I enjoyed this book. It was my first Karen Robards novel. I am a sucker for romance and angst. This story had both! It is a light and quick read. Highly recommended!
Robards (Walking After Midnight, LJ 12/94) holds the threads of many good potential stories here but, sadly, does not weave them into lovely fabrics. The heroic Molly Ballard fights money problems to raise a brood of stepbrothers and stepsisters. While interesting, the family dynamics of the Ballards?who live in a substandard house on the Wyland horse farm in Kentucky, where Molly works as a groom?are never fully explored. Robards could have fashioned bolts of cloth from the psychological workings of the mysterious horse slasher and the disappearance of two young girls?one ten years earlier and one?a sister of Molly?in the present. The emphasis, however, is on the romance between Molly and FBI agent Will, who is sent to investigate the doings at the horse farm. This angle is the weakest and most mundane thread of all. How many more throbbing pulses, scalding hands, and heaving bosoms must readers endure? Such a waste of talent, but buy it, as Robards fans will eat it up.
When horse groomer Molly Ballard finds a burlap sack stuffed with cash in the stables and decides to take it, she finds herself entangled in an FBI investigation of racehorse fixing that threatens the peaceful life she has fashioned for herself and her four siblings. Ultimately, simple and country-bred Molly falls in love with the lead investigator, a slick city-bred detective, and as a decades-old murder mystery is solved and the racehorse scam uncovered, he decides he cannot live without her. Of course the road to happiness is not a smooth one, and each must come to terms with old resentments and hurts before they can find happiness together. Although the book has a rather predictable ending, many readers will find it an engrossing tale of passion, intrigue, and murder. Fans of Robards' previous works will not be disappointed.