Pocket, Mar 2001, 6.99, 439 pp.
In Five Oaks horse farm in Virginia, owner Hank Sawyer needs a rider for Orion. Hank and his partner, veterinarian Caleb Wells, believe Orion is a winner for the right rider. However, the special horse dumps everyone who tries to jump fences and obstacles. Besides finding a rider, both are concerned with the fact that Caleb's nasty ex-wife owns Orion, following a judge's decision at the divorce hearing. Caleb makes monthly payments to Pamela in order to buy back his horse.
Cassie Miller arrives with her adopted five-year-old children, Jamie and Sophie, whose parents (Cassie's brother and wife) died in a car accident. Cassie is trying out for the job of trainer-rider at Five Oaks. Cassie gave up a shot at the elite in equestrian riding to raise her niece and nephew. She handles Orion perfectly. As Cassie and Caleb ride the circuit, they fall in love, but he has been burned once and she has two little children whom desperately need her love and care.
RIDE A DARK HORSE is an entertaining simplistic love story centering on and insider's look at horse show racing. The story line is fun as Caleb and Cassie struggle with their growing love for one another as well as Pamela's intrusion into any budding relationship. The characters are well drawn though a bit stereotyped as Cassie seems perfect and Pamela appears as her total opposite. Laura Moore has written an enjoyable romantic cozy (with a tiny dash of profanity) that will please readers who relish an uncomplicated tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner