Back of the book :
Glamorous Ronnie Percy has been back home in the Cotswolds for a year. But not everyone has forgiven her for abandoning her family twenty-five years ago.
Ronnie’s daughter Pax is fighting for custody of her small son as her own marriage disintegrates. Now she is furious to have to spend New Year’s Eve waiting to meet some stranger, invited by her mother to help run the family stud farm. The staunchly loyal head groom, Lester, is even more annoyed. Does Ronnie think he’s lost his touch?
Luca O’Brien, Irish charmer and reputed heart-breaker, is known throughout the countryside as the Horsemaker. But what happened to Luca’s beautiful stallion, Beck, now broken and unrideable in the Compton Magna stables? And what is Luca running away from?
What I think :
What a corker !
I absolutely adore Fiona’s books, I have read all of her previous ones probably three times over, and this series is probably shaping up to be her best yet !
This second book in the new series is packed full of brilliant characters, like old friends, but always well written. It was lovely going back in being re-introduced to the already mentioned old favourites.
I also really love the maps at the start of the books, you know you’re onto a winner when the book has a map ! The cast of characters (including all the animals too of course !) is most helpful too 🙂
I would love to be able to go visit the setting of Compton Magna and just watch and listen to all that is going on around me. People, horses and dogs, what else would you need ?
Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, with plenty of twists and turns to keep your attention, I would highly recommend this brilliantly witty book.
I give it my highest award of 10/10 (5 stars)
Published by Head of Zeus on 14 /11/19
The biggest Thank you to Victoria Joss from Head of Zeus for the digital copy of the book in return for a honest review.
Also a big Thank you to Netgalley for the copy of the book.
Here for your reading pleasure is a short extract from the book – Enjoy 🙂
Fresh from the deep freeze, the vodka bottle opened with a satisfying crack of metal seal and a vaporous curl of condensing air.
If Luca had come to work in the Middle East with the intention of sobering up, he wasn’t doing a very good job. In the eight weeks he’d been here, he’d barely seen the wagon amid all the chauffeur-driven luxury and million-dollar horseflesh, let alone got on it. All the westerners he’d got to know – and there were many on the showjumping circuit – drank like fish behind closed doors. A man with a habit and a broken heart could only swim against the tide for so long in a dry country.
The frozen vodka poured thick as oil, the toxic nectar which had made his host country among the wealthiest horse-loving nations.
‘Sláinte.’ Luca tipped his glass against that of his companion, a pretty Swedish event rider called Signe who he knew vaguely from the European circuit, also attracted by the heat and money. Like him she was a work rider, hired to mentor a young member of the extended royal family – in her case their boss’s oldest granddaughter, a teenage princess with her ambitions set on being the first Arab winner of Badminton. Today she’d told Signe that the world’s biggest pop pin-up, a snake-hipped American youth with twenty million Twitter followers, had been booked by her indulgent grandfather to sing at her sixteenth birthday party, his fee big enough to buy a superyacht for every day of the week.
‘It’s so crazy, the money here!’ Signe exclaimed, playing with Luca’s hair. They had slept together the previous week – he’d been very drunk, full of determined charm, and only had partial recall – and now that seemed to give her permission to stroke him all the time, like a pet dog. He couldn’t decide whether it he liked it. ‘If you could have any musician play at your birthday, who would it be?’ she asked.
‘Depressing dead dude, duh?’ She had a cute huck to her laugh. He missed a lover’s laughter. ‘Shouldn’t you have an Irish singer?’
‘That’s like saying you have to choose Abba because you’re Swedish.’
‘I would choose Abba.’
‘Good on ya.’
‘Only they split up before I was born.’ She pulled a sad face.
‘I bet the boss here could pay enough for Abba to get back together.’ She sighed, eyes sparkling.
Luca doubted that, his own battered heart heavy at being bought. Taking on this contract, he’d imagined that immersing himself in patriarchal, male-dominated isolation would be cathartic, a marche ou crève crusade, far from the woman he loved but could never have. Instead, living in a country so controlling it kept its mothers, wives and daughters behind veils and closed doors, felt like joining a cult of perdition. The expat women like Signe, with their deep tans, white teeth and tight breeches, were a predatory, self-protective tribe, equally bad for his health.