This young adult, old-fashioned romance novel was a pretty quick and easy read. I pulled it off the shelf, noticing that horse racing in 1911 was mentioned, and thought between that and the romance drama, it may be a pretty good story.
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We are introduced to the O’Leary family, owners of Irish Meadows, and Gilbert. After three long years, Gil returned to the home and family that took him in as young boy after his mother passed away, leaving him orphaned. With a passion for horses, he makes a stop in the barn only to run into Brianna O’Leary, his best friend and confidant in his youth. He knew Brianna always nursed a crush on him but neither had allowed more than friendship. Both grown, they can’t help but to still be attracted to each other. Later on Colleen, Brianna’s sister, welcomes Gil and through vindictive jealousy, takes aim to turn Gil’s attention away from her sister. While welcoming the return of Gil, the O’Leary’s also learn they are to welcome to house a distant cousin by the name of Rylan Montgomery. Rylan is visiting Long Island on an internship as he continues his journey through seminary. When Colleen is forced to pick him up at the train station, she can’t help but reprimand herself for admiring a priest. The plot thickens as we learn of the financial instability of Irish Meadows and the desperate attempts patriarch James O’Leary will do to keep the farm.
As much of a romantic as I am, I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes at the predictability of this story line. The internal conflict of the character’s thoughts are redundant- every other page is “Does s/he love me or not” and, all climactic conflicts between the characters are resolved with ‘changing my way’. The action is almost overly dramatic. I understand this is supposed to be held in 1911, but give the reader a break- reading the same disputes for 350 pages is annoying.
And on top of that, as a horse person, I wasn’t overly impressed by the equestrian commentary. Sort of “Saddle Club”-esque, in my opinion. So overall, it was something to preoccupy my free time, but not worth raving about or recommending.