Top critical review
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So close to a really good read . . .
on August 18, 2013
I wanted to love this book, as it had all of my favorite elements in fiction: horses, hot foreign guys, romance, and the polo setting was a nice bonus! The book was pretty well written for the young adult genre, heroine was a little whiny, but she had legitimate problems. Dialogue was a little cheesy at first, most noticeable between the the heroine and her family, and it was a total love at first sight typical of YA romance, but I can get past that.
What I found to be the biggest problem, and I admit that this might not be a problem at all for most young adult readers, is the horse interactions. Honestly, the horse Argus (I kept reading Angus haha) behaved like a beaten dog, and not at all how an abused horse would act. No horse insecure in his surroundings would ever curl up and lay down; it is against their very nature (horses only lay down when they are totally comfortable and can trust that everything around them is not a threat) much less for days at a time, it would kill them. Also, every time he had a problem, he'd fall down and "whine" and "whimper." Not horse sounds. They kept waiting for him to faint from not eating, which I thought was a funny joke at first, since I know some narcoleptic type horses- but no, the people in the book were ready for him to swoon at any moment. Last, the author has apparently never never handled a horse whip, since anything and everything hit by one in this novel seemed ready to bleed to death. Really, the worst that can happen is a small welt, unless this barn had some old slave driver's whip hanging around, haha.
The abused horse saves the day protecting his master trope was a little hard to take too (and over done- second book I've read this week that had this happen!), since this horse was barely letting the chick touch him. Plus, I think a horse on it's last chance with animal control attacking and nearly killing someone isn't really going to put him in good graces with said animal control. . .
So, overall, very readable, and it obviously stuck with me enough to write a review, I just wish the author had had a horsey beta reader or editor clean up some of the scenes and horse actions, since it was very distracting and somewhat eye-roll inducing to anyone familiar with horses.