Reviewed by Kat
TITLE: Fool’s Gold
AUTHOR: Sarah Madison
LENGTH: 238 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 28, 2016
Eight years ago, Jake Stanford had it all: a spot on the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team and the love of his life, Rich Evans. A tragic accident wipes out everything in the blink of an eye. Hard work and sacrifice get him another shot at Olympic Gold, but only if he puts his past behind him and agrees to work with Rich again.
Bound by secrets he cannot share, Rich was forced to give up Jake eight years ago. Now he has a second chance to help Jake realize his dreams. But the secrets that drove them apart haven’t changed, and Rich must face them or risk losing Jake forever.
I have been itching to get to do a review for this author ever since I had the golden opportunity to meet her a year ago at Rainbow Con. She was a refreshing breath of air to meet, both charming and beautiful. Sometimes knowing the author can shoot me in the foot but definitely not in this case.
“Fool’s Gold” is the story of a young man with gold on his mind. Olympic Gold to be exact. Jake Stanford had it all…gorgeous, rich, a skilled horseman and a secret. Or at least he thought his hidden relationship with fellow horseman Richard “Rich” Evans was a secret. Then, right before his big chance to compete in Beijing, tragedy strikes in the way of a horrific accident. Life changes in the blink of an eye. Fast forward 8 years and, after battling back, Jake is back to where he wants to be, competing to get on the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team to compete in Rio. Yet another situation arises that threaten his chances again. Now the only way it seems possible to compete is with the guidance and assistance of his old lover…the one that threw him away when he was at his lowest. But Rich has a hidden secret too. “Fool’s Gold” is the story of how these men learn to lean on and trust each other after years of secrets.
First and foremost, I am not, nor never shall be, a horsewoman. Horses scare me to death! To the point that I didn’t buy a house we really liked because there was a horse farm next door. So I was very lacking in any knowledge of this sport. I had seen a bit of it on TV but that is about it. The author goes into deep detail on all aspects of the sport, from how to care for your animal, to how to transport and finally, how to compete. I learned a lot in a very short amount of time. Not that it makes me any less scared, but I have a greater respect for all that is entailed in this sport now.
As for the characters, Jake is the poor little rich boy. Taught at a young age by his mother, his love for horses is all he has left of her after her early death. He pursues his goals with fierce determination and against all odds. Rich, on the other hand, is probably who my heart went out for the most. He has had a rough time his entire lifetime and then he literally got the shaft when the accident occurred. Money might be able to mend a lot of problems but not a crushed heart. All I wanted was for Jake and Rich to finally have a chance. Both professionally and romantically.
Although Jake’s dad, Donald Stanford, was pretty much the villain of the story, I understood a lot of where he was coming from, aside from his homophobic beliefs. He lost the love of his life early on to cancer. He has only one child, Jake, that chooses to follow his mother’s footsteps and pursue a career in Equestrian competition. This is an extremely dangerous sport and he had already almost lost his son in a horrible accident. But Mr. Stanford redeemed himself, in my eyes, by the end. He did some pretty awful things in the past but everyone deserves a second chance if they are sincere. I was glad that the author included some of his internal battles/thoughts. It made his story easier to understand and forgive.
I think, for this reader, even though I learned a lot about and appreciated the sport more, the details, at times bogged me down a bit. I wanted more of the men and their story, and less of the background of the sport. This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the story, nothing could be farther from the truth. I loved the men and even getting to understand this sport a bit more. I highly recommend this wonderfully written story of second chance love.