by Joanne Rock
Thoroughbred Legacy #4
Well, I'm navigating my way through the racing world through Harlequin's eyes, an experience that by now I'm starting to have second thoughts on. Like...why the hell am I reading these? Why do I continue to read them when I inevitably start skimming two thirds through? Why do I do this to myself?
But then the answer comes to me: I have a blog. And I am its willing slave.
Widowed single mom Amanda Emory wants a fresh start—far away from Los Angeles and her troubling past. All she wants out of her new job is a secure income and a safe haven for her kids. But her matchmaking nine-year-old has other ideas….
Horse trainer Robbie Preston has never shied away from risks. And the sparks between Robbie and Amanda are definitely dangerous. Yet her past—and his reputation—stand between them. It will take some serious courting to change Amanda's mind, but Robbie is up for the challenge…even if it does give everyone something to talk about!
I'm going to keep this entry short and to the point, and hopefully in doing so I won't have an enormous tantrum over this book, which I have a feeling is some horrible romance novel take on the Oedipus Complex. Yes, I did say that, and yes, I think Robbie has been working through this stage of development for all twenty-eight years of his life.
Robbie is the youngest son of the Kentucky Prestons, and he was recently passed over on the head training job by his father, who has issues with Robbie's responsibility. I guess that was the issue, anyway. I skimmed through a lot of their internal angsting, which I think is a justified action. Amanda is a forty-year-old mother of two, widowed when her cop husband was killed in a drug bust. She's moved to Kentucky to become the Quest office manager, try to keep her family safe from possible gang related revenge, and sharpen her claws for possible cougar style seduction.
Okay, maybe she's not exactly a cougar. I hate that term anyway, but I can't help using it here because what the hell is up with this trend? I cannot take it anymore. Why can't people ever be interested in other people who happen to be about the same age as they are in these books? Why are they always (always) consistently ten to twelve years younger or older or...this just pisses me off. Especially here, because at all points in this book Amanda is described as maternal and it creeped me out in a big way. She also wears skirts with tulips on the hem, and her pajamas have ducky patterns. It is so many realms of not good.
Now that I've sort of gotten that off my shoulders, let's continue. Robbie complains a lot, Amanda tells herself not to be attracted to Robbie, the two can't stop thinking about each other as per the normal requirements of a romance novel. There is some suggestion that her dead husband was not that great of a guy (which is also a necessary point because in romance novels no other man on earth can aspire to being on the same level as the male lead, right down to penis size comparisons, and no I'm not kidding, although thankfully here we limit it to skill with weapons, preparedness, and smoldering ability). Amanda's oldest kid keeps trying to push the two together, not like this is really important, but I guess it works because Amanda gives in to the tingles and lets him come on to her.
Only to step on the breaks immediately! How does she muddle through her feelings about her dead husband and Robbie and blah blah blah. Okay, step back on the gas because those ducky pajamas are a real turn on for Robbie for some reason, but no! Step on the break! It goes back and forth like this for a while before she randomly decides to step on the gas again and keep going forward at a moderate rate. They have sex. There is more sex. There is completely unnecessary talk about "young studs" which I did not need. Then the random guy that wants to take his revenge on Amanda's family shows up, hauls her oldest son out into the woods, and Robbie appears to blow the guy's foot off with a shotgun. Hooray Robbie.
Later they confess their love and decide that instead of getting engaged immediately they'd like to act like horny teenagers instead.
- According to this book, Churchill Downs is not a pretty track because there are people there who smoke and gamble. So instead of going there for the day, they go to Keeneland. Granted, I agree that Keeneland is a quaint track that is actually nicer than Churchill Downs, but it's not like people don't smoke and gamble there. It's probably because, you know, horse racing exists specifically as a form of gambling in most countries. Shocking, I know, but it's true!
- There's this horse called Something to Talk About, and I think we all know what I'm going to say, but this name is impossible. Twenty-three characters...I think not.
- Can you tell that I skimmed this one? And it still took me three days to get through. Go figure.