I had the chance to read another of Ms. Pettersen’s books, Color My Horse, a while ago and I remember how much I liked it, so I got really excited when Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash landed on my desk. There’s always a slight risk of the next book being a let-down, but let me immediately assure you such was most definitely not the case with this one.
While there are a lot of parallels between the two books (the hero and the heroine from two completely different backgrounds, the world of racing horses, sizzling romance and dangerous intrigue…), there was nothing really predictable about Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash.
Jenna Murphy, an extraordinarily talented horse masseuse, truly needs the income her job at the Thoroughbred Wellness Center provides her and, even more so, the little bonuses she occasionally gets for the extra work. After all, she is responsible for her younger sister Emily, who is currently in college and who always needs extra money.
But then the Center experiences a takeover, and the corporate guy sent in to iron out the many creases of the transition, Derek Burke, threatens the established way of doing business there. Jenna is afraid for her job, afraid that the deceptions of her past will catch up with her, and even more scared of her feelings towards the handsome, if not exactly mellow and easygoing Burke.
The two, however, form an uneasy truce, which eventually flourishes into a rather steamy, if short-lasting affair. Once the Center is where the new owners want it to be, Burke is ready to leave for the next company’s acquisition. What will happen with Jenna and Burke? Can they find a way to reconcile their differences?
Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash was another completely enjoyable mix of great little tidbits from the world of equine wellness, sizzling romance and heart-stopping intrigue. The characters were well drawn, complex, believable and likeable. The contrast between Jenna’s common sense, matter-of-fact and down-to-earth approach and Burke’s highly trained corporate ways of doing things was always greatly entertaining, and the description of the undercurrents both in the Center and the local community very engaging.
This is a great summer read for all those readers who enjoy spicy romance and hold-your-breath intrigue, whether they like horses or not.
(Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views)