Heartspur by Nancy Lindley-Gauthier
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (157 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe
Jillian Trent falls for a cowboy–but not just a cowboy. He’s a champion of reining…from Texas, from money, and realistically, far out of reach.
Or is he? The moment he asks her out, Jill starts to puzzle over his ‘real’ motivation.
After all, a trail ride through the Catskills, overshadowed by the legends of ‘the Headless Horseman’ might seem romantic to some…or it might highlight some of the dangers inherent to riding–and love. And she knows there is a danger.
Nothing is what Jill expected, though. She’s fallen for a man and at the same time, become enchanted with a golden Haflinger. All her ambitions, for love and for her riding career, are at her fingertips. Yet, both are threatened.
Unfortunately, no one else shares Jill’s perception. Perhaps, Jill’s involvement in mystery writing makes her susceptible to seeing clues where there are none.
Will she put aside her self-doubt and trust? Or will that leave all of them in deadly danger.
She’s all dressed up and looking forward to dinner and a first date with Frank, a very good looking champion horse rider. Suddenly something spurts out of the woods onto the road and she almost hits it before she can get stopped. When she goes to check on it, she finds a horse. But where is the rider?
This author loves horses, rides them, and it shows in her story telling. I learned about horse shows, horse personalities, and a bit about how to train them. Jillian rides in dressage competition and she finds that some of the training techniques mean the rider has to adopt them, not just the horse.
Jillian's very attracted to Frank, but she’s not sure her affections are reciprocated. After all, she’s a mystery book reviewer that only shows a horse, not a rodeo girl. I would have liked to known a bit more about Jillian’s background. It wasn’t necessary, but it would have fleshed out the story a bit more.
This is like a cozy with horses. The story isn’t too deep, the characters are what keep you entertained, and when accidents start happening regularly at the show you begin realize they aren’t all “accidents”.
What grabs Jillian’s attention at the beginning was the fact that Frank almost died from a gas heater in his small unventilated trailer. When he says it’s not his heater, she begins to think these might be deliberate acts.
The author makes Jillian a young woman who is a bit insecure in her looks and with her horse. She also isn’t a very good investigator. She missed some clues Miss Marple (her mystery heroine) would have noticed. She didn’t give up, though. She kept searching for answers and it turned into a mystery bigger than I expected. The romance between Jillian and Frank is slow and sweet.
The best part of this book is the character development and the various types of people she has added to the story. Anytime you have a large gathering you get all types and she’s given you a run down on most of them in this story. It’s a pleasant read that left me with a smile at the end.