The oldest of three headstrong brothers, Trip Hamilton is considered the best horse trainer in the world. He is focused on winning and nothing more, until a stubborn, sexy rider thunders back into his life, breaking his resolve—along with several of his rules—and taking his heart right out of the gate…
Emery Carlisle has a point to prove. She’ll be the first woman to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby, if only Trip will agree to hire her so she can ride again. It’s supposed to be strictly business, but as the race approaches, and their undeniable chemistry builds, Trip and Emery may be headed for the greatest win of all—as long as the losses of the past don’t gain on them…
Title: Racing Hearts (Hamilton Stables #1)
Author: Melissa West
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Publication Date: October 27, 2016
I want to thank Lyrical Shine for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
I don't usually read books marked as adult, but I love Melissa West, so reading anything she writes is a must. And I was not disappointed in this book in the least. To say it gave me to feels is an understatement. I laughed, I cried, and my heart soared at the wonderful story West has penned.
Emery lost everything two years ago when she had a terrible riding accident. Since then, she hasn't been able to get back in the groove. It doesn't help that her father has become overprotective and won't let her ride the horses at their stable. So she takes matters into her own hands and turns to the one person she truly thinks can help, her long lost love Trip. He's the best trainer and she needs him to prove she can get up and ride again.
I love Emery. She's spunky; feisy, even. And of course she's got her eyes set on a prize she wants to win. When she puts her mind to it, things can't stop her. Of course things can get complicated, because what would life be without that. She doesn't expect to lose her head and her heart to the one man she's always loved but could never have. She also doesn't expect to be so forgiving of his transgression. And yet, Emery is s softy, and lets him into her life, knowing full well her heart (and spirit) just might get crushed. And, even though she doesn't feel she deserves him, she still wants him all the same. I love how she has all these conflicting emotions and you watch her grow as they war in her heart.
Trip, well, he's another story. He doesn't want to let Emery in. He walked away years ago, but not for reasons Emery even knows. And he's never gotten over her, but can't bring himself to let her see that because it will put his family business in jeopardy. His heart wars throughout this entire book. Jumping from needing her, wanting her, to convincing himself they need to remain professional and he must stay away. But the heart wants what it wants.
What I love about this book is that it's definitely a romance, but there's also a great underlying story of redemption and ultimate sacrifice. I love that we watch as Emery wars with being able to ride, with being able become her own person outside of who her father has shaped. And Trip certainly comes into his own in this book. Proving he has the skill to train one of the best jockey's of all time. And yet, the story doesn't delve deeply into the training and al the intricacies to confuse you. It touches much of the surface and gets across the point that you must overcome your fears to move on and shape your life the way you want it.
Overall the book has tension and romance and action scenes. But it also has scenes of tenderness that had my heart cinches up and tears rolling from my eyes. Especially the racing scenes (and I don't even know anything about horse racing). But my heart knows sports and I think every athlete understands what happens when you conquer your fear and go for it all. Any fan of romances with sports as the background will truly enjoy West's story! I can't wait to read the next installment in this series!Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and YA sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing?. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.
She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University.
Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West.