from the author’s website
Thoroughbred racing brings together all ethnic types in a unique temporary democracy where stable hands may interact with the very rich. But when tough, shrewd construction mogul and thoroughbred owner Pat McGoohey makes talented, mahogany-skinned Len Thomas his trainer, he breaks with protocol. With Len comes the strange, funky and mystical horse-whisperer, Paco.
Lacking good ponies, McGoohey develops a driving obsession to have his mare Arabiche bred with a champion stud owned by a Kentucky blue-blood steel magnolia. The mating can’t happen until Arabiche gets some better results, and the owner tasks his boys with a good showing in a very big Saratoga race where the Kentucky lady will be present.
Len’s job is in jeopardy because Arabiche just isn’t up to it, and he’s determined to get results. Paco makes it happen, but McGoohey is humiliated by the Kentucky lady and he goes illegal. Len doesn’t like it, but he needs his prestigious job even more now, since since he’s fallen hard for the Kentucky lady’s lovely Creole assistant/confidante, Holly. Things get out of control, and the trail leads from Saratoga to Louisville to jail, with Len, Paco and Holly one jump ahead of the law until a showdown in the border country with big surprises and a bizarre resolution.
I really had mixed feelings about this book.
On one hand, the plot was really interesting. The characters were well rounded. So in my mind, the book was conceptually sound.
On the other hand, the book was very poorly edited. I know that what I received was an ARC and there are usually editorial mistakes because it hasn’t gone through the last pass of the editors. However, I received this ARC about a week before publication. Plus according to the publisher’s webpage, the book was originally scheduled to come out in 2010.
That being said, I am hoping for the readers’ sake that it gets another pass by the editors before its release.
Onto the story… Once I got over the urge to take a red pen to the book, I started to really get into the story. Pat McGoohey is one of those characters that you don’t know whether to love or hate. One minute, he is such a jerk that you wish you could slap him. The next moment, he can do or say something nice.
Len is trying to make it in an all white profession. In fact, Pat is the only one willing to go out on limb and hire him. Even though Len doesn’t like it, he is willing to put up with Pat’s abuse in order to try to get ahead.
Things start spiraling out of control when Pat comes up with a scheme in order to come out on top. This story takes you through the gritty underbelly of humanity through several countries. It really demonstrates the human yearning to be the best of their field.
In conjunction with the Wakela’s World Disclosure Statement, I received a product in order to enable my review. No other compensation has been received. My statements are an honest account of my experience with the brand. The opinions stated here are mine alone.