Media Release: Romantic suspense at a horse show
NOW AVAILABLE on Kindle and Paperback
She was looking for a horse. What she found was romance… and danger.
Willie Adams is at the L.A. Equestrian Center shopping for her first horse. A young widow struggling with the idea of dating again, she never expected that a gorgeous trainer like Tyler Ransome would notice her. But he did.
He wasn’t the only one, either. Bobby Fermino is not as handsome, nor as pleasant. After attacking Willie he ends up dead in her tack room, leaving her the most likely suspect.
Willie has to convince Detective Lucas Macy that she’s innocent, but her physical attraction to him isn’t making the task easy.
With growing evidence pointing to her, and two famous actors drawing attention to the investigation, Willie decides to take the reins. She must find the murderer before they find her, but will she survive opening her heart to someone new?
What does Midwest Book Reviews have to say about MURDER ON THE HOOF?
Read D. Donovan’s review:
If it’s a horse story combined with a romance that jazzes you, then Murder on the Hoof promises to trot away with your heart, and is the item of choice for any who wants a steamy love story and murder mystery, served up equestrian-style.
Willie Adams is a young widow out shopping not for a man, but for a horse; so it seems inevitable that she’d encounter a catch in both, with a handsome horse trainer helping overcome her reluctance to the notion of dating again.
There’s no time for romance to bud, however, when she finds another potential suitor (who has been less than pleasant) dead in her tack room, sparking an investigation that draws Willie into a battle to protect her reputation and her business.
Add an attraction to the detective investigating the case and a series of seemingly-chance discoveries that seem to point to her as the perp and you have a fast-paced story indeed.
Now, blending romance and mystery to cross genres and reach both audiences is not an unusual approach. What is unusual here is the equestrian atmosphere combined with not just one romance, but overlapping layers of attraction between various protagonists — all centered around the uncertain Willie, who is entering the dating scene after a long hiatus, and only just beginning to realize the emptiness of her life without a mate: “Hank had been gone for three years now, leaving her a widow at barely thirty. The good news was there were no children to raise without him. The bad news was she would have adored raising his children. Photographs and videos couldn’t be hugged in the middle of a bad night, and her memories of their carefree marriage did not feel like much of a legacy.”
Gayle Carline creates scenes that are high-charged and appealing, including the insights of male protagonists as well as the central female figure: something that rounds out the action and special interests quite well: “Her breath was a soft breeze in his ear as she confessed her innocence, and he could almost feel the strength of her heartbeat, pounding like a horse’s hooves. In that moment, he could have easily wrapped his arms around her and never let her go.”
It’s refreshing to note that the horse scenes are just as well detailed as the romance: “Willie pressed Chester and started him jogging, too. Most horses were bumpy at the jog, but Chester was like riding a Cadillac with really good shocks. She could feel his back end rise and fall, but his flat knee action kept him floating instead of ramming each foot into the ground. After her recent injuries, she was especially thankful.” It’s this attention to detail that round out the mystery/romance plot with a believable setting and additional insights: much needed devices too often lacking in the romance genre, but more than present in Murder on the Hoof, where equine experiences are a strong emphasis. It’s obvious Carline knows her horses!
Life’s ironies and changes are well presented in the story of a young widow who thinks she’s going to a horse show to buy a horse, but who buys romance and danger instead. Readers seeking more than one-dimensional descriptions of on-and-off passions will find Murder on the Hoof just the ticket, steeped in the ironies, twists, and multi-layered emotions that make for a realistic, absorbing read. (D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR)
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