Advice columnist Maggie Hope never dreamed she'd be shaking hands with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan over a high-stakes bet, especially one that involves horses. And saddles. And everything else a city girl like Maggie feels uncomfortable around. But after filling in for a coworker and interviewing the handsome cowboy, she finds herself doing just that. Anything to save her advice column.
Despite Maggie's two left feet, Tru is bound and determined to bring out her inner cowgirl by teaching her to ride a cutting horse --- in Maggie's eyes, a wild beast trained to separate cattle from the rest of the herd. While her riding improves, the two grow closer, but Tru knows he can never let her into his heart --- for her own good.
In Wishing Springs, a community full of meddling --- yet well-meaning --- townsfolk, Maggie discovers a home far from what she's ever had and exactly what she's always longed for. But she's holding something back---a secret with the power to destroy her reputation and any future she's ever hoped for with the cowboy she's come to love.
As with many works of fiction, they drive me to look further into what is going on by doing a bit of research. The internet is great for that. Having no knowledge of horses, especially cutting horses, I looked it up. I read about quarter horses and training on cutting horses. This helped me enjoy the story more.
Of course, the story wasn't just about horses. It was about people and their past. About how the past effects their current lives and decisions. About the secrets we harbor. It is also about overcoming fears.
There are several characters besides the main protagonists and each of these supporting characters bring elements to the story that enrich it and further develop the theme of dealing with one's past as it effects one's present life. The courage of an unwed teen mother. The despair and wrecked life of an older gentleman. The September romance that doesn't happen.
This is a light, easy read romance without all the cheezy stuff romantic fiction usually harbors. All the characters' issues are not resolved, but there is a nice, predictable ending. I love how the name "Hope" is interwoven throughout the story. This is a story of hope in more ways than one.
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Author, Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist first published in 2005 and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra is the author of the acclaimed Mule Hollow Matchmaker Series, and her goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for the review.