy that they still have many adventures to enjoy together.

The descriptions of the horse show are spot-on, as is Pidgy’s stubborn, mischievous personality.  I don’t know much about Shetlands, but when Hackney ponies get a little big for their tiny britches, we just laugh and say, “That’s a pony for you!”  They are smart and they thrive on attention.  They are also gifted at getting into trouble.  Pidgy behaved much the same, and proved that she had a mind of her own, and that she wasn’t afraid to use it.  When they had a battle of wills, it was debatable whether Cindy won, or whether Pidgy allowed her to think she had. 

My favorite part of the book are the beautiful illustrations.  Each drawing is detailed, and the horses are lovingly rendered.  They add so much personality to the story, and I enjoyed all of them.  Though it would be prohibitively  expensive, I would have loved to see some of these in color.  Jane Mellin knows horses, and her illustrations are a joy to behold.  The book would be greatly diminished without them.

If you have a horse crazy girl in the house, I can’t recommend this book enough.  Pidgy’s Surprise would also make a wonderful addition to a classroom library.

NOTE: As mentioned in the forward, Pidgy’s Surprise was written before wearing helmets was common.  After recently falling off one of my horses when I was trying to dismount, I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to strap on an approved helmet before getting on a horse. 

Recommended for ages 7  – 8, but I think this will appeal even to older girls, as well as some adults, due to the fantastic interior illustrations.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

Just for Fun:

This is a picture of Bentley, a Hackney pony, standing next to a Freisian.  If you are wondering how Cindy felt riding her pony next to her friends with their horses, this picture should give you a good idea!

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–September 2nd

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

I got back late last night from a horse show, and I’m totally exhausted.  I am so glad that it’s a holiday weekend so that I have another day to recover.  I always think I’m going to have some time to chill and read when I’m at a show, but it doesn’t usually work out that way.  There is a lot of running around at the fairgrounds, with many, many distractions, especially at the bigger shows.  There are all of the pretty, pretty horses, and almost against my will, I find myself sucked in to watching the classes or the warm-ups, even for the divisions I don’t really like.  And then there are all of the puppies and dogs people have brought to keep themselves company, and it’s animal overload.  It’s a lot of fun meeting new people and their pets at the shows.  My favorite new animal friend was a 3 year old Great Dane.  He was awesome because he was so well behaved, and because I didn’t even have to bend down to pet him! 

Elle had her best show yet, winning  Grand Champion Mare and getting the Reserve in her driving class.  It was raining during the performance class, so I didn’t get any pictures (again! every time the trainer drives her, we have a monsoon!)

This is Elle after her in-hand class, being modeled by my show buddy, Sarah. 

 

This is all of the stuff they shove into your arms after your horse wins a championship class.  Then you are supposed to run across the fairgrounds without dropping or breaking any of it, which would be bad, because there is horse poop everywhere.

Check out my current contests! See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library. Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

The Clockwork Sky Vol 1 by Madeleine Rosca

Message to Adolf Part 1 by Osamu Tezuka

A Guile of Dragons by James Enge

Reaper by K D McEntire

Callie’s Cowboy by Karen Leabo

The Devils Thief by Samantha Kane

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–Updated Pony Pix!

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

Here are some updated pictures of the Morgan twins born this spring. 

This is from June.  They were still pretty small and skinny.

This is from last weekend.  They are being taught basic ground  manners, like how to stand and how to lead.  They will be going to their first horse show in September, where they will have to stand and be led around the ring.  Because they are babies and their brains are about as big as a pea, they have a very hard time doing that.  Weanling classes are fun to watch, because you never know what the silly little things will do.

This is the older twin.  She is a bay.  See how nicely she is developing?  She is very cute.

This is the younger twin.  Look at her!  Her lighter chestnut coat shed out, revealing her liver chestnut coat.  I love her!

Look at that pretty face!! 

Here is the happy family after lessons have ended.

Check out my current contests! See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library. Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Most of these were delightful surprises.

 

Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross by Alex Ross

Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles) by Alyxandra Harvey

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Black Bottle by Anthony Huso

The Moonstone and Miss Jones (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator)  by Jillian Stone

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

The Diviners  by Libba Bray

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English

 

Cleopatra Ascending (A Shadow’s Edge Novel) by Maureen Lipinski

Shifter’s Destiny (Harlequin Nocturne) by Anna Leonard (Yes, it is about a shape-shifting unicorn.  You didn’t really think I could pass this one up, did you?)

I also received the new issue of RT Book Reviews.  I love flipping through this magazine.

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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Review: Lead Me Home by Vicki Lewis Thompson

 

Title: Lead Me Home

Author:  Vicki Lewis Thompson

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Thanks to his skills with difficult horses, trainer Matthew Tredway has traveled all over the world. And his new gig? The Last Chance Ranch. But after a chance glance at the ranch’s hot little blond cook, Matthew’s libido is immediately set to sizzle!

Chef Aurelia Smith has been trying to tempt the ranch hands with mouth-watering concoctions, with less-than-stellar results. But when Matthew is sent in to intervene, his attraction to Aurelia boils over.

Before long, they’re cooking up a storm, in and out of the bedroom. But Aurelia knows that while she might have led her horseman to bed, she can’t make him stay….

Review:

Whenever I get into a reading slump, I find myself reaching for a Harlequin category romance.  I don’t know why, but these things always seem to get me back on a reading track.  Maybe because of the formula, and because I know that despite all adversity, the protagonists will find a way to get together.  I’m not suggesting that they are all 5 star reads, but I find a great deal of comfort in the formula.  I have only read a few titles under the Blaze imprint, and so far, they have been quick, satisfying reads, so I  gravitated to one of these.

