November 2013, Brittney Joy, 192 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Summary: tissues needed
Summary from Brittney's website
Sixteen year old Lucy Rose is spending her first summer away from homeand she has two things on her mind: an abandoned, violent horse and ablue-eyed cowboy. Only neither is hers...
. . . Lucy has never attracted much attention from boys, but she can’t seem to ignore her blue-eyed co-worker, Casey Parker. A true cowboy, Lucy becomes enthralled by his gentle way with the horses at the Red Rock Ranch. However, she is very aware that Taylor Johnson, rodeo queen extraordinaire, already has her spurs in him. And, there’s no crossing Taylor.
. . . Not until a mysterious horse appears on the ranch and pushes Lucy and Casey together. The two are willing to do anything to save the black gelding that doesn’t want a thing to do with them - or the human race. But, every step forward with the broken animal makes Lucy fall harder – for him and for Casey.
An excellent horse story which made me laugh and get a little teary at time. I smiled on learning it's based in Oregon as I've a friend there, so it was a joy to read about the landscape as I could easily picture her there. Feeling familiar with the setting made me feel a bit familiar with the characters, even though it was the first time I'd met them. Taylor really got on my nerves, especially with how nice she wasn't to Lucy, who could have done with a bit more help on her first few days at the ranch. I felt sorry for her when things went badly, just because she was a hard worker and deserved a break. Chance keeps her busy, as do her feelings for Casey.
I focused more on Lucy learning the ropes on the ranch, as well as developing her relationship with Chance rather than her romance with Casey, which at times got a little bit annoying, but since I don't read specifically for romance that's ok. I've read a fair amount of horse books, and the equipment and activities involved in looking after horses and cattle were explained well in Lucy's story, so you can be a total newcomer and enjoy it. Lucy's love of animals is clear, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel!