From Publishers Weekly
Barclay takes the Nicholas Sparks formula out for a limping spin in his melodramatic debut weepy. Wyatt Blaine's happy world crumbles on his 35th birthday when his wife and his son are killed by a drunk driver. Five years later, Wyatt still hasn't recovered from their deaths, and Trevor MacPherson--the 14-year-old son of the man who killed Wyatt's family--is having problems at school and is offered one last chance: participate in the New Beginnings horse therapy program on the Blaine ranch. Blaine is shocked and furious when he finds out who Trevor is, but he allows him into the program. A bigger surprise comes in the form of Trevor's mother, Gabby, who is the most attractive and interesting woman Blaine has met since his wife's death. Barclay clearly knows a great deal about horsemanship, though the contrived romance angle is tough to get past, especially considering how central it is. Wyatt's irascible father provides some relief, but the clunky writing and maudlin aesthetic make this a nonstarter. (Feb.) (c)
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“I loved it. A great read myself and staff enjoyed very much, with wonderful characters and writing.” (Earlene Scott, Scotts Bookstore Newnan, GA)
[If Wishes Were Horses] will satisfy fans of sweet romances and tender family sagas… Mr. Barclay weaves a quiet tale about people with hearts of gold, each barely coping with inner demons or tragic circumstances, who learn that they need one another in order to find redemption. (NY Journal of Books)
“IF WISHES WERE HORSES is chock full of wonderful characters. The novel is a moving one, at turns poignant, sad, dramatic, amusing, and hopeful.” (Romance Reviews Today)
“A powerful story...You’ll rejoice in the triumphs experienced at a horse-therapy program for troubled teens and observe how results can best be achieved through actions.” (PBG Lifestyle Magazine)