by Lauraine Snelling
From the back cover
Just get by. Those words have gotten Maggie Roberts through ten long, hard years after a tragic accident sent her to prison. There, she's kept her heart walled up and her head down, so when a chance to work in a high-profile retired Thoroughbred racehorse program is offered to her, Maggie is reluctant.
Nevertheless, her love of horses makes the opportunity too tempting to resist. Maggie finds new purpose working with Breaking Free, an abused blood-bay gelding who lashes out at anyone who tries to help him. Maggie soon learns he'll be put down if he can't be controlled, and she is determined to save him. But when a local businessman sets his sights on adopting the horse, Maggie may have to let go of the one thing keeping her afloat.
This was a beautiful story with several very good parts and a few exceptional descriptions. However, overall, it was poorly written. There are quite a few punctuation errors, and it reads like a cheesy romance novel (despite containing very little romance). In addition, there are no gradual changes in this book, and every decision is made abruptly, no matter how major.
But before I go too far into my complaints and scare all the readers away: it is a light read with good morals and plenty of horses--the latter being the reason I picked it up in the first place. If Lauraine Snelling doesn't have horse experience, she did her research very well, because there were no horse-related facepalms on my part. And Bonnie the Basset hound is perhaps my favorite character.
This is very much a fairy tale in that everything works out perfectly and the villain, who is known to be evil from the beginning, has vanished by the end in one way or another. Speaking of the end, it's one of those grand finales where not only the main plot, but all of the subplots as well, is resolved. And the last sentence of the last chapter was a gag-worthy mini epilogue that could have been, if not a decent epilogue, several more chapters.