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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ARC Review: Riding High by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: June 1, 2014

There ain't a rider that can't be thrown. And large-animal veterinarian Regan O'Connelli was thrown hard when he discovered his fiancée with his best friend. Now he's starting his life over at the Last Chance Ranch, run by the tightly knit Chance clan. But damned if his libido hasn't perked up over the spirited redhead who looks a lot like trouble….

Lily King is the queen of anti-structure. Turns out, that makes running a horse sanctuary a challenge.

Regan's help is exactly what Lily needs—not to mention the seriously sexy sparks that are flying between them.

Now she just has to convince this fallen cowboy to dust himself off and get back in the saddle…and into her bed!

I’m still fairly new to Vicki Lewis Thompson’s books despite the fact that I read The Nerd Who Loved Me years ago. That print copy didn’t survive the new dog we found and I wasn’t able to commit Thompson’s name to memory.

Fast forward 7 years and I’m trying to catch up.

Lily King has no idea how to run the horse sanctuary that she’s recently purchased so when a friend offers to have equine veterinarian Regan O’Connelli help her organize the sanctuary, she jumps at the chance. What she doesn’t expect is a wounded man that attracts her like no one else.

Lily is the most unstructured, unorganized woman that equine veterinarian Regan has ever met but he can’t seem to get her out of his mind. Still reeling from finding his fiancé in bed with his best friend, Regan doesn’t want to get involved with Lily, but the more time he spends around her, the less he remembers why he should avoid her.

I didn’t know what to expect from Riding High, the 14th book (yes you read right) in Thompson’s Sons of Chance series so I was excited about reading it. I’m so glad I did too, it’s so different from her Wild About You series in the best ways!

At first Lily came off as a moron. I get that she was spontaneous and has a good heart so that’s why she bought a horse sanctuary but did she bother to do any research on how to run it before or after the purchase? No. I was willing to give her some points at first because I thought maybe the story took place before the internet but no, at one point she looks up what to feed pigs yet doesn’t look up how to care for horses or run a sanctuary? It didn’t make sense to me or make her seem like a very smart person. That’s what kept me from warming up to her. However, about halfway through Riding High Lily changed from inept but well meaning to a hard working, intelligent woman and I admired her ability to admit her faults and correct them.

Regan was a great balance to Lily’s flighty and unorganized personality. He’s reliable, quiet, and gentle, which was surprising given how badly he was hurt in the past. He didn’t follow the stereotype of disliking or being overly cautious about women or people because his best friend and fiancé betrayed him. He was kind and considerate of Lily and though he didn’t want to get involved with her he never treated her with any kind of disdain or suspicion. I loved that about him and because I love a man who loves animals, Regan’s profession and understanding of horses just made him all the more delicious in my eyes.

Regan and Lily’s story was peppered with appearances from the Chance family, whom I haven’t met yet (but plan to in the future) but fell in love with. They’re boisterous, loving, nosey and loyal. I loved the humor and familial love they brought to Riding High. What caught me off guard was the appearance of a character from Regan’s past. While I liked the conflict that characters’ appearance brought to Regan and then to Lily, I was disappointed with how quickly and easily Regan and this character resolved the conflict. It felt like an empty resolution and made the initial conflict seem less serious than it was.

Of course, after finishing Riding High I went to the author's site to see what book, if any came next in the series and imagine my surprise when I see that Regan's best friend and his ex-fiancé will each have their own books. At first I had a big question mark of confusion on my face. I mean, how the heck is Vicki Lewis Thompson going to explain what they did to Regan and make them likable enough to deserve a happy ending?! Talk about a challenge! Now however, I'm very intrigued and super eager to see how those two characters play out in upcoming books.

Final Verdict: Riding High was an impressive read from an author I had discovered years ago. It's definitely different from her other series and that's wonderful for new and old readers, it's like getting different authors all in from one place. I can't wait to read the upcoming books, nor can I wait to make time for the previous books in the series.

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  1. Yummy cover! I've read one by her and it wasn't quite the right fit for me so was wondering about her other series. This one so sounds like one I'd like:)

  2. This is actually the first time I've read her cowboy series. I'm going to have to go back and read this series from the beginning though.

  3. You should try it Anna, maybe this one will suit you better!


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