Category: Horses

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines

Posted September 13, 2017 by karenbaron in Animals, Cats, Cozy, Dogs, Guest Post, Horses, Mystery, Review, Series / 0 Comments

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn HainesSticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines
Published by Minotaur Books on May 16th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: Kindle

Private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney and her friends are celebrating New Year's Eve at the party of the year, a smashing Winter Garden party at the Prince Albert Hotel. It's a dazzling success...until Frangelica "Sister" McFee walks through the door. Sarah Booth knew Sister in college, before Sister became a bestselling author and moved to New York, and fame and fortune don't seem to have tempered her arrogance and cruelty.
Sister's latest book is a memoir about the death of her mother and brother many years ago. Now, a film about the book is in the works, and a film crew has descended upon Zinnia, Mississippi, to tell the complete tale. The film crew soon realizes there may be more to the story than meets the eye--or is told in Sister's memoir--and they hire Sarah Booth to discover the absolute truth about those deaths so many years ago. But Sarah Booth quickly realizes that someone is desperate to keep the truth hidden and will go to any lengths necessary to protect a long-held secret.
Carolyn Haines's next Sarah Booth Delaney novel, Sticks and Bones, is sure to delight series fans and newcomers alike.

Murder, mayhem, old money and family secrets. So fun.

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines is awesome, dahlink. I always find what Sarah Booth and Tinkie get messed up in will make me laugh.

I have read all the books in this series, they are all fabulous. I love Sunflower, Mississippi and the delta area where Sarah Booth lives. The culture and the people we meet through Sarah Booth’s adventures are extraordinary characters.

The mystery Sarah Booth and Tinkie are hired to solve this time really kept me guessing. I truly didn’t figure it out until almost end. Ms. Haines really kept me guessing. I actually dismissed the killer like three times in my head. The death of Son and Cleo McFee is a cold case that is brought up again by the release of a Sister McFee’s best-selling book, which was optioned into a movie deal. The movie production company has hired the ladies to find the truth.

I love the regular characters. Sarah Booth is feisty, stubborn, and brave. She will do anything for the people she loves. Tinkie is a petite, blond who the ability to make men bend to her will. They both run around with their pets, who create as much mischief as the two prying private eyes.

Sarah Booth seems to have decided on her beau finally. I kind of hoped that she might choose Harold, but Coleman and she have a great connection and they seem to be a good fit, too. I know that just making a choice will make Jitty happy.

The drama, lies, secrets, and dysfunction in this old money family is terrible. It is like the money has corrupted their entire beings. I love the way Ms. Haines incorporates all of this into the mystery and uses it to keep us guessing. Never underestimate what someone will do for money.

My rating is 5 stars, and I can’t wait for Sarah Booth and Tinkie’s next adventure. If you haven’t read any of the series you should definitely give it a shot.

**Sticks and Bones**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

About Carolyn Haines

Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of over 70 books. She was the recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, as well as the “Best Amateur Sleuth” award by Romantic Times. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Alabama on a farm with more dogs, cats, and horses than she can possibly keep track of.


Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Posted July 21, 2017 by karenbaron in Contemporary Romance, Guest Post, Horses, Mystery, Review, Suspense / 0 Comments

Come Sundown by Nora RobertsCome Sundown by Nora Roberts
Published by St. Martin's Press on May 30th 2017
Pages: 466
Format: Hardcover, Kindle
five-stars

A saga of love, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession
The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…
When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

Marvelous Montana is smaller than some would think.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts is another hit. I loved the fast paced combination of mystery, romance, intrigue, and of course family.

The Bodine-Longbow family is very big on family, respect and taking care of their own, whether they are blood or not. All wonderful qualities that I have found in many of the people that I have met in Montana. I immediately like the Bodine Longbow, she smart, feisty, independent and an extremely hard worker. Although the rest of the family is full of characters, like Ms. Fancy and Cora. Those two are giving their two cents and holding their own, for the elderly women they are the bomb.

Then there is Alice. Alice is so strong and yet she has no idea. Her life has been tragic and yet she is now finding a positive in her life that is filled with family and love. Nora Roberts characters are so well written that its like she is just telling the story of this wonderful Montana ranch family, complete with all of the skeletons in the closets and the all the wonderfully sappy happy moments too.

