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Leaping Hearts by [Ward, J.R.]
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Leaping Hearts Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Former champion rider Devlin McCloud owns outstanding stables, but they all sit empty, a bitter reminder of the horrible accident that left his beloved horse dead and his leg permanently crippled. A. J. Sutherland, daughter of one of the area's wealthiest men, has just spent all of her money to purchase Sabbath, a horse with attitude, but her family refuses to let her board the temperamental animal in their state-of-the-art facility. Despite his better judgment, the reclusive Devlin takes in both the horse and his attractive young owner. As Devlin fights his growing attraction to A. J., a talented but obstinate show rider, he begins to work through some of the tremendous guilt he carries from the death of his horse. Readers who loved National Velvet as children and are fans of Nora Roberts' classic horse books, Irish Thoroughbred (1981), Irish Rose (1988), Irish Rebel (2000), and Irish Hearts (2000), will savor every well-written page of Bird's impressive debut novel. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From the Inside Flap

Her dreams are within reach?
All she has to do is learn to hold on . . .

A beautiful young woman with a defiant spirit, A. J. Sutherland spends a small fortune on a horse with a wild reputation, and is forced to sacrifice her position at her family?s stables to keep him. She plans to ride the magnificent stallion in the biggest event of the show jumping season?and she knows she can win. But without the backing of Sutherland Stables, A. J. must rely on a stranger to help her: a man who makes her heart pound, her head spin . . . and who just happens to be a legend in equestrian circles.

When Devlin McCloud?s career was cut short by a tragic accident, he never expected to get back in the ring. But when A. J. asks him to be her trainer, he finds he cannot resist the chance?or his stunning new employer. And what begins as a business arrangement soon becomes something deeper, as Devlin and A. J. learn that even in a sport full of hazards, sometimes the most dangerous thing to risk is one?s heart. . . .

Product Details

  • File Size: 873 KB
  • Print Length: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (July 3, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 3, 2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073XV3WQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,172 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sabbath was the name of the magnificent stallion that no one could seem to tame. A.J. Sutherland decided she would be the one to do it! She spent a small fortune to purchase him only to find out her family's stables refused to back her up! A.J. was forced to choose between her family and the horse she knew could be a champion. For various reasons, A.J. chose Sabbath. Since the horse was not welcome at the Sutherland Stables, A.J. and Sabbath left.
Devlin McCloud was a former champion equestrian. Due to a horrible accident a year ago, he was unable to compete. A.J. managed to convince Devlin to help train Sabbath fro the Qualifier, only two months away. It was to be business only; however, A.J. and Sabbath began knocking down the wall Devlin had built around his heart.
***** This is one truly awesome story! The author has a few sub-plots to keep the readers on the edge of their seats, while managing to give each of the two main characters their own set of problems AND a shaky romance! Well done, Jessica Bird! Highly recommended reading here! *****
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read all of JR Ward's newer works and enjoyed a few of her older romances but this book was hard to get through -- in fact, I quit at the 70% mark. I never felt particularly invested in AJ and Devlin's romance but I was curious about whether they'd manage to pull off the qualifier or not so I stuck with it. Until my least favorite trope reared it's ugly head: the heroine being pigheadedly dishonest until the inevitable reveal, leading to anger, break-up, strife, blah blah blah.

Blah.

I threw my kindle -- softly -- onto the table and gave it up. I don't care how it ends, though I hope the horse gets a nice home with a smarter rider.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The moment A.J. Sutherland saw the sleek black stallion named Sabbath, she knew. She just KNEW he would be a champion jumper. The stallion's hellish reputation notwithstanding, she saw him as pure gold and bought him at auction over the strenuous objections of her stepbrother, the contentious pain in the hindquarters who runs the business side of her wealthy father's stables. A.J. was resolute, however, and with one signed check she committed herself to a whole new life. Her decision gets her new horse banned from her family's stable and herself steamrollered by her stepbrother's quick snatch of the power to control her.

With her options limited to fleeing or submitting to him, she makes a mad dash towards freedom, but the reality of the situation hits her hard. She's now more or less homeless, with nothing of her own but some well-worn tack, a horse no one but she believes in, and a burning desire to prove them all wrong. Committed to entering and making a good showing at a prestigious jumping competition in a mere two months, A.J. throws herself on the mercy of the one man who she believes can help her. The one man she desires most...in all ways.

Devlin McCloud had been a superstar in the sport of showjumping, having won just about every major competition he'd entered in the past decade, before a brutal and career-ending fall almost a year ago crushed his leg and forced him to put down the horse he loved. Since then he's been wallowing in self pity, cut off from the life and sport that meant everything to him.

Until the day he went to auction and saw a fiery woman stare down an intractable horse.

For the first time in a very long time, desire heated his blood and tightened his veins, but when he first hears A.J.
Read more ›
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By A Customer on August 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At a Virginia horse auction, A.J. Sutherland buys four-year-old thoroughbred Sabbath for thirty thousand dollars though the steed has a nasty reputation and her stepbrother, the family finance expert Peter Conrad, objected. Following her instincts, A.J. pays with her own personal money. When she returns to Sutherland Stables, Peter informs her that he sold the horse. An upset A.J. blithely says he cannot sell what the stable does not own and leaves with her horse though she has no place for Sabbath to stay.

A desperate A.J. travels to the nearby home of Devlin McCloud to beg the once golden boy of horse jumping to allow her steed to stay in his stable. Devlin still uses a cane from the injury he suffered last year that led to the euthanasia killing of his beloved horse Mercy. He wants nothing to do with A.J. or Sabbath, but would never allow an animal to suffer because of human stupidity. Soon he finds himself training horse and woman. As A.J. and Devlin fall in love, both fear commitment with a human.

Though readers will wonder how the father of A.J. could allow the cruelty of not stabling Sabbath for at least a night, fans will appreciate this warm contemporary romance. The story line is exciting as Devlin and A.J. leap from love even though the dangerous matchmaking skills of the key third character Sabbath pushes them together. LEAPING HEARTS combines a good horse jumping competition with a strong romance into a fine debut by newcomer Jessica Bird.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll be honest. Even though JR Ward is my favorite author (alongside Larissa Ione), I was really skeptical about her human romances so I stayed away from them and kept on the BDB and Fallen Angels series. Well, it didn't take long for me to run out of books to read and what was I left with? Ms. Ward's contemporary romances as Jessica Bird, of course. So I gave one a shot. My first was the Player (or His Comfort and Joy, same thing I guess). It was wildly different than what I was used to from her, but as she was still the genius writer that I knew she was, I could appreciate it. This one caught my attention before I could actually go through the entire Moorehouse Legacy series from start to finish because I'm an animal lover so I thought I would be able to connect with this one better. Love love loved it. Still not the exact same writing style I used to seeing from her, but still pleasant to read nonetheless. Bought the Heart of Gold paperback to read next but didn't get very far before her next installation of BDB/Fallen Angels came out so it's been on the back-burner for a while. Will definitely pick it up after finishing The King, and I know I'll love it.
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