--Historical Novel Review
Love does conquer all in this story, but while we anxiously read to find out how, we are treated to a rich portion of history in this well-researched and thoroughly likable book. (Barbara Lingens BookLoons.com 20100414)
I had really high expectations and I was not disappointed. I would suggest this book to anyone with even the slightest interest in horse racing and a love of romances with star-crossed lovers. (Books Like Breathing-Grace)
--Books Like Breathing blog
Emery Lee has given the reader a highly detailed and researched plot... Unexpected twists kept you guessing until the very last page. (Svea Love Confessions of a Muse in the Fog 20100407)
--Confessions of a Muse in the Fog blog
A very enjoyable work of historical fiction, providing a compelling story against the backdrop of thoroughbred horse racing. Definitely recommended. (Meghan Burton Medieval Bookworm 20100414)
From the Author
Since THE HIGHEST STAKES' release, I have done a number of guest blogs to answer questions about my creative process, why I chose Georgian England and Colonial Virginia as my settings, and how I researched the novel. I also wrote about the history of horseracing and my own passion for equines. I would now like share some of these thoughts and add some background information on the novel itself.
It is always said that one should write what one knows, but I will add that one should also write one's passions. In my case, this would mean converging horses, history and romance, elements that at first glance appear very much at odds, but the combination, to me, was irresistible. I wanted to create a hero, (Robert Devington) who would overcome many obstacles to find love and happiness, with his ultimate fate hanging on a horse race.
My research in this endeavor was both extensive and diverse, going back to the early 18th century and the creation of the Thoroughbred itself. The horses (all progeny of the Byerley Turk, and the Darley and Godolphin Arabians) are seamlessly woven into the plot in which the success of Sir Garfield's racing stud is elemental to his schemes of social advancement, and a racing wager becomes the only pathway Devington sees to win his true love, Charlotte.
A story of star-crossed lovers and horseracing, THE HIGHEST STAKES transports the reader to the hard-drinking, vice-ridden, horseracing world of Georgian England. Fascinating and titillating, this was an era of corruption, arranged marriages, and high stakes gambling; when racing and breeding became the obsession of the uppermost elite, and a match race might replace a duel in settling a point of honor. It was also an age in which a powerful and privileged aristocracy used an outer façade of honor and politesse to cover its multifarious sins.
Through the fictional love story of Robert Devington and Charlottte Wallace, a tale of drama, danger, thwarted love, and retribution unfurles...
Enjoy the ride!