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Winning Ways.

Winning Ways

Toni Leland

Equine Graphics Publishing Group

P.O. Box 8016, Zanesville, OH 43702-8016

Parallel Press

ISBN 188793223-, $15.95, 268 pp

As soon as you begin reading Winning Ways you know you are entering a different kind of world. This is a story of horses, horseshows, horsemen and horsewomen and a welcome respite from the formula romance novel. I, for one, enjoyed being brought into an atmosphere so different than mine and I also looked forward to learning more about the heroine, Liz.

Liz, a young veterinarian, recently moved and is attempting to pick up her life on the opposite side of the country. When we meet her, she is doing a good deed for a stricken horse. They say no good deed goes unnoticed, but in her case it did. Her efforts did nothing to bring her new clients or help build her veterinary practice. With too few clients, too many hours to fill and few friends to share them with, Liz feels lonely and frustrated and is thinking her move west is a huge mistake. Her only solace is her horses. Part of her plan is to build a stable and breed high quality horses. To do that, she has to show them. Liz enters a local horse show and manages to pick up several ribbons. The fact that she did not to come home empty handed makes her a perceived threat to the established breeders in town and we are told to anticipate something dreadful.

If Leland intended to create some suspense, she didn't. And, there are aspects of this story that I had difficulty accepting. Liz, we learn is an innocent, this despite a lifetime of being around horses, and being mature enough to have completed a degree in veterinary medicine. It is hard to believe that she could be so ignorant of the dirty business that goes on at horse shows. It is equally difficult to believe that she is an innocent when it comes to men. Why Leland suggested that Liz be an innocent, I have no idea because she didn't sterilize her longings. Liz is not innocent in her dreams. Almost from page one, she lusts after one guy--Kurt, whose brusque behavior turns her off, no, on, no, off, no, on, no ... and so, Liz takes us on an emotional rollercoaster each time she sees, hears or thinks about Kurt, the trainer at a neighboring farm.

I will leave the rest of story for you to enjoy, and enjoy it you will if you like a fast read, like things simple, are not annoyed when characters and plot is not fully developed, and like being taken to places you haven't been before.
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kleinman, Isobel
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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