Milly Lockwood Groves is stuck at her parents' racing stables and stud farm outside Newmarket, and dreams of making it as a champion jockey. Her father is a millionaire racehorse breeder and bastion of the male dominated racing fraternity, and although he loves his daughter, he's forbidden Milly to ride, after a bad fall left her hospitalised as a child. Instead, her parents devote their energy to supporting Milly's poisonous elder brother, Jasper. Although Milly has more talent in her left riding boot than Jasper will ever have, her family don't see racing as an appropriate career for a girl, and Milly's life consists of Prue Leith cookery courses and Debs' balls in London. But Milly's life is about to be changed by the arrival of Bobby Cameron, the most skilled horse-breaker in America. Milly, who has no interest in males of the two-legged variety, develops a passionate crush on the blond, beautiful Bobby. When Bobby offers her the chance to spend a year on his Californian ranch, it's just too good an opportunity to refuse...
The Horse Whisperer and National Velvet meet Jackie Collins behind the barn in this libidinous fly-on-the-stall peek at horse racing and California real estate chicanery, just in time for beach read season. Irresistible Bobby Cameron, 23, and already one of the most skilled horse breakers and trainers in the world, inherits Highwood, his father's 3,000-acre California ranch, but not the money to keep it out of foreclosure. He takes a job training two horses on a highly regarded racing stud farm in Newmarket, England, where he falls for the farm owner's 17-year-old daughter, Milly Lockwood Groves. Milly is a frustrated rider forced by her family to give up her career after a neck injury, and she's living in the shadow of her neighbor and rival, Rachel Delaney, a sexy and successful pro rider. Milly's dad has a minor stroke and finally agrees to let her return to riding and to train with Bobby at Highwood. While Milly grows closer to her dream of professional riding-and outshining Rachel-na�ve Bobby takes on a sleazy partner with big bucks and an ulterior motive. This follow-up to Bagshawe's surprise bestseller, Adored, should satisfy this year's crop of vacationers. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Grand Central Publishing
March 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Showdown by Tilly Bagshawe
Bobby Cameron was in the south of France on the day his father died.
Leaning hard into the filly's left flank he was breaking in a feisty bay yearling called Mirage for the legendary French racehorse owner Pascal Bremeau he brought her around for a third time as the dry dust of the training ring billowed and plumed up around him, enveloping both horse and rider once again in a thick, stifling cloud. Fighting back the urge to choke he didn t want to do anything now that might frighten or unsettle the horse he leaned back in the saddle, relaxing into the languorous, cowboy-style riding that he was famed for, closing his eyes to help himself tune in to her movements. Soon he could feel every pulse of her taut young muscles between his thighs and the nervous straining of every sinew as she cantered into the turn. It was as if he and the filly had become one being, one fluid organism, circling rhythmically beneath the blazing Cote d Azur sun.
Non! Pas comme a. Regard, she is steel favoring the left. You see
The voice came from Henri Duval, Bremeau s trainer, who was standing by the side of the schooling ring, scowling, in shorts and a T-shirt, his few remaining strands of straggly dark hair stuck with sweat to his otherwise bald forehead, alternately yelling instructions to Bobby or roaring with Gallic bad temper into his cell phone.
coute! She needs more steek, Bobby, uh Deesmount! Deesmount!
Keeping his eyes closed, Bobby tried to block out the sound. He wished Henri would go terrorize someone else. He was ruining his concentration, not to mention Mirage s. Was it any wonder the filly was so goddamn flighty, if all she ever heard from her trainer was screaming
Arr te! The Frenchman was yelling so loudly now that reluctantly Bobby was forced to open his eyes and bring the horse to a stop.
A fine spray of white foam had formed across Mirage s shoulders, frothing like milk above the gleaming coffee color of her coat, a testament to the intensity of her morning s efforts. She was a terrific little horse, this one, brave and determined. Bobby could quite see why Bremeau had paid three hundred thousand for her, even though on paper she d been a risky investment. Sired by the great Love s Young Dream, a Belmont winner, but out of the unknown, unplaced mare Miracle she could go either way. She d either make a great racehorse or burn herself out before she ever got as far as the track. But that was just the sort of horse he loved: a ball of raw energy and speed, just waiting for a little gentle, Cameron-style direction.
At only twenty-three, Bobby Cameron already had a reputation as one of the most skilled horse breakers and trainers in the world. With his straw-blond hair, endlessly long legs, and soulful hazel eyes, the brilliant but notoriously arrogant son of the famous cowboy Hank Cameron had been born with an incredible gift: a unique rapport with difficult horses. Animals that other, skilled trainers could barely get a bridle on seemed to calm instantly at his touch, soothed into submission by the low murmuring drawl of his voice. It was a talent that owners like Pascal Bremeau were prepared to pay handsomely for.