Published June 6th 2011 by Virtualbookworm.com Publishing.
I remember being a little kid and my dad would take me horseback riding once or twice a year. Horses are such strong and beautiful creatures. I have always been fascinated with the equestrian sport so this city girl felt confident going into this book.
Blurb from back cover:
Last year, I had it all. Two jumpers on the show circuit, a lot of wins, and a lot of attention – the good kind. But now I have nothing. My life is circling the drain. The only spark of light that exists for me is my new, forbidden passion. If my stepfather finds out, he will kill me. My twin brother, my only blood relative in the world, has already begged me not to. If it can’t be horses, it has to be this.
Blaze of Glory is told in the point of view of a seventeen-year-old girl named Tea, pronounced Te-ya. And she has her way with horses. Almost like a ‘horse whisperer’. She competed locally together with her prize pony, Blaze. Tea and her twin brother, Seth, lost their mother four years ago and were now living with their stepfather Declan. Together, they take care of horses, sell them, and train them for various equine sports. Tea’s step-cousin, Jaden, is a world class polo player drops by for a visit and eventually moving his horses to Tea’s farm so he could play local polo tournaments.
Tea is a very determined, yet somewhat naive, girl. She always gets into trouble. It was as if in every page, she was in some sort of distress. Her friends try to keep her in line but there is only one person who could keep up with her… Jaden. At first, they were in each other’s throats but eventually, all that animosity turns into something else.
I loved the details and explanations about horse riding, training and grooming. A lot of it was based off of the author’s personal experiences. I appreciate that the author took bits and pieces from her background as a rider so it all of it felt very authentic. Some of my favorite parts of the book were the ones where Tea was dealing with Schweppes and Cameo. Tea’s relationship with the horses made me understand them more.
The writing was consistently good throughout the book. It was easy to read, easy to follow. The plot was solid and well-constructed. I loved the characters and found myself rooting for each and every one of them. Even the horses had their own distinct and endearing personalities. And the dialogue was so realistic. Seth was just the most adorable brother. Dec, as flawed as he is, was a great character. You could feel his frustration and confusion very well and it made me feel sorry for him. Tea was very relatable and it was easy to empathize with her even though she sometimes had lapses in judgment. But hey, we all have our moments, right?
I must admit, I had trouble reconciling Tea and Jaden’s relationship. As sweet (and frustrating) as they were, I was a little bit uncomfortable. I keep an open mind but to each her own, I guess. But they were still very cute. They bickered a lot, which got a little old towards the end, but it made for a great story. Jaden was very “knight in shining armor” even though Tea was far from being a “damsel in distress”. It took me a while to follow some parts of the time line but over all, it was such a lovely read. The ending was very fulfilling and I am very much looking forward to a sequel. (The sequel’s title is Renaissance Man.)
Recommendation: This will very much appeal to those familiar with the world of horse training and equine sports. For those of us not familiar with this area, this book gives a fascinating peek into what work goes into horse jumping and polo. And you will just fall in love with the story!
Get your copy here.