Studs and Stilettos by Bev Pettersen

I seem to be finding firm favourites on my Kindle trips and Bev is one of them. I just love the mix of horses, romance and a good mystery. Emily was such a nice bimbo at the start and Dan just a bit dumb but they both muscled up through the course of the book, through the course of misunderstandings and a sneaky little sub plot that eventually took over.  This was a guzzle book that I haven’t had for a long time. Bravo!

I didn’t realise it was a follow up to Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash, wish I’d read that first, never mind!

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The Convict, the Rookie and the redemption of Gertie Thump by Becky Lyn Rickman

I picked this up as the title was a bit unusual and found myself a real treat. This lady knows people, our hypocracies, our bad and good sides. At first I thought it was going to be a homely, Christian book, but I’m not sure now on which side it falls.  The larger than life Gertie is such a nightmare, but in fact, by the end of the book, she appears one of the more honest characters. Its such an enjoyable slice of town life, and  I think she may be an distant relative of Agatha Raisin who has this same, blunt, hard yet funny look on life. A lot of the book is in dialogue, which is not easy to write or read so much. Brilliant. More please!

Cupboard Love by Laura Lockington

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Another autobiography, unusual for me, but this I loved. A girl of my era, I just so enjoyed the short anecdotes and tales from Laura’s childhood. Of the same era, I identified with her, and her pain – I took my rebellion in a slightly different way though(!) She is my favourite author at the moment and this  makes her books so much more enjoyable and as a writer/analyst, I see how she informs her work – often unconsciously. Her books have such charm and originality.

Therefore its such a shame that at present I’m struggling through Before and After. Totally original, great plot, but I just can’t get on with Flora, I reckon the problem is that she just doesn’t have the Lockington charm – see how I feel when I finish!!!

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My Animals and Other family by Clare Balding

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I just loved this book, Clare doesn’t need this book review, so I am writing of the effect this book had on me! Clare had my dream childhood in SOOO many ways, loads of horses to ride, dogs , an countryside home, a brother who was a mate and one parent who was ok!  All those stables and horses, my dream.  She had problems like me, such as getting clothes so she could fit in at school and even fitting in at school and making innocent blunders that were seen as terrible by the parents.

What struck me was her bitterness towards her father which is quite understandable. It was made clear to her from the start that as a female she didn’t rate and her father consistently didn’t remember any of her achievements. But she recounts most of her escapades with humour and clear sight, it so explains her personality. I didn’t have a father, which is maybe easier than having such a prat of a one but maybe he was of his time and generation. Maybe mine would have been the same, but I could compose him exactly as I wanted him and he was ‘One of the Few.

What I got the most from this was inspiration that it is possible to write about events with humour, passion and objectivity. I’ve been thinking of writing about my own childhood for a while, but had felt its negative aspects would make it difficult to write, but not with Clare’s model.  Thank you, and do so I envy you all those horses!!!!!!