Share & Share Alike (Aspen Valley Series, Book 3) by Hannah Hooton
“Everyone has secrets… Everyone has a past…
Tessa thought buying into the dysfunctional Ta’ Qali Racehorse Syndicate would be the perfect distraction from a life best forgotten. Some are willing to distract her with words of woo, while others are able to distract her with just a nonchalant look.
But neither Hugh’s flirtations nor Sin’s disregard are diversion enough when their horse, Ta’ Qali, is found deliberately injured. Someone close is responsible and Tessa finds herself questioning the innocence of everyone around her.
With his nobbler still at large, the race is on to get Ta’ Qali fit and oncourse in time to prove himself to be the champion Tessa’s always believed him to be. But he isn’t the only one up against the clock. Love is threatening to leave without her; and win, lose or draw, Tessa’s in for the ride of her life…” – Book Description from Author’s Website
I am not a big fan of romance books, so I was a little hesitant when the author, Hannah Hooton, contacted me to see if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing her book on my blog. However, I am a huge horse racing fan and can look over most “flaws” to read something about one of my favorite topics! So I was very pleased to find that the romance is not a central part of the story like I thought it would. While it is certainly there, and the main character does like to watch several of her co-syndicate owners walk away, the romance plays a major background role to the other aspects of the book: like the big mystery of who nobbled (my new favorite word) Ta’ Qali.
One of the major strengths of this book is the characterization. Each character is fleshed out and feels like a separate person. There’s a mix of the completely normal (like the sweet but shy Freya), the sketchy, and the way out there characters that make you laugh at their audacity (like when Dilys shows up to a horse race in a ball gown). Best part is that they all feel real, right on down to romantic interests F.D. Sinclair and Hugh Lamb.
Hooton’s writing is so effortless and the journey she takes you on through Tessa’s foray into racehorse ownership is entertaining and moves at a quick, snappy pace. Hooton does a great job of integrating the racing world into the every day world and I appreciate the fact that she knows her audience and doesn’t waste words explaining every nuanced detail about horses. The only downside, for me, was that I wanted MORE of the horse racing, as interesting as the rest of the non-horse focused story was.
I would definitely recommend Share & Share Alike to anybody who: likes a good horse story, likes a mystery, or who won’t settled for anything less than Mr. Darcy. Even though it is the third book in a series, it is a complete stand alone novel with shared characters. While I received the novel in time to read it while sitting on a boat on my vacation, I don’t think it’s just a beach read. It’s a good story, good writing, and will leave you satisfied.
If you’re interested in checking out Share & Share Alike, you can read an excerpt from the first chapter at the author’s website: here (just click on the cover art). Or better yet, click on one of the links to purchase this e-book for yourself! For only $3.99 you will not be disappointed.