BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, December 2, 2013

ARC Review of Thrown by Colette Auclair

Publisher: Pocket Star Books
Format Read: I received both a print ARC and a digital ARC; I read the eGalley.
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: December 16, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission for purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

THROWN is a lighthearted yet steamy contemporary romance by Golden Heart finalist Colette Auclair, featuring a young woman who must choose between capturing a gold medal and the man who’s captured her heart.

In THROWN, professional trainer Amanda Vogel dreams of riding jumpers in the Olympics, but after seeing her best friend die in a riding accident, she’s so traumatized she can’t show. Broke and desperate, she takes a summer job in Aspen teaching some big-shot widowed movie star’s spoiled daughters to ride—even though she hates teaching kids. She braces herself for three miserable months. But by Labor Day, she has to choose between capturing a gold medal…and the man who has captured her heart.

THROWN was a 2012 Golden Heart finalist in the single-title contemporary romance category. It also won the 2011 Winter Rose Contest (Yellow Rose Romance Writers) and finaled in the 2011 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest (North East Ohio Romance Writers Association).



Bea's Thoughts:

Look at that gorgeous dapple gray horse! I was sold before I read the blurb. :D Yes, I was that girl that read Black Beauty, the Black Stallion books, the Marguerite Henry books, took lessons, and owned a horse. I no longer ride or own a horse but I still love them and this book excited me with it's Olympic-hopeful equestrian heroine.

There was enough horse business and enough horses to make me happy but I think non-horsey people won't be overwhelmed or lose interest in the story. Amanda is a professional rider, broke and took a job as a private riding instructor for the summer to earn some money. Grady is a rich, handsome, sexy, successful single father and movie star. He's more interested in being a friend to his daughters than a parent and their behavior shows it.

They're attracted to each other from the first but aware of their employer-employee roles and hesitant to cross the boundaries. Add in Amanda's refusal to do a  no-strings-attached relationship and they dance around each other for a while. She even dates another man, hoping that will stop her thinking about Grady. Does that EVER work in books, movies, or real life? *eye roll* They split when he disses her Olympic dreams and tries to talk her out of them. Grady on the other hand takes her seriously and respects the work she has put in so far towards her goal. He is however an idiot at times such as when she falls and injures her back. Does he call an ambulance? NOOOO! He moves her (and she lets him!) and has her sit upright while he drives her to the hospital. The author, a show rider herself, should know better; you don't mess with potential back or neck injuries. Luckily, her injuries are minor but it was stupid behavior on both Grady and Amanda's part.

I liked Amanda, I liked Grady, I loved the horses, I really liked Harris, but I wish he'd been better developed and used less often. Who is Harris? The gay best friend. He's Grady's BFF and rapidly becomes Amanda's good friend. He also knows all about fashion and interior design, is a whiz at makeup, he gossips, listens to Cher and GaGa, drinks a lot; in other words, he's the time-worn cliche of a gay man. He's sweet and funny but he has little depth. Granted, he's a secondary character but more thought and work could have been put into him. Also, he moves much of the plot along by telling Amanda every confidence that Grady shares with him and vice versa. If you want to keep something, then don't tell Harris. When Grady or Amanda are being obtuse or unreasonable, counselor Harris (he's actually Grady's personal chef) is there to set them straight. 

Harris is not the only underdeveloped secondary character; there's Grady's mother Estelle and his ex-lover Priscilla. Actually, Priscilla starts out as a cliched slutty blonde but we do see some growth towards the ends and that made me happy. Estelle, well, she's the controlling, perfectionist, never satisfied show business mom. Her main purpose in the story is to cause problems between Grady and Amanda.

I also disliked the epilogue but I'm not an epilogue anyway. This one was sugary, sappy and utterly predictable.

So, what did I like? The way that Grady and Amanda are respectful of each other's careers, how Auclair has the relationship, including the sexual aspect, build slowly, the humor, and the characters. "Thrown" is a sweet, funny, sexy romance with characters who act intelligently most of the time. The horse details are spot on and the movie star life seemed realistic also. Despite my complaints, I enjoyed "Thrown" and would recommend it for lovers of contemporary romance.

For quotes from the book, see today's Quote-Tastic post.
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1 comment:

  1. That cover attracted me big time too! That's why I clicked over:) Sorry that the secondary characters left something to be desired but it sounds like an enjoyable read nonetheless!

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