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Keeping the Peace (Aspen Valley Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Hannah Hooton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)

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Book Description

***WARNING***: To keep it real, some characters engage in sexual activities and use language which some readers might find offensive.

London waitress, Pippa Taylor has no interest in horses or country-living. But when she inherits Peace Offering, a hopeless racehorse, she embarks on a career change in order to see her late uncle’s wish to run him in the Grand National come true.

But having talked her way into a job as racing secretary to champion National Hunt trainer, Jack Carmichael and moved to the West Country, Pippa finds herself faced with more daunting obstacles than even the Grand National can throw at her. And that’s before her tempestuous relationship with her new boss can be considered.

Moody, fiery-tempered and particularly easy on the eye, Jack’s moral code is threatened by Pippa’s arrival. After a Christmas they would both rather forget, danger and deception threaten Pippa’s life in the country and as her time at Aspen Valley Stables draws to its conclusion she discovers Peace Offering is not the only thing she must fight to keep.

An Amazon bestseller, inducted into A Drop of Romeo Hall of Fame and Some Kind of Wonderful Awards runner-up for Best International Romance


"A romance mystery thriller all rolled into one, with a touch of comedy to lighten the tone. Best buy!"

“You had me at the edge of my seat... The story was comical, suspenseful, dramatic, romantic and SPICY. Keeping the Peace, a story that’s going to be one of my personal favourites.”

“Every aspect of this book was perfect. I’m recommending this to everyone I know.”

“This book is absolutely flawless. I will NEVER look at horses the same anymore. Neither will I for jockeys or trainers, especially the latter.”

“[Keeping the Peace] is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read! I have never read a racing-based novel which feels so true to read. It is the perfect romance novel!”

Product Details

  • File Size: 1210 KB
  • Print Length: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Aspen Valley Books (April 18, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007T6LRCS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,604 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars June 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me start off by saying I feel this book was a solid 3.5 with potential for more but Amazon doesn't give the option for halves and it just didn't justify 4, sorry to be the first reviewer to not give it the full 5 stars.

Anyways, this book has a lot of good things going for it. The plot and storyline are plausible and the writer has good voice without trying too hard. The characters are likeable and relatable, the horses and racing adds an interesting element with their unpredictability, and everyone likes rooting for an underdog (or a few in this case). It was an easy read the kept me coming back for more.

Now on to the negatives. There are a few spelling and grammar errors, could just be because it was an e book but none the less they are there. The story dragged in a few spots, nothing major but I think this could have been a really exciting fast paced book but just missed it. I would have liked to have seen more involvement with the horses considering the premise of the book. I think the author had a real opportunity to use Peace Offering as a more vital role in the book but he kind of became a background detail and only used to add drama here and there. Could have used a bit more romance too. I am not saying more knocking boots per say, but a tiny bit more excitement/tension would have helped pick the slow points.

All in all, good book I enjoyed but I didn't fall in love with as much as I wanted to. I will be happy to read the author's future works and see how she develops.

Oh, and the little snippets paint Jack as a real prat, wanker, tosser, whatever UK term you want to pick and that originally turned me off from picking this book up but I gave it a whirl anyways. Jack is just the typical brooding male romance character, not a complete asshat like I was led to believe.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Story August 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I agree with the first review given by MN Shopper. I found the story and characters to be strong and interesting, but there were some weak areas, and I couldn't figure out why the book was called KEEPING THE PEACE. The horse was Peace Offering (which would have been a better title), and there didn't seem to be much peace kept.

There were a few scanning problems, and some wrong words used, like "grinded" for "ground." Some of the sentences seemed awkward, especially at first. An example is "The bedding, which last night she had unearthed...." The author even spoke directly to the reader once by saying, " would begin to understand how Pippa was feeling." At one point in the first half, when Pippa was working as Jack's secretary, descriptions of Pippa's routine days became too mundane, and the story slowed. Thankfully, this didn't last for long.

The bigger problem for me was the extreme cursing and graphic sex. Without these, the novel would have been much classier. I don't know how the author managed to include so much of this and not have the book seem totally trashy and pornographic, but she did. Perhaps it's because the story is so strong and the main characters likable.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good story but... May 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story was interesting, but at times I felt I was reading a foreign language book. So much unfamiliar British slang and ridiculous use of the "f" word. Some places it didn't even fit in the context of the sentence. I probably won't be reading Hannah Hooton again.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly good modern story June 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a well written and entertaining story; there was much that I loved about it.

