Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: STUDS AND STILETTOS by Bev Pettersen


Her dreams of stardom are jeopardized by a hot trainer...and a ruthless murderer.

Emily Murphy isn't afraid to swap her fancy wardrobe for a borrowed pair of barn boots. Working on the set of a Kentucky movie might be just the ticket to landing a real acting job and proving to her sister she can accomplish something worthwhile.

Dan Barrett knows a lot about hard work and even more about horses. And while he's drawn by Emily's beauty and pluck, he wants a stay-at-home ranch girl. But fighting their attraction is difficult, and soon they both realize that what they thought they wanted isn't what they really need.

Unfortunately, Dan isn't the only person watching Emily. And the other one is a ruthless killer determined to keep a secret buried.

There are truly only a few books that I have trouble putting down, even as I am falling asleep and I have a fair idea of who the culprit is, but this is one of them.  Pettersen has choreographed a compelling story of a missing groom and the filming of a movie of the horse who went crazy. The characters - Dan, Em, Judith, Anthony, Lizzie, Billy, and the Hamiltons - all have depth and substance.  The story captures the problems of work situations that are briefly intense and then end, the baggage from the past, and the potential for change. For the horse lovers, lots of horse action and compassion for animals.  

STUDS AND STILETTOS is one of a series of books about race horses and the third one I've read. THOROUGHBREDS AND TRAILER TRASH looks to be the most recent...  Others include FILLIES AND FEMALES,  HORSES AND HEROIN, JOCKEYS AND JEWELS, and COLOR MY HORSE.

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