Reviewed by Tammy
TITLE: Heart’s Gamble
AUTHOR: S.J. Frost
PUBLISHER: MLR Press
LENGTH: 97 Pages
RELEASE DATE: October 21, 2016
Shawn Carlisle, a horse rescuer, and Grant Arrington, a Thoroughbred trainer, are brought together by one special mare, but with them coming from two different worlds, love could be too great of a gamble for either of them.
Shawn Carlisle has dedicated his life to rescuing horses. Having grown up around the Thoroughbred racing industry, he knows for every champion racehorse, there are thousands more who end up broken and forgotten. When he rescues a mare named Heart’s Gamble, he’s heartbroken over her poor condition and he sets out to find her former owner to hold him accountable.
Grant Arrington inherited a horse farm that’s deep in debt from his father. He left years ago, not in agreement with his father’s harsh training methods, and is now trying to decide how to move forward. When he’s confronted by Shawn, he wants nothing more than to do right by Heart’s Gamble, and in the process, get closer to the passionate horse rescuer. The only problem is, he has to convince Shawn to take a gamble on what they could have together.
Shawn Carlisle grew up around thoroughbred horses so he knows there are an unimaginable amount of horses who are broken and forgotten. When Shawn inherited his grandfathers thoroughbred horse farm – Castle Royal. His grandfather had told him to pay it forward to those who’d done so much for their family. Of course he meant horses and to Shawn that meant he had to save as many of the broken and forgotten horses he could. Shawn even went so far as to change the name of the farm to Forever Hope. At one auction Shawn found a mare Heart’s Gamble, she was malnourished to the point her ribs were visible, her hip bones protruding and her head hung so low it almost touched the ground. After Shawn got Heart’s Gamble home he did some digging on her background and discovered that she had been born on Black Oak Farm, a local horse farm that had the absolute worst reputation for abusing their horses.
Grant Arrington had not long been at his family’s horse farm Black Oak Farm when he had a visit from Shawn. Grant could tell that Shawn had the wrong Grant Arrington from what he was saying, he was talking about his deceased father. Grant knew his father wasn’t the best businessman, horseman, father or human being! His father’s most infamous saying was, “God put these animals here to serve man, and by God, that’s what they’ll do.” Grant believed his father never even liked horses, he simply stayed in the racing business because that’s what he was raised in and it bought in money. What he never saw was the results of his father’s cruelty towards horses, until Shawn showed up to ask him how could he condone that sort of behaviour! Grant was in shock at the sight of Heart’s Gamble and he determined that he was going to do whatever he could to help Shawn rehabilitate her.
The attraction between Grant and Shawn is instant and hot. While they’re getting to know each other Grant and Shawn discuss the issue of Black Oak Farm and what he’s going to do with it. On the one hand, he wants to try returning it to its former glory, then on the other hand he just wants to sell it and forget it mas he lives and works on the other side of the country.
I must say when I read the blurb for Heart’ Gamble I fell in love with the storyline but, when I got into the book I was disappointed with the little amount of interaction and story that actually involved the rescued horses. The premise of the book is wonderful but I feel the author has missed the mark with the execution of it and I must confess I feel cheated L