Title: Crewel Work (Tapestry, #1)
Author: Natalie Alder
Published Date: October 11th 2014
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
A successful race horse farm’s trainer is key and William Becker was going to make certain that losing that key neither in the wake of a broken heart involving his daughter nor the sinister acts of another employee was not going to happen to his farm, his legacy.
J.P. Ryan came from little and was left alone in the world at a vulnerable age. The offer to apprentice as a trainer for a prestigious race horse farm had been a fortunate opportunity. But when a jealous barn hand turns sinister and J.P.’s faced with the choice to risk throwing away four years of apprenticing, a place to live and daily meals over his boss’ seventeen year old daughter or to forget about her, the beautiful, sweet girl he wanted, J.P.’s dream job became cruel work.
I started this book thinking it would be about two people who loved each other at one point in their lives and were separated but found their way back to each other. And if you know me personally, you know that I love horses and that I ride whenever possible. I was incredibly wrong and very disappointed with this book. You start when Audra, the main female character is 16 and I believe that if I did math right in my head J.P., the trainer, is in his early twenties. You see the flirting and lusting they both have for each other. And you see the struggle each year as Audra reaches adulthood they both have with staying away from each other. Both have been warned by William, Audra’s father, to stay away from each other. They can’t. The first half of the book is just really slow. All that really happens is Audra goes on dates with other guys and J.P. goes to a bar to drink. The back and forth hot and cold stuff between them got old really fast and there were times I had to just put it down. Normally I read very quickly, especially if a book catches my attention. This one though had me reading at a snail’s pace.
The second half of the book is a bit better but not by much. It’s faster paced than the first half, which was nice, but it seemed to jump from William telling Audra and J.P. “no dating” to him being all smiles and happy for them to be together. It wasn’t a realistic jump for him. William just woke up one day and thought “Sure, I’m happy for my daughter even though last week when she was 17 I told her to stay away from J.P.”? That makes no sense at all to me. Then you have Audra suddenly become so mature and wise? Again, not very believable. I think things were very rushed in the second half of the book. And the author added a mystery into the book: who set the barn on fire, killed a horse, broke in a second time to the barn to try to kill another horse and instead hurt Audra? You’ll know right away from reading the book who did it so it wasn’t really much of a surprise, but it just seemed to come out of nowhere. It didn’t feel like that part belonged in the book, especially when the book just ends very abruptly. It felt like the author just wants to reader to make up their own ending about what happens. This is the first book in a series, so I would guess that maybe in a second book you’ll get more about the mystery and other events.
Like I mentioned earlier, I love to ride and do so when I get the chance. I did appreciate the author using the correct terms when speaking about tack (saddles, bits, halters, etc.) as well as things that horse trainers learn when training a horse. Not many books go into detail about those things and it was nice to see it in this book.
I’m not sure if I’ll read the rest of the series, but if you choose to I hope that you enjoy them better than I did.
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