Review of ‘Riding the track’ by Kara Ripley.

Kara Ripley is the pseudonym of Rebecca Langham, the author of sci-fi novel ‘Beneath the surface’. ‘Riding the track’ is a novella set in South Australia where Clara Adler heads from California on a horse riding vacation. The problem is that the holiday was planned by her cheating ex boyfriend and Clara hasn’t ridden a horse in years and isn’t too keen on camping trips. To say that she’s thrown out of her comfort zone is an understatement but the amazing landscape, her friendly trip companions and an enigmatic sexy cowgirl will change her holiday experience completely.

This is an enjoyable road-trip book by Ms. Ripley. Written in first person from Clara’s point of view, the reader sees the beautiful and wild landscape through her eyes. The author’s depictions of the scenery are vivid as well as the close contact with the animals and nature. The dialogues are well written, with sarcasm, humour and wittiness. Clara talks to all different kinds of people, including the reader, and we can slowly witness her transformation from annoyance to enjoyment. The chemistry between the main characters is hot as the South Australian weather though I think that the book ends a bit abruptly and might disappoint some readers. Maybe the author is planning on writing a sequel or otherwise this novella might have benefited from a few more chapters. Despite this, it’s a really entertaining and light read.

Overall, an enjoyable read with a beautiful setting. 4 stars.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Amounting to nothing’ by Karis Walsh

I’ve enjoyed a couple of books by this author so I’ve decided to give it a go. This book is number 3 of the ‘Tacoma Mounted Police’ series but there’s no need to read them in order. However, there are a few references to characters and events of the previous books that I couldn’t put in the right context.
According to the publisher, this book’s genre is intrigue & thriller / romance but it’s more of the latter. The murder investigation is in the background most of the time, like an excuse to showcase the romance. So if you are looking for a thriller, you are going to find something like an armchair detective investigation instead, a bit like an Agatha Christie book with the murderer’s self confession included.
Regarding the pace of the story, I found it sometimes too slow and descriptive and other times too fast and telling facts as an afterthought. The romance part was ok but nothing extraordinary there either.
Overall, an ok read if you like Agatha Christie with a lesbian twist. 3 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Swelter’ by D. Jackson Leigh

This is the first book I’ve read by this author because somehow none of her previous work caught my attention. Even though I live in semi-rural Ireland, I’m not into horses but for some strange reason I decided to give this book a try. I started reading it without any expectations so I cannot say I’m disappointed though I’m not thrilled either.
The story has many levels: the similar betrayal suffered by the main characters, their romantic involvement, Teal’s harassment by the press, August’s chase by a drug cartel and her management of the ranch. All these plots and subplots, along with the big number of secondary characters (human and animal) make it a huge challenge for the writer who, at times, seems to be biting off more than she can chew. As a result, some parts of the book seem more resolved than others, which can be frustrating and annoying. Luckily for the romance fans, the love part is developed satisfactorily.
Overall, an ok read if you don’t mind a bit of digression or if you are into a more humane treatment of cattle. 3 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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