Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Book Title: Racing Savannah
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published Date: January 1st, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone/Companion
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Yay, finally we get a book set on a horse farm! Like most girls, I loved horses as a child. I even took horseback riding lessons from 4th to 8th grade and I loved it. I was never all that good, but I loved doing it all the same. Some of my favorite books were The Saddle Club series and it’s spin-off Pine Hollow. My other favorite horsey series was Throughbred. So of course I had to get this book. It seemed like it was right up my alley and I couldn’t wait to dive in.

It started off a little slow for me. It wasn’t until I was about 100 pages into it that I really started to get into it. I’m not even sure why that was. It could have just been my mood, because by the time I hit page 105 I was really getting into it and I loved all the horse racing stuff. It brought me right back to my childhood.

I liked Savannah, yeah she had some issues with rich people, but once you got the backstory behind that, I wasn’t bothered by her attitude towards the rich people anymore. She had a totally different life than the Goodwin’s or the Whitfield’s. Savannah’s dad, his pregnant girlfriend Cindy, and Savannah struggled to make ends meet. College wasn’t even something Savannah was entertaining because just to apply cost money and her grades weren’t great.

I didn’t love the romance in this one. It got better towards the end, but I never really liked Jack for Savannah all that much. I wanted to feel the heat, the sexual tension between them and I just didn’t feel it at all. That really bummed me out as I think it had the potential to be a very hot romance.

Savannah’s journey was absolutely fascinating and heartwarming to watch. Her journey from thinking that horses were all there was to realizing that she could go to college if it was important to her. Watching her relationship with her dad’s girlfriend evolve was definitely good to see. Despite it having been 5 years since her mother had passed, I think Savannah struggled with the fact that her dad was in love & having a baby with someone else. 

I did enjoy this book a lot, despite not liking the romance and I think it’s because there was a lot of self discovery happening for Savannah. I’m always a sucker for those stories. I am going to give it 4 stars, and Miranda Kenneally has earned herself a spot on my auto-buy authors list. I’m definitely a fan of her books.

Review: 12th Of Never (Women’s Murder Club #12) by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Book Title: 12th Of Never
Authors: James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Release Date: January 1st, 2013
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Mystery
Series: Book 12 in Women’s Murder Club series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Lindsay Boxer’s beautiful baby daughter is born! While Lindsay and Joe are at home in bliss, San Francisco gets hit with multiple killings. An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a murder that he claims is real. No one believes him-until a vicious shooting fits the man’s description to the last detail. 

Then the girlfriend of a star player for the San Francisco 49ers is found dead in her car, making the athlete the prime suspect. This seems like an open-and-shut case-until the body inexplicably vanishes from the morgue. When the desperate chief of police calls for help, Lindsay is forced to return to work after only one week at home with her newborn. 

But all the crimes in the world will seem like nothing when she suddenly faces the most devastating loss of her life. With heart-pounding emotion and suspense, 12TH OF NEVER is James Patterson’s most shocking and sensational Women’s Murder Club novel yet.

Disclaimer: This book was a personal purchase.

Review:
I have been a big James Patterson fan for at least the last ten years, possibly longer. I have read essentially all of his books, give or take a few.I grabbed this one when I was at Costco a month or so ago. I was excited as I hadn’t gotten to this one yet, despite it being out for a year already. The 11th book in this series was a bit lackluster, so I was kind of concerned about this one and hoping that the series wasn’t coming to a close.

Thankfully, the book was back on par with what I have come to expect from the joint writing of James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. It was a book that had many twists and turns, both in the various cases that the ladies were dealing with, as well as in their own personal lives.

I know there were some complaints about Lindsay in this book and I don’t get it at all. She’s a new mom who returned to work much earlier than she intended to. Of course she is going to be a bit scatterbrained and not totally with it. She just had a baby. She’s a mom to a newborn now. I have never had kids, but even I understood that Lindsay was just trying to adjust to everything as quickly as possible. It doesn’t help that Julie is not an easy baby either. So she’s dealing with that as well.

I wanted to wring Cindy’s neck though. She had essentially pushed her fiance Rich, onto the back burner. Totally unfair and it made me question if she really wanted to marry him. I mean they had been engaged for awhile, but no date was set? Um, if I am madly in love with someone and want to be their wife, I would not wait longer than maybe a week, to start planning a wedding. But Cindy & Rich had been engaged for  a year with nothing even set in stone yet. I started to feel crappy for Rich.

The biggest surprise was at the end and it had me practically screaming “WTF is going on here?” That was a twist I absolutely did not see coming. However, I thought it was awesome even if it did give me a WTF moment. This book gets 4 stars from me. I enjoyed it a lot and it was absolutely better than the 11th book.Go read it if you have read all of the other books in the series. I promise you will not be disappointed.