(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Collide (Entangled Teen), No Kissing Allowed (Entangled Embrace), Your B&B or Mine?, Wild Hearts, No Falling Allowed, Fighting Love
Published by Kensington on October 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
In the lush heart of Kentucky, the Hamiltons are horse racing royalty, born to produce champions. To win takes heart and soul—and to love takes the wild spirit of the land itself… The oldest of three headstrong brothers, Trip Hamilton is considered the best horse trainer in the world. But he learned long ago to keep his focus on the horses and away from the riders. He’s seen the way heartbreak can waylay a career, and he’s determined not to risk it—until a stubborn, sexy rider thunders into his life, breaks his resolve, along with several of his rules, and takes his heart right out of the gate… Emery Carlisle has a point to prove. She’ll be the first woman to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby, if only Trip will hire her, and let her ride the spirited colt she fell for at first sight. He won’t—unless she agrees to train with the horse at Hamilton Stables, under his guidance. It’s supposed to be strictly business, but as the race approaches, and their undeniable chemistry builds, Trip and Emery may be headed for the greatest win of all—as long as the losses of the past don’t gain on them…
You all know of my love of all the things Melissa West writes so it won’t be a surprise for you to know that I loved the first book of the Racing Hearts series she has written. Now, I don’t tend to read a lot of straight romance books but I jumped at the chance to read this new one because I trust this author to write a fantastic story and build out some well-developed characters. You will not be surprised to know, I loved this one and can’t wait to read more of this series.
Emery has grown up in her father’s stables and she has always wanted to win. When something happens that throws her off course, Emery fights her way back only her father is not allowing her to get back on the track while he is in charge. Because of this, Emery knows the only other person who can help her achieve what she wants is the one person she isn’t sure will help her – Trip Hamilton.
Trip is the oldest Hamilton brother and runs the family stables. He is also considered the best horse trainer in the world and Emery needs his help. Being a top trainer, Trip is able to work with some of the best horses on the track and when Emery calls him up to ask for a meeting, Trip has mixed feelings. Add to that, when Emery finds out the new colt he has is the same one she had her eye on at the Carlisle stables, she almost forces him to see her because she knows that this horse is the one to get her back on the track.
Add to all of this the fact that these two had a prior relationship that didn’t necessarily end the way they wanted, and there is an added layer to this story that makes it more than just about the horse racing. I loved seeing these two make their way back to each other and the banter, the romance, and the horse racing all tie this story together and make it fantastic. There are some bumps along the way – both with Emery trusting herself and getting over her fear and crutch (literally) as well as the rift created with her father when he finds out that she went to Trip behind his back.
I really enjoyed the secondary characters West created in this book and as I mentioned, Trip is the oldest brother of three so we get at least two more swoony guys to read about. Nick and Alex are both interesting just based on the glimpses I got of them in Racing Hearts so I will be looking forward to the next books. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kate, Emery’s best friend. She is a great friend to Kate and I am looking forward to reading more about her.
I have said this before and I will say it again, if you haven’t read anything by Melissa West – fix that problem right now. YA, NA, Adult Romance…you can choose almost anything and get a wonderful story, great characters, and definitely some swoony romance. Racing Hearts is the start of a great new series by West and I can’t wait to read more about the Hamiltons!
Thank you to NetGalley for the review copy!