Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 286 (Paperback)
They’re from two different worlds.
He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.
With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…
I have so many thoughts about this book, so the best way to sort my thoughts is into a "pros vs cons" list. I can't say I review this way often, so tell me what you think of it below!
Horses: Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you how excited I was to read a book having to do with horses! I have never read one before, so this will forever remain in the back of my mind because of this. But the horse aspect of this novel was handled so well! While it was not a main focus, it was a large subplot and we were really able to witness Savannah create an unbreakable bond with her horse, Star.
Friends: Rory and Vanessa are two of my favorite characters in this story! I love their friendships and how they were always there for Savannah. Vanessa is so much more than a rich pretty girl, and Rory's love of writing unintentionally steamy and nerdy screenplays constantly put a smile on my face. Plus, Rory may or may not be the younger brother of an *ahem* previous leading man named after a fried hot dog on a stick. So that rocks too.
Cameos: Yeah, remember that previous leading man named after a fried hot dog on a stick? And his girlfriend? And his sports team? I do, too. And I still love them.
Romance: Jack really is a cute leading man. He believes in Savannah when nobody else does and he carries a lot on his shoulders so he uses his cocky attitude as a cover-up a lot. He's charming and entertaining. My one complaint is that he seems to be one of the fewer fleshed out characters in the novel, which is a huge bummer and con.
Exploration of different classes: As the synopsis mentions, Savannah is lacking greatly in the financial department whereas Jack's family has so much money they don't necessarily know what to do with it. Kenneally allows us to explore both different classes, and I think the novel can be very educational due to this.
Great father figures: While Savannah and her father fight like any other family, he always comes around and supports her aspirations as her number one fan. I love that they have such a great relationship and that he stepped up as best as he could after her mother passed away. Similarly, Jack's father is a great businessman that is teaching his son and cares a lot about him. He has his moments where he really shines, even if he uses his son's good lucks as part of a business deal. *tsk tsk* I suppose I can maybe get over that.
Judgmental comments: In Kenneally's attempts to show the different classes, Savannah sometimes makes rude and generalized comments about rich people because a previous rich employer hurt her family. She made one comment about how Rory would never be able to hook up with Vanessa because she is rich and gorgeous. Comments like that really rubbed me the wrong way.
Slow pacing: At times, the romance moved soooo slowly, especially near the beginning. I am all for flow burn, but the pacing just seemed slightly off to me.
Gorgeous girl is gorgeous but doesn't know it: Everyone seems to think that Savannah is this drop dead gorgeous girl, but she doesn't think so. And while I am sure this is everyone's fantasy when they move to a new town, I can't say I am a fan of this YA trope.
I still loved this book, just not as much as a few others in this series. I am looking at you, Jordan and Annie! Forever my two main girls.