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If Wishes Were Horses: A Novel by [Barclay, Robert]
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If Wishes Were Horses: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Length: 405 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

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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Review

[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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1007 KB
  • Print Length: 405 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061966886
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Publication Date: February 15, 2011
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047DVI5C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,230 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wyatt Blaine is a rich lawyer-cowboy with a to-die-for body, an enormous horse ranch near Boca Raton, a fabulous personality, and endless finances. And, he's single. But bad news, he's still mourning the tragic death of his wife and son - on his birthday no less, sent out on a meaningless errand - in an automobile accident involving a drunk driver - 5 years ago.

But - amazingly - Gabrielle, the widow of that drunk driver, is also still single, gorgeous, poor but noble, and she has a troubled son who her priest - fully knowing the history - suggests for the horse therapy program run by Wyatt Blaine at his ranch.

Oddly, during the first conversation with the priest ( who seems a good guy, and a nice minor character), it seems the author is trying to keep us in suspense about the shared history between Gabrielle and Wyatt. The connection was obvious to me, but the longer the scene went, the more I wondered if the author was pretending the characters didn't know. It was just strange.

I wanted to like this novel. And I hoped it would be about horses, but it's not, really. There are horses on the ranch, prized horses, but the author doesn't quite have the details right in places. I was surprised to feel it read more like a romance type novel, though there is no explicit activity.

The conflicts don't always ring true. Gabby is not sure she can ever forgive Wyatt when she falls off one of his horses. The huge family secret of the Blaine family seems medically improbable. There is a rain of tragedy at the end that took the novel from fluffy romance with knight and shining armor to a lead weight. And still, the author teases by not quite describing what happened to who for many pages, for no good reason. We know we're mourning, but we have to wait for the next chapter set months later to find out for what.

It's not really bad, and I didn't hate it. But, it didn't quite find its genre.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This was a very nice gentle story to read when you need to relax. You know from the very beginning the outcome of the book so you aren't waiting with baited breath for the ending. If you have had a long exhausting day and want to read something that helps calm you down enough for a goods night's sleep, then this is a book for you. It is well written, but entirely predictable, but sometimes you need that! For the type of book it is, it is great. Not great literature, but a great book in it's own class.
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Format: Hardcover
There were so many good things about this book. The subject was interesting, the characters were likable, and I was drawn into the story and wanted to know what happened next. There was romance, but no offensive overly explicit scenes. However, I was so bothered by the constant use of Jesus Christ in an irreverent and cursing manner, that I couldn't even finish the book! Oddly enough, the other language in the book was mild and appropriate. The contrast between the caring characters, who attended church and showed some reverence there, and the constant use of my Lord and Saviour's name as a curse word was jarring and spoiled the book for me. I am surprised that the editor did not better advise this new author. I do think this author has promise, and I regret having to give him a negative review.
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Format: Hardcover
As a horse owner I am always excited to read stories about horses. When I read that this was a romance that involved horses I immediately purchased it, curled up in bed, and cracked it open. I was disappointed.
The story itself was lacking. There are several character introductions that really are irrelevant, and in one case (spoiler alert) he makes her such a unlikeable character that when she died I felt nothing. The story was a great idea, but it was rushed and it shows.
As to the horse information, even though I have finished the book, I still feel a very strong need to go back, cross out the errors and fix them. There was definitely a lack of research in that area.
I fail to see how anyone could compare this to Mr. Spark writing. I supposed this would be an okay book to get from the library for a rainy weekend, if you've read everything else.
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By Cari on November 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The title drew me to this book....a favorite song lyric...and the story was not disappointing. I fello love with WYatt almost a suddenly as GAbby did. Trevor was an angered and damaged by grief . His heartbreak palpable. Daddy Ram was the most adored and truly the Patriarch well loved and respected by all. Great story!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Five years ago, Wyatt Blaine lost his wife and son in a collision with a drunken driver. As a way to keep her memory alive and to heal, he decides to reinstate the New Beginnings Program. This was his late wife's project, an equine therapy program for troubled teens held at the Blaine's family ranch.

At the same time, Trevor, the son of the drunken driver, is having trouble at school. He's about to be expelled when his mother, Gabrielle Powers, tells the principal that Trevor has been accepted into the New Beginnings Program. Needless to say, the boy isn't happy.

Wyatt is unsure about his decision to let Trevor join, but soon warms to the boy as well as his mother. The change that comes about in all three begins the healing process they desperately deserve.

At first, I thought this was a Christian fiction, because one of the characters, a preacher, James Jacobson. He's the one who helped change Wyatt's mind about allowing the boy to attend the program. When Wyatt's first reaction was to use a curse word with "God," I knew that couldn't be the case.

The beginning started out interesting, but turned a bit too syrupy. I felt the dialogue was off. True enough, Trevor, trying to imitate James Dean, used phrases like "clocked him," but the other characters used close to the same phrases, like "gotten your lights punched out." If the setting had been in the 1950's era, then it would have worked better than in current day setting.

In addition, the pivotal points, after the built up to the climax, needed to be stronger, at least for my taste. I felt letdown when I found out what the fuss was about.

So was the story bad? For me, it wasn't. Even with my complaints, I wanted to read this one to the end and now that I have, there are no regrets.
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