I have traveled to 48 of the 50 United States, but one I have not seen is Kentucky. After reading Run for the Roses I am all about wanting to go there. In fact, Elizabeth Noble did such a fine job illustrating it with her words I kind of feel like I have been there, even if it was only in my imagination.
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Wanting to end his pattern of choosing controlling and abusive men, Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures it’s better to live alone than live in fear. Just when things are settling down—his biggest trouble recently is a Kentucky Derby hopeful that won’t load into a starting gate—his best friend Janelle’s violent ex-boyfriend kidnaps her. After she’s seriously injured in a car wreck, Wyatt Harig, Janelle’s estranged father, comes around to tend to his daughter. Despite Val’s determination to avoid relationships, Wyatt interests him in ways that make his resolve waver. As complications and repercussions pile on in the aftermath of Janelle’s kidnapping—including a gambling charge and a murder—Wyatt and Val must work together to seek answers. And the closer they get to each other, the more Val wants them to stay that way.
There is a lot to like about this little book. For starters, even though it’s a novella it packs a pretty good fist of drama. Right out of the gate my little brain kept trying to figure out what sort of love story it was going to be. I knew nothing about the plot, and I had never read anything from this author, so I went into it completely open-minded. I didn’t even read the book blurb – really – I had no clue except for the title. I know enough about horse racing to figure it had something to do with the Kentucky Derby, either that or the Rose Parade. Taking place in Kentucky and not Pasadena was a big clue though.
For the first few chapters I kept wondering, who is Val going to hook up with? But when his best friend’s estranged father comes into the picture I was like, oh yeah! I really enjoy books where lovers have an age difference. I know, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but damn, I find it so hot! There is some strong chemistry between the two men. It’s definitely a whirlwind romance, but I found that to be quite entertaining actually.
Was it a comfort/hurt theme? Was it a May-December romance? Was it an equestrian sport story? Was it a crime drama? Elizabeth Noble did a very nice job of encompassing many themes into the plot, especially considering it is not a long book. Just long enough to make most of the action work.
I also admired that the author made Val’s bestie girlfriend a smart and spunky woman, rather than a clingy whiner. Because she is a jockey it would have been very easy to make her character male, but creating a strong woman for this story added an extra dimension I admired.
So, if you are looking for some entertainment that offers a unique setting and some unusual characters, I think you should make a Run for the Roses and pick up this fun little tale.
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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