highest stakes book coverReviewed by Michelle S.

Orphaned Charlotte Wallace, feeling alone in her Uncle’s home and family, seeks refuge and company in the house’s stables. It is there, in those stables, that she finds the two things she will love for the rest of her life, horses and Robert Devington.

Robert Devington pins his hopes for a happy future on both the horses and Charlotte. However, he finds himself thwarted at every turn, by Charlotte’s Uncle, by his best friend, and even by his country.

While Charlotte finds she must make do with the lot she’s been dealt in life, Robert finds that he will fulfill his lot in life only through revenge.

Horseracing, star-crossed lovers, and retribution take center stage in The Highest Stakes, the debut novel by Emery Lee. Set in 18th century England, this novel has everything it needs to be considered epic – love, greed, hatred, and history.

Lee does a fantastic job fleshing out the history of the characters, even that of their families, showing us past events that motivating source of current actions. The characters are well thought out, and realistic enough; my only real criticism is that Robert never seems to give Charlotte enough credit for anything – not the way she can ride, and certainly not about her feelings for him.

Additionally, Lee gives us a great amount of background information on horses, racing, and life during this time period – and I found it all fascinating! The back of the book states: “… the breathtaking origins of thoroughbred horse racing.” I would prefer to say that this novel is “the breathtaking origins of Emery Lee’s writing career.”

For more information, please visit Emery Lee’s website

Michelle recently returned to her West Virginia roots to re-invent herself. She is the principal (okay, only) web and graphic designer at Michelle My Belle Designs and uses the rest of her free time to write at 52 Self-help Books. Putting up with her madness is her husband Jason, dog Leo, and rabbit Macchiato.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.