I love the setting. Montana is one of my favorite states. The descriptions that Ms. Roberts uses are spot on. It was so easy to visualize the beauty and the isolation of southwestern Montana. Besides who can fault a book with cowboys and horses?

My rating is 5 stars, Nora Roberts doesn’t disappoint. If you haven’t read it Come Sundown yet, you will want to pick it up.

**Where to find Come Sundown**

** Goodreads **        **Turn the Page Bookstore**

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.

She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.

Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”


Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Posted July 19, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Animals, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Drama, Fiction, Horses, Review, Romance, Tear Jerker, Teen, Womens Fiction, Young Adult / 0 Comments

Dear John by Nicholas SparksDear John by Nicholas Sparks
on October 30, 2006
Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 276
Format: Paperback
five-stars

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart.
But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else.
Dear John, the letter read... and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.

My take on this book:              Wow. To be expected of a Nicholas Sparks’ book Dear John was a tearjerker throughout some parts of the book. I think I should only reading one Nicholas Sparks book a year. Two times this year that this man has made me cry and I don’t know if I like that. Besides the crying bits Dear John by Nicholas Sparks is a great book.

John Tyree and Savannah Curtis met one summer and in a week the two fell in love. We follow John through this whole thing with Savannah and hoping that things will work out in the end. This book is a little hard to get into but once you do you don’t want to put it down. Like I did today,  when I was supposed to be cleaning up from breakfast I instead was trying to finish my book to see what will happen for John and Savannah.

Savannah and John have the type of romance that everyone wishes for and could only hope to experience something like that at one point of their lives.

This book is an excellent book and one that I hope I will never forget. Despite the rocky start I am giving this book a five star review. Even though I am done reading the book and I am sitting down writing this review I am still thinking about Savannah and John’s romance and wondering how their lives would be different if they took a different route then they did in the book. Their story is honest and I totally see how it could be a real life story. It’s books like this one that makes me happy that I’ve read them and able to share my views of the book with other people. I will also recommend this book to anyone that asks me about it!

Anyways until the next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find this book**

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five-stars

About Nicholas Sparks

As a child, Nicholas Sparks lived in Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Grand Island, Nebraska, finally settling in Fair Oaks, California at the age of eight. His father was a professor, his mother a homemaker, then optometrist’s assistant. He lived in Fair Oaks through high school, graduated valedictorian in 1984, and received a full track scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.

After breaking the Notre Dame school record as part of a relay team in 1985 as a freshman (a record which still stands), he was injured and spent the summer recovering. During that summer, he wrote his first novel, though it was never published. He majored in Business Finance and graduated with high honors in 1988.

He and his wife Catherine, who met on spring break in 1988, were married in July, 1989. While living in Sacramento, he wrote his second novel that same year, though again, it wasn’t published. He worked a variety of jobs over the next three years, including real estate appraisal, waiting tables, selling dental products by phone, and started his own small manufacturing business which struggled from the beginning. In 1990, he collaborated on a book with Billy Mills, the Olympic Gold Medalist and it was published by Feather Publishing before later being picked up by Random House. (It was recently re-issued by Hay House Books.) Though it received scant publicity, sales topped 50,000 copies in the first year of release.

He began selling pharmaceuticals and moved from Sacramento, California to North Carolina in 1992. In 1994, at the age of 28, he wrote The Notebook over a period of six months. In October, 1995, rights to The Notebook were sold to Warner Books. It was published in October, 1996, and he followed that with Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), and Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), Three Weeks with my Brother (2004), True Believer (2005) and At First Sight (2005) all with Warner Books. All were domestic and international best sellers and were translated into more than 35 languages. The movie version of Message in a Bottle was released in 1999, A Walk to Remember was released in 2002, and The Notebook was released in 2004. The average domestic box office gross per film was $56 million — with another $100 million in DVD sales — making the novels by Nicholas Sparks one of the most successful franchises in Hollywood.

The film rights to Nights in Rodanthe, True Believer and At First Sight have been sold, and Nicholas Sparks has written the screenplay for The Guardian, though he has not offered it for sale at this point.

He now has five children: Miles, Ryan, Landon, Lexie, and Savannah. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and children.


