out in her mind. The sway of his hips exuded a ruthless overconfidence, but as
her eyes traveled up from the curve of his blue jeans to his wide chest and
thick, tanned arms, her temperature began to quickly climb. When she was within
a few feet of him, his thin lips twisted into a devilish smile, almost a
teasing smirk that Rayne found more offensive than alluring.
She curiously studied the square curve of his jaw and his slightly bent
nose. His hair was thick, wavy, almost black, and was in need of a good trim.
His sunken cheekbones accentuated the tan on his face, while his high brow was
etched with a few worry lines that complimented instead of detracted from his
appearance. When he lowered his sunglasses, she noted the way his riveting gray
eyes drank in her figure.
Rayne concluded that she could never be interested in such an obvious
man. She was used to men ogling her buxom figure; her ex-husband used to do it
all the time when they had first started dating. But what was exciting in her
twenties, she now found repugnant in her thirties, making her wonder if all the
real gentlemen had gone the way of the dodo bird.
“You’re Rayne Greer, right?” His voice was a lot smoother than when he
had been shouting at his students. Tinged with a lustful, smoky quality that
many women would have found alluring, Rayne felt her uneasiness with the man
begin to gnaw at her.
Ignoring his engaging eyes, she gathered up Bob’s reins. “Yes, I’m Rayne
Greer,” she flatly stated, deciding to play it cool.
He held out a thick hand to her. “Trent Newbury, the new riding master
for Southland Stables. Rebecca Harmon told me about you. She said you were
great with kids.”
When Bob rubbed his head against her back, eager to move on, Rayne
turned away from his outstretched hand to the horse beside her. “Yes, I teach
the under twelve and beginners groups for Rebecca on the weekends.”
He lowered his hand to his side, unaffected by her snub. “Rebecca told
me you showed a lot of potential.” He eyed the slender dark bay thoroughbred.
“Is this your mount?”
“Yes, he’s a racetrack rescue Rebecca sold me a year ago.” Rayne rubbed
Bob’s long neck. “Where’s your horse?”
“Don’t have one right now. I just sold my mare a few weeks back.” He
took a step closer to her, making Bob give a short snort of surprise. “He’s
high spirited,” Trent remarked, giving Bob’s neck a pat.
“Careful,” Rayne warned. “He doesn’t like strangers, especially men.”
Bob turned his head and tried to nip at Trent’s arm.
Trent chuckled. “Where did he learn that trick, from you?”
“No.” She shifted uneasily on her feet, uncomfortable with the close
proximity of the man. “He was abused by jockeys and trainers when he raced on
the track. No man could get near him when Rebecca first bought him. I started
working with him in hopes of turning him into a schooling horse. After a time,
I opted to buy him…or my ex bought him for me.” She noticed the way Bob seemed
to calm as Trent’s powerful hand glided over his back.
“Ex?” Trent’s sharp eyes returned to Rayne. “You’re divorced.”
Rayne was surprised by the way his slight smile instantly warmed his
unsettling features. All of his cocky assurance disappeared and he seemed
“You have the most intriguing eyes,” he murmured, staring at her. “There
are flecks of gold amid the hazel in them.”
Rayne’s toes curled in her black riding boots. “I, ah….” She diverted
her eyes to Bob. “I’m surprised he’s letting you get that close.”
“I have a way with horses. They find me…irresistible.”
reflected. “That must be a great comfort to you,” she sharply returned.
“Knowing you have such sway over four-legged animals like that. Or were you
talking about another kind of animal?”
His eyebrows went up. “Well, well, not only does your horse have spirit,
his rider seems to as well.”
sarcasm, Mr. Newbury.”
He grinned at her, folding his thick arms over his chest. “It’s Trent,
and I think you’re wrong. You have to have a good bit of spirit and wit in
order to be sarcastic. Telling people what you think of them takes a hell of a
lot of guts, too.”
“Guts or stupidity? There’s a difference. One usually gets you into
trouble, and the other is needed to get you out of it.”
Trent’s roaring laughter reverberated throughout the shed row. “Wow,
you’re a little fireball, aren’t you?” He unfurled his arms. “Are you always
like this? Or is this just for my benefit?”Rayne’s patience with the arrogant
man had reached a turning point and she longed for their encounter to end.
“Nice meeting you, Trent. I’m sure I’ll see you around.”
This is my first book by Alexandrea Weis and I was very much looking forward to reading and reviewing it after seeing the cover and reading the synopsis. It was a wonderful story and I know that I will be picking up more of her books in the future. The way she wrote her characters, whether innocent, vindictive, selfish or otherwise, they felt very real. Her characters were believable not only as people but their issues seemed genuine as well. The level of description used in telling her story had me feeling like I was smack dab in the middle of Texas
While the core of the story is wrapped around the riding stables that Rayne, the lead female character boards her horse, one need not feel concerned that the book holds narrow appeal. It is an important part of the plot, but only on part. This story holds something for everyone with a perfect balance of reluctance, tension, jealousy, angst and self-discovery.
The synopsis at the beginning of this post gives you a nice indication of what this book is about. Preferring to allow you to enjoy the where and how of the story, I won’t go into great detail about the book overall, but will share with you the things I loved, liked etc.
What happens when a trophy wife finds herself replaced? After 8 years of marriage, Rayne finds herself in just that situation. Her marriage to her much older ex has failed and left her emotionally scarred as a result. But unlike others in her position, she is resigned not to go back to that life, Rayne Greer is no gold digger.
She loses herself in her childhood love of riding with a thoroughbred named Bob, part of her divorce settlement. She spends her evenings and weekends riding Bob and teaching equestrian classes for children at the riding stables she moonlights at. Life is all very predictable until she meets the new riding master.
The things I loved most about this book were Rayne’s inexperience and reluctance. Although she had been married, it was interesting to see her reaction to situations she had not had before. Trent’s patience and decisiveness with Rayne was endearing. The fact that they shared a common interest and valued work life balance helped to propel the story. My favorite part was Rayne’s relationship with Bob. He was her sounding board, her confidante, her therapist and her friend.
Other aspects of the book I liked included some of the supporting characters. Rebecca, owner of Southland Stables, embraces her trophy wife status and fully admits that she was able to own the stables as a result of her failed marriages. Lindsey, Rayne’s day job co-worker, explains the benefits of romance novels as research for sexy time with her husband Casey. And Fred, the lovable snoring ox of a dog that greets Rayne when she arrives home each night.
While many may not even notice it, what detracted from the story for me was the product placement details and repetitive descriptions of certain items in the story.