I picked Lead Me Home to load on my Kindle because of one thing:  the hero is a horse trainer.  I am always a sucker for a book with horses.  I am also extremely critical of stories featuring horses, because there are certain ways we do things at the barn, and then there’s the way everyone else does things.  Usually, it is in sync with how I expect horse care and horse training to be described.  Sometimes it is not.  With the exception of young Lester’s “natural” riding abilities, and the abbreviated time spent training Houdini, the unruly stallion, I didn’t have much to complain about with the horse scenes.  I would like Lester to come and show me how to canter on a runaway horse, because I am having a heck of time cantering on one of my mares.  Of course, Lester was helped out by a jerk throwing a rock, so maybe under different circumstances, he would have a problem, too.

Anyhoo, getting back to the book, Matthew is a huge guy, 6’5” and solidly built.  He is a muscle machine.  I am assuming that he’s training quarter horses, and my only other nitpick is that he is a big guy.  Quarter horses aren’t huge horses(well, except for their rear ends).  I am thinking that he looked pretty silly on Houdini, unless the stud was built like a brick sh!thouse, too.  I know how ridiculous my trainer looks on one of my mares, and she isn’t a small horse.  Oh! I am wandering off track again! Sorry!  Let’s try again!

Matthew is a famous horse trainer, probably along the lines of Clinton Anderson.  He is a published author, and everyone recognizes that he is a horse training expert.  He jets all about the world, working his equine mojo.  He also feels detached from people, and has no real committed relationships.  Both of his parents have passed away; his mother when he was a young child, and his father just a few years ago.  His father was so devastated by his mother’s death that he was an emotionally distant care-giver.  Matthew found completion training horses, and his training gifts have made him wealthy.

Aurelia, on the other hand, works at a bank.  She is very satisfied with her job, but she has taken an extended vacation to fill in for her aunt, who is off on her honeymoon.  Aurelia is working at Last Chance Ranch as the cook, and she is having a blast tormenting the ranch-hands with her gourmet cooking.  While she is a wonderful cook, the cowboys don’t like the weird things she is trying to feed them.  I loved this – Aurelia is trying to expose them to new food, and they just want to run for cover.  They are afraid of her food!  They think it is gross and inedible.  They sneak it out of the kitchen and feed it to the dogs.  They can’t even pronounce the names of these new dishes; how can they possibly eat this stuff??

Poor Matthew is immediately asked by the cowboys to set Aurelia straight and to save them from her goofy food.  She is just too nice for them to tell her how they really feel, so they are going to throw Matthew under the bus and make him to do.  He wants to taste her food for himself, because during his travels, he has learned to love food.  He isn’t afraid of new things!  I felt an instant bond with Matthew – any guy who has an open mind about food is all right with me.  Thankfully, I found a guy who enjoys food, too.  He even eats the gross stuff that Aurelia’s cowboys balked at – livers and yucky stuff like that.  Give me  tender goat that has been simmered in a curry sauce and I’ll be your friend forever.  The organ meats, though, that is another matter altogether.

Matthew and Aurelia hit it off right away.  It’s lust at first sight, and Matthew has the added bonus of yummy home cooking.  Their steamy affair is moving along full steam ahead, both of them acknowledging that this is just a short time, no strings attached romp.  Until they both get in over their heads.  Then Matthew makes a wonderful suggestion to Aurelia, as way to keep them together, but she rejects the idea, without even thinking about it.  And that is what irritated me about Aurelia.  She is so adventurous about about everything else,  but when the guy who seems to be the love of her life suggests as plausible way for them to be together, she shuts down and shoots him down.  Maybe he didn’t go about bringing up the topic in the right way, but, heck, he’s a horse trainer! What does he know about women!  Just kidding.

Lead Me Home is a quick, entertaining read.  It’s obvious that it’s part of a series, and I liked the characters enough that I will scrounge up more books in it.  This isn’t a perfect read, but it was engaging, the protagonists weren’t jerks, and it got me out of my reading slump.

Grade: B/B-

Review copy purchased from Amazon

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Review and Giveaway: Horseplay! by Karma Wilson & Jim McMullan

 

Title: Horseplay!

Author:  Karma Wilson

Illustrator: Jim McMullan

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

 

Review:

Poor Farmer is confused.  His horses are so exhausted that they sleep the day away.  Farmer  knows that they aren’t working that hard, so he’s worried that something is wrong with them.  One night, he hides behind a hay bale and he catches them in the act!  What is going on at night? Horseplay!! Lots and lots of horseplay!  These silly horses stay up all night long goofing off, and that leaves them much too tired to work. 

This is a pretty funny picture book.  The horses keep finding ways to outwit Farmer and continue to have their fun.  That’s a remarkable accomplishment since horses have brains the size of a walnut.  Farmer gets mighty worked up each time he catches his horses being naughty, and the colorful art captures his frustration with a great deal of humor.  The illustrations are cartoony and fit well with the lighthearted tone of the book. 

GIVEAWAY!

Little Brown and Company has a copy of Horseplay! for one lucky reader.  Not sure if you want to enter?  Here are some sample pages from Horseplay!  Look at those exhausted ponies!  Look at that frustrated Farmer!

I love this one!  Farmer has been outwitted by the sly ponies!

 

Fill out the widget below to enter for your chance to win a finished copy of Horseplay!  I want a young reader to enjoy this book, so entering is easy!  Only two entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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