Restless and spoiled, Kelsey Byden has never found were her passion truly lies — not in any of the jobs she’s tried or the man she’s just divorced. But then she gets a letter in the mail from her mother, a mother who she thought was dead. Kelsey journeys to Three Willows horse farm and in her mother and in the horse racing world she finds solace. Gambler and neighboring farm owner, Gabe Slater is used to getting what he sets his mind to. And when he meets Kelsey he knows he’ll have her — it’s only a matter of time. But as Gabe and Kelsey begin to circle each other, there are enemies from the past who will do anything to sabotage the next Derby winner.
I’m a huge Nora Roberts fan and I’m currently attempting to read all the NR books I missed when I first started reading her. I am truly upset that I didn’t try this one out 10 years ago when I first started reading Roberts! I’ve always had a soft spot for her horse related novels and this was no exception — I loved it!
The way Roberts describes the horses, and the farms, and the racing just makes you want to go buy a horse (a small dream of mine that will probably never come true). She writes such a rich atmosphere in her books and I loved that about this one. Even when we’re seeing the uglier side of horse racing, you felt like you really saw into the real world of the Derby and horse breeding.
I also loved that as much as this is a great romance between Kelsey and Gabe, it’s also a great story about a woman’s journey to find herself. Kelsey never completely fit in with her father and grandmother and it’s because she had horse racing in her blood. Watching Kelsey explore and grow and build her relationship with her mother was so beautiful. And though there was plenty of family drama and personal growth the romance was never neglected.
Gabe is probably one of my favorite NR heroes now because he has that charm and swagger without being too conceited. I liked that Gabe and Kelsey circled around each other for a while before sleeping together. Though Kelsey’s been separated from her ex-husband for 2 years, her divorce has just been finalized and she’s gotten a lot of shocks in relation to realizing her mother is actually alive and was in prison. On top of that, it’s just not in Kelsey’s personality, so it’s more fitting that they wouldn’t jump into bed right away. Roberts is always a master at keeping her characters true to their personality and this is always appreciated.
Content Note: animal death
••• Book Details •••
Romance, Contemporary • Berkley • 1995
Kelsey Byden always believed that her mother was dead. But now, after all this time, she has discovered the truth: Naomi Chadwick is still alive—after spending years in prison for the murder of her lover.
Now, at Naomi’s Virginia horse farm, Kelsey is trying to sort out a lifetime of deception—and her feelings about her mother. The bonds of love can be fragile…as Kelsey learned from her recently ended marriage. But as the two women rebuild their relationship—and Kelsey finds herself swept into an unsettling new romance—she must decide once and for all who she can trust, and who threatens to betray her.