Chasing the Wind by Hannah Hooton

Posted June 5, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Animals, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Horses, Review, Romance, Series, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Chasing the Wind by Hannah HootonChasing the Wind by Hannah Hooton
Series: Aspen Valley #5
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Smashwords Edition on January 30th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance
five-stars

Champions are made by the adversities they overcome.
When tragedy strikes Aspen Valley Stables, racehorse trainer Jack Carmichael is in danger of losing everything – his wife, his reputation, his sanity… then in walks Lucy Kendrick, a young reporter, all set to shadow him.
Every journalist has an agenda and Lucy is no different. Can she uphold her cover when charismatic jockey Finn O’Donaghue makes her want to be no one but herself?
The Grand National beckons once more, but when the yard’s runners start to foul fall of the authorities, the future of Aspen Valley Stables is threatened. Is the wreckage that is his personal life compromising Jack’s ability to train or is there something more sinister going on?
***
PRAISE FOR HANNAH HOOTON
‘The literary love child of Dick Francis and Jilly Cooper.’ ***** Christina Jones, bestselling author
‘Evocative imagery and crisp writing sets this story apart from the competition.’ ***** Natalie Keller Reinert, bestselling author
‘The female Dick Francis.’ ***** The Filly Forum

My take in this book:              Chasing the Wind by Hannah Hooton is such a wonderful book that I have been dying to read since I started this book series. These book is about the horse racing but also about two couples, Jack/Pippa and Lucy/Finn, that are trying to find their way back to each other and about starting a relationship. The way back to each other falls with Jack and Pippa whereas starting a relationship is with Lucy and Finn.

Jack and Pippa have been through a lot in this book and through every terrible turn that they went through, I just wanted to jump into the book to help them through it. Thankfully that didn’t have to happen as it ended up being good for the two of them after a lot of time. I felt bad for these two throughout the whole book since they went through losing someone to a strained relationship to almost ending their relationship but thankfully none of that ended up happening. Much like the other relationships in the Aspen Valley series they have a happy ending once again.

Well most relationships, Finn and Tash didn’t really get their happy ending, but that’s okay as Finn and Lucy ended up having one. Well one that they tried to avoid at first since Lucy had a boyfriend and that relationship didn’t last very long at all. Finn and Lucy’s relationship has been a very interesting one in the whole series but I ended up loving the two of them together. Lucy is a great addition to the series even if she came into it in the last book.

Chasing the Wind by Hannah Hooton is such a great book that I am giving it a five star rating. This story has made the characters even more real as they deal with the life issues that are thrown at them. I truly felt like I was a part of this wonderful world. I loved this story and I am glad that I had this opportunity to read this series.

Overall I would recommend reading Chasing the Wind by Hannah Hooton to everyone (at least adults to read it, it is a little much for the young adults).

Anyways until the next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

Save

five-stars

About Hannah Hooton

Hannah Hooton is a multiple award-winning author and screenwriter based in UK.

After splitting with her literary agent to venture into indie-publishing, Hannah burst onto the contemporary romance scene in January 2012 with the release of her debut novel, At Long Odds. This was followed by the Amazon bestselling Aspen Valley series, which charts the lives, loves and dramas of a jump racing yard.

The inspiration for her novels came while combining her wanderlust with her love of horseracing when travelling around Australia and working from one racing stable to the next as a strapper (not to be confused with stripper) and the exuberant imagination of a girl with an empty purse and a passion for a very expensive sport.

Giving Chase was the winner of Best International Romance at the Some Kind of Wonderful Awards in 2012, one place better than Keeping the Peace finished the year before.
Share and Share Alike won the ARU Katy Price Prize 2014 and finished runner-up in the RWA Marlene Contest 2014.

Recently graduating from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge with First Class Honours, Hannah was also awarded the McCleod Prize for finishing top of her year.

Hannah balanced her time at university writing her novels and improving her craft, but also learning the art of screenwriting. To date, Hannah has completed three screenplays (one of which sparked her abrupt change in career to return to university as a mature student just so she could learn how to write it properly), all of which received critical praise and first class marks. The feature-length script, Incarnate, is a science fiction WW2 drama with romantic elements, a world – quite literally – away from Hannah’s comfort zone of horse racing romances.


Making the Running by Hannah Hooton

Posted June 4, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Animals, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Horses, Romance, Series, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Making the Running by Hannah HootonMaking the Running by Hannah Hooton
Series: Aspen Valley #4
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Smashwords Edition on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance
Pages: 462
Format: Kindle
five-stars

On the surface of things, life for stable lass, Kate Creswell, looks rosy. Wealthy boyfriend, Nicholas, is a text-book example of the perfect partner, and her ambition to lead up at Cheltenham Festival is set to come true with her favourite horse, d'Artagnan.
But dig a little deeper and things aren’t quite so blissful. There’s the small task of keeping her mother's alcoholism a secret from Nicholas's well-to-do family. What about Nicholas’s dislike of d’Artagnan’s jockey, Ben de Jager? Could there be something more sinister to Ben's ability to be a good loser, and could their Gold Cup bid be in jeopardy?
A lot of things can change between flag fall and finish line. Nothing is a certainty. Not in life, not in racing, and not in love.
‘A modern day Jilly Cooper.’ ***** Gallops & Garlands
‘By far my favourite equestrian novel I’ve read.’ ***** LB Equestrian
‘The balance between simplicity of describing a race and giving my imagination enough fuel to see the horses jumping was perfect.’ ***** The Rubber Curry Comb

My take on this book:              Making the Running by Hannah Hooton is another great book of horse racing, from the Aspen Valley Series, by this wonderful author. This one focuses on Kate, a stable lass at Aspen Valley, and her, recently, complicated love life with two half-brothers, Nicholas and Ben. Kate has never really felt pretty or beautiful when she is standing or sitting next to her younger sister, Saskia, who she practically raised by herself because her mom was not really there and her dad was never around.

Kate’s life is pretty much complicated all the way around, between her complicated home life and dealing with two half-brothers’ that she might be in love with, but isn’t sure which. Kate has tried to keep her personal life away from her work life and it has been going very well for her. Although working with her sister is extremely trying at times..

She has mostly been keeping the secret of her mom’s alcoholism to herself, along with trying to keep her youngest brother in school and whatnot. Mostly she didn’t want Nicholas and his parents to dislike her or her family just because of her mom’s drinking problem. Kate tried to fit herself into Nicholas’ life while disliking what he was doing to d’Artagnan, the horse she takes care of, so that The Whistler could win.

Ben, d’Artagnan’s jockey and half-brother to Nicholas, didn’t like what was going on with the horse either but that is what he does for his dad. Ben thought he liked Saskia at first, which is why Kate went after Nicholas, but after a while he realized around the same time as Kate that he liked her and she liked him. Kate and Ben have been on a rollercoaster of feelings since they first met to the very ending of the book.

Making the Running by Hannah Hooton is such a good book that I’m giving it a five butterflies rating because it is that good.

Overall I would recommend reading Making the Running by Hannah Hooton to everyone (at least adults to read it, it is a little much for the young adults).

Anyways until the next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

Save

five-stars

About Hannah Hooton

Hannah Hooton is a multiple award-winning author and screenwriter based in UK.

After splitting with her literary agent to venture into indie-publishing, Hannah burst onto the contemporary romance scene in January 2012 with the release of her debut novel, At Long Odds. This was followed by the Amazon bestselling Aspen Valley series, which charts the lives, loves and dramas of a jump racing yard.

The inspiration for her novels came while combining her wanderlust with her love of horseracing when travelling around Australia and working from one racing stable to the next as a strapper (not to be confused with stripper) and the exuberant imagination of a girl with an empty purse and a passion for a very expensive sport.

Giving Chase was the winner of Best International Romance at the Some Kind of Wonderful Awards in 2012, one place better than Keeping the Peace finished the year before.
Share and Share Alike won the ARU Katy Price Prize 2014 and finished runner-up in the RWA Marlene Contest 2014.

Recently graduating from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge with First Class Honours, Hannah was also awarded the McCleod Prize for finishing top of her year.

Hannah balanced her time at university writing her novels and improving her craft, but also learning the art of screenwriting. To date, Hannah has completed three screenplays (one of which sparked her abrupt change in career to return to university as a mature student just so she could learn how to write it properly), all of which received critical praise and first class marks. The feature-length script, Incarnate, is a science fiction WW2 drama with romantic elements, a world – quite literally – away from Hannah’s comfort zone of horse racing romances.