learning to fall book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Now in her early twenties, Brynn Seymour has always been around horses, which are, after all, her family’s main source of income. The family home is part of the Redwood Grove Stables, some forty or so miles north of San Francisco spread over grassy hills and valleys, perfect for the stabling and hunter/jumper training offered by her father. Beginning with smaller scale events, horses and riders gradually move up to the Gran Prix circuit with prizes of a million or so bucks. It’s big-time stuff!

An only child, Brynn has always wanted to be a veterinarian. She’s now just one year away from graduation when she accompanies her dad and their number one stableman Derek, to the biggest of them all — The Million Dollar Gold Cup Event in Canada. She is over-tired from studying and may have forgotten to securely latch the gate on the three horse trailer they’re towing.

The gate opens, scaring the horses, causing havoc with the truck and the trailer, and somehow after all the commotion ceases, her Dad is dead, and Brynn feels compelled to return home to keep the stables going, while her mother works. It was always her father’s dream for her to take over eventually, but neither Brynn nor her Mom had any idea that her Dad had lost control of the finances, and they are dangerously close to foreclosure.

Brynn is more than a competent rider, and they have a horse that she believes can win the big event, but she needs a better coach.  At one time, she’d had a crush on the dashing, loner Jason Lander, who is the premiere rider and coach on the west coast. He agrees to coach her only if she adheres strictly to his instructions. (read: commands.) She balks briefly, but the first triumph convinces her to pay attention. Even though the stables are losing their long-time patrons and their horses, Brynn continues her campaign in spite of unbelievable odds.

Learning to Fall is a beautifully-written book, and so real you can almost feel the wind rushing by Brynn and Jett as they go flying over the jumps on the course. They both give their all in a breath-taking conclusion. I’m not sure I’d really want to trust anyone who didn’t like horses. They are such noble creatures, and totally incapable of such jealousy-inspired maneuvering as their humans produce with little effort and even less thought.

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First and foremost, Kelly is a reader, then a writer and editor. She adores Regency-set novels, and cozy mysteries. Every now and then, however, she finds something else to enjoy if it has a great premise with characters who belong in there, and fabulous writing! She writes under her own name, as well as her pen-name, Hetty St. James.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by SparkPress. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.