Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Road to the Regalia by Rachael Eliker (Young Adult, 9/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

 July 2015, CreateSpace, 222 pages, Ebook, Review copy 

Book summary
Nadia Wells and her horse, Winny, have rocketed up the ranks of eventing and are ready to appear in their first internationally rated four star show at the Regalia Horse Park. Though Nadia has kept secret her switching places with Winny years earlier at the Gallant Meadows event, the experience is anything but a distant memory. Between competing and looking poised for the Olympic Scouts eyeing them for next year’s team, Nadia has to try and keep longtime boyfriend Mike safe from a former fling’s advances while trying to deflect another handsome competitor herself. 

Focused on winning even though they are novices at the most advanced level of the sport, they’re taken by surprise when the morning after the opening gala, they wake up in each other’s bodies. While struggling to master their reversed roles, Winny has to face her own demons once she discovers Gloria, a former abusive owner, is also competing. It’s been a long road to the Regalia for Nadia and Winny but they’re determined to take first place despite a cheater who’s willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get rid of the competition.

Nayu's thoughts
Nadia is a few years older than book 1, about to enter a major horse event with Winny-yes they do switch bodies again! Unfortunately it took a good 1/4 of the book for the change to happen, which coupled with skipping several years of Nadia's training annoyed me a little; I do understand that the training years may not have been that interesting, and the setting need to be laid to explain the switchover, so rest assured this is an excellent read. 

I liked learning more about competing, understanding why it was so important for Nadia to remember her sponsors' equipment before she headed to Regalia. I know it's a tiny detail but it really stuck with me. While Nadia was now used to a body switch, it took her time to adjust to being a horse (which could have made her fail the Regalia), and the intense malicious acts which Nadia as Winny is almost powerless to stop balanced out her not panicking over being a horse. 

Familiar characters made me smile, especially Gretchen's little sister who I adore. There is a whole load of teen romance, but it's not all the drama. While the book has ended, not all the plot threads are tied up, which has me chomping at the bit for book 3 (pun intended).

Find out more on Rachael's website.

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