I like books that actually teach you something in a natural way as part of the story - in this case the world of jumps racing - without it sounding like the author was paraphrasing information they obtained secondhand. In the state where I live, jumps racing is currently a very contentious topic, so I appreciated learning of the personal pain and trauma experienced by the other party to the debate - the carers/trainers etc - when horse fatalities occur.

It was refreshing to read a romance story where the two protagonists were actually believable characters and where you could see how their relationship developed: two decent people of integrity whose love grew out of mutual respect, understanding and appreciation first (not just from the immediate physical attraction). The secondary characters were entertaining - every girl needs a best friend like the wonderful Tash, everyone loves a cheery, witty Irishman like Finn; the selfish, shallow and manipulative existing partners were slightly two-dimensional but nevertheless served their purpose in highlighting toxic relationships and perhaps why good people remain in them; the dialogue was realistic and the humour interspersed throughout the book was actually really funny. Furthermore, the narration is relatively free of the annoying (over-)use of free indirect speech that is so characteristic of a lot of modern stories.

As a Kindle book it does have a few typographical/editing errors (even in the one French sentence!) but nothing too distracting. One of my best Kindle purchases. It would be wonderful if the author continued the story of Pippa and Jack and Peace Offering...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun romantic horsey story.... October 19, 2013
3.5 stars.

London waitress, Pippa Taylor has no interest in horses or country-living. But when she inherits Peace Offering, a hopeless racehorse, she embarks on a career change in order to see her late uncle's wish to run him in the Grand National come true.

Now funnily enough, apart from the obvious exception of Jilly Cooper I don't usually read "horsey" books these days. This despite being a rider myself, who as a child used to indulge in quite a few childrens books with a horse theme - most specifically the Flambards trilogy. So when I was offered a chance to review this one I was immediately transported back to those days...

Of course this is a book for adults - one that takes us into the world of Horse Racing and all that entails, and I enjoyed it very much. Our protagonist, Pippa, is thrust into this world, one she initally has no interest in, and as we follow her along the way its a lot of fun.

You have some romance, some intrigue, all set in a wonderfully colourful world with well drawn characters and an entertaining and lively story.

One possible drawback is the occasional over use of bad language - if that sort of thing bothers you then take that into account before diving into this one..however it did not detract from a great little story for me. I will certainly be reading on.

Thank you kindly to the author for the review copy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and well worth reading.
Published 7 hours ago by Doris Emanuel
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun romance story in a neat setting.
Although the setting is appealing, the characters are interesting, this a typical romance story. Not terribly realistic or likely situations. Read more
Published 5 days ago by KC Parkinskyle
3.0 out of 5 stars could be better
This book really has a sweet message BUT the very unnecessary and offensive language ruins it. There is no need to use the "F" word. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Robyn Orchard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good in depth iinfo about horse racing in UK. Good character development.
Published 11 days ago by Carolyn C. Parker
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
I really didn't care for this book at all. Being a horse lover and addicted to romance novels I thought this would be perfect. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Undecided
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read.
I truly enjoyed this book for many reasons. It takes place in England, so it is full of English dialect and country landscapes. Read more
Published 19 days ago by lisa butler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This story held my interest throughout the entire book.
Published 21 days ago by dardar
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed this, but really far-fetched plot. Still, enjoyable.
Published 24 days ago by Laurel Shand
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy trainer...feisty secretary
Enjoyed this love story between Pippa and race horse trainer Jack. It was a slow build and although I am not a horse lover I liked the whole setting. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Julia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good story
Published 25 days ago by Sharon
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More About the Author

Hannah Hooton burst onto the contemporary romance scene with the release of her debut novel, At Long Odds, in January 2012. This was followed by the multi-award winning, bestselling Aspen Valley series, so far consisting of the first four instalments, Keeping the Peace, Giving Chase, Share and Share Alike, and Making the Running.

The inspiration for these novels came while combining her wanderlust with her love of horse racing when travelling around Australia working from one racing stable to the next as a strapper (not to be confused with stripper).
She has now settled in East Anglia, UK, having recently completed a BA Honours degree in Writing and Film Studies.

Hannah won the Cambridge Writers Short Story Competition 2014 with Carvings For Sale, a snapshot of the evolving and turbulent African country where she grew up.

Hannah's passion and mild obsession with horses has forced her to plan her own life around the racing calendar. Her family are well aware not to expect an appearance from her at functions during the likes of Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival weeks. Writing racing romances allows her to further research her passion and she is privileged to have made some firm friends in so doing.

Hannah is currently working on the fifth novel in the Aspen Valley series.

To keep up to date with Hannah's writing and to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website or follow her on Twitter or like her Facebook page

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