Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book Review: The Highest Stakes by Emery Lee


Synopsis: (From the Publisher)
The breathtaking origins of thoroughbred horse racing
A tale of drama, danger, thwarted love, and retribution set in the high stakes gentleman's world of 18th century horse racing, where fortunes could be won... and lost...
She's lonely and neglected, but she knows horses...
Charlotte Wallace is orphaned and alone until a sympathetic stable boy takes her under his wing and teaches her everything about thoroughbred racing. In the process, the two discover in each other a love destined to be thwarted at every turn...
If only he could, he'd take her away with him forever...
Robert Devington has tried everything to persuade Charlotte's uncle to allow them to marry. Then an ill-fated friendship, a scandal in the making, and one desperate act of folly rob them of their love and his livelihood... Dead set on retribution, all Robert's hopes are hanging on one small horse-his only chance to reclaim his land, his dignity, and his love, against all odds...



My Review:

Robert Devington, a groom in Sir Garfield service, has a passion for racing horses and an even grater passion for Sir Garfield's niece, Charlotte Wallace. Robert constantly petitