Author: Colette Auclair
Series: Aspen Valley #1
Published by: Pocket Books
Publication Date: December 16, 2013
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.
So here it is: I was horse crazy before I could even talk. I’ve owned horses, showed horses, and have had deep bonds with horses. Since I was young, I had a habit of picking up any book that had a horse on the cover. It didn’t matter the genre or what it was about, I just wanted to read them because they had horses in them. This led to a few interesting reads that opened me up to new genres (and some that weren’t exactly age appropriate). I guess some old habits die hard, because I snagged Thrown for the horses. Okay, and the romance. But mostly because it was a romance set around horses and riding. While I didn’t love it, I did like it.
I really liked the premise of Thrown, but got a bit less than what I was expecting. While reading it, there were numerous times I wondered how much a person who isn’t familiar with horses and riding would enjoy it. It seemed like there was a lot more of the horsemanship than romance. It didn’t bother me too much, but I could see it bothering people who are wanting a book heavy in the romance department. It’s a very slow lead-up, almost nonexistent, for the majority of the book, and then *bam* everything happens fairly quickly during the last quarter or so.
Honestly, I don’t get where the heavy feelings came from. I enjoyed and understood the relationship Amanda built with the daughters, and even Harris, the chef. But Grady? Nope, not so much. Yes, I got the attraction, but not at the level they claimed to be feeling it. Amanda spent a lot of time with them, but hardly any with Grady. When he was around he was mostly annoying. I liked how Amanda handled him, though. I swear, I got more emotional about her relationship with her mare, than I did with her and Grady’s.
Despite the lackluster romance, I enjoyed pretty much everything else about Thrown. Amanda is a great character, and I liked that the story also dealt with her PTSD. The bond she develops with the two little girls was great, too. It was something all three desperately needed. I also like Harris. He’s the chef who turns into Amanda’s best friend, and who also enjoys having cocktails. A lot (haha).
Thrown may not have blown me away, but I did enjoy it for the most part and think it’s worth the read. As long as you’re not wanting a ton of romance.