Born of the Bluegrass
I asked for this book since I am a lifelong Kentuckian who loves to see what kind of stories authors set in my home state. I’ve read two books with Kentucky settings this year and both are set on horse farms. Seems like in series romance land just like all Texans are either ranchers or cowboys, all Kentuckians are horse people. O.K., I can live with that if the book is good, but Born of the Bluegrass was an off-putting combination of bland characters and flowery writing.
In the world of thoroughbred horse people, Danielle Tate is of the lower class. Exercise girls like her do not aspire to relationships with men like horse owner Reid Hamilton. But on the night of her 18th birthday, Dani dresses up, and like Cinderella goes to ball at the home of the Hamiltons, who are upper echelon in the world of horseracing. Unlike Cinderella, Dani makes love with prince Reid that very night and becomes pregnant.
Dani gives the baby up for adoption and goes back to working with horses. Several years later she is working with a horse named Solstice who is tricky and tempermental but shows great promise. Solstice is bought by Reid Hamilton, and Dani goes too, since she is about the only one who can handle the horse. When she gets to the Hamilton estate, lo and behold there is a little boy there there whom Dani recognizes as the child she gave up. Reid thinks he is his dead brother’s child and he and his mother are bringing up the boy, Trey. Trey soon becomes very fond of “Miss Dani”. For her part, Dani spends her time in a constant state of torture. She wants to stay near her son but she does not want to let him know who she is. Trey is a happy little boy, and Dani does not want to disturb the relationship that the boy has with his “uncle” and grandmother. But if sticking around is torture, leaving seems an impossibility. Not only does she yearn to be near her child, she doesn’t want to leave Solstice, the best hope the Hamiltons have in rebuilding the family fortunes after Reid’s brother mismanaged them.
So we have a storyline that has lots of potential for angst with Reid and Dani’s relationship. The story has lots of potential for action as well with the development of Solstice as a winning horse. But after I finished the book, my memories were mostly of flowery writing and silly similies. The big love scene was written with deeply purple ink, Trey and Reid were always described as having silver eyes (which put me in mind of werewolves) and at one point, Dani’s father tried to persuade her to go with him to Florida where the “palm trees sway like strippers,” a sentence which should go into the Silly Simile Hall Of Fame.
I know we have all read books where the hero and heroine strike sparks, glow and burn practically from the get-go, and in the short series romance, that is practically a necessity. But Dani and Reid were rather like two water-soaked firecrackers. No attraction, no chemistry, no connection.
For those of you who are looking for romances that are set in the world of horse racing, I think you might want to look elsewhere. And for those of you who are looking for a good romance set in Kentucky, can I look with you?