For some reason, I've been stuck on 'serious' horse books for a few weeks now. Fitness, training, even autobiographies. Dressage, eventing, even a reining book. All are guaranteed to keep me somewhat entertained before bed, but not "Whoa, it's 2AM and I have to work in the morning!" entertained.
So, I was happy when Hannah Hooton, the author of "Making The Running", asked me to review her new fictional 'racing romance' book. (As a side note, I don't often review the horsey books I'm reading, but there are a few on this blog now - would anyone appreciate me consolidating and adding them under their own tab? Much work, but anything for my wonderful readers ;)
And, back to the topic. "Making The Running" is another story set in the UK steeple chasing scene. Don't let the fact that it's book 4 of the Aspen Valley series intimidate you, it stands on it's own perfectly well. I even heard a rumor the first book in the series "Keeping the Peace" is currently free for download at Amazon, if you do want to start from the beginning!
As with the other books in the series, I really appreciated the author's writing. The story line isn't attempting to be super deep or meaningful, but in my opinion, that's a good thing. It's keeping on the right side of refreshing and fun without being trashy or unrealistic. All of the characters have their personal problems and dramatic moments, but there is an underlying sense of humor to it all I really appreciate. The writing is what really makes these books stand out from the rest of the adult horsey book series you see. I like Natalie Keller Reinert's books for the same reason - both authors seem to be a step above the rest as far as being able to create vivid (and believable) descriptions and conversations, although I find Hannah's books much more humorous.
"Making The Running" is probably my favorite since "Keeping The Peace". She's created a likeable and funny protagonist that would be hard not to root for. I wasn't as keen on some of the other characters and plot lines in this particular book, but I did love the horses, who all get their own character. I'm admittedly not super familiar with the racing scene in the UK, but all the horsey details felt right and well researched, an accomplishment in itself! As I said in a previous review I'm not normally a reader of romance novels, but I think it bears repeating that these aren't typical. I'd hesitate to really call them romances beyond the fact that most of the characters get a happily ever after in love ending, and who can fault that? The only real fault I found is that I was up until 2AM reading :)
Final verdict: If you're looking for something well written and fun that has some likeable horsey and human characters, check it out!
The disclaimer: The author provided me with a copy of her novel in exchange for this review. That being said, if I honestly didn't enjoy the book I wouldn't recommend it here (and would have likely chickened out from posting any review at all. ;)
Link to the Amazon Store here.