To be blunt, the cover doesn't do a lot for me. The horse isn't a beauty, and I can't help staring at its nose because it's just so...like a cartoon? I can't pinpoint it exactly.
This horse is wild at heart
It's been two years since Blackie, the horse Sam raised from a foal, threw her in a near-fatal accident. She's been separated from her family, her ranch and the wild mustangs she loves. Now she's home again, but her beloved Blackie has been missing since the day Sam was injured.
Then, on the night she returns, a mustang comes to Sam. Is it Blackie, grown up and gone wild? Is it the legendary stallion known as the Phantom? Or could it be both?
So this wild horse has three names, although it never gets confusing. He's "the Phantom" to mostly everyone as a wild legend, Blackie to the people at River Bend, and
The story behind this guy is he was Sam's horse previously before an accident caused his escape from River Bend, where I assume he was born. Two years later he's a four-year-old stallion and apparently fantastic enough to have foals and a herd of his own already. Then comes Linc Slocum, who, despite being annoyed by wild horses in general, wants Phantom/Blackie/Zanzibar. There's a lot of general grumbling about this as he tries several different routes toward snatching the horse, none of which work. Phantom/Blackie/Zanzibar ends the book free to rear and play to his wild delight, thanks to Sam.
2. Jake & Sam:
Sam is thirteen and spunky. Jake is sixteen and part Shoshone. Slap another ten years on these kids and we would have a completely different story. Even Sam's grandmother thinks something's up, so apparently she too can see the romance covers featuring heaving bosoms and windblown hair in the future for them. Thankfully we will never see this.
- You know, I'm pretty puzzled over why Sam is wearing a black t-shirt, black jeans and black sneakers too and I live in a "poor man's
." So, yeah, I'm pretty confused. Unless she's wearing heels and a dress I'm at a loss as to how her outfit is the height of city fashion just because it's black. San Francisco
- I am so utterly befuddled whenever Wyatt is mentioned simply as "Dad." Not "her dad" or "her father," just "Dad" as if I'm expected to be right there in Sam's head and should know him as my own father also. Sort of like how everyone refers to God. I've never seen this before. It kind of annoys me.
- Astonishing! Ace actually doesn't come rushing over to Sam because he's, like, amazing and special and loves her for no reason. Clearly I've been reading the Thoroughbred Series too much.
- It isn't at first apparent why Sam, Wyatt, and Jake go to the Willow Springs BLM place other than to criticize it and be nasty toward one of the BLM employees. After they leave we discover they were only there in the first place to show it to Sam, so why they couldn't have said that before is anyone's guess.
- I'm pretty sure I've never seen a Quarter Horse with a head like an Arabian, nor have I seen a mustang with the features of an Arabian.
- I was going along just fine with this fall/escaped horse turned feral before the backstory is revealed on the ride. The horse is two, Sam is ten or eleven, and she's riding it bareback off the ranch property with a torn up nightgown serving as the bridle. Yeah, nothing could have gone wrong there at all.
(Edited and reposted from Lost Canyon, a now deleted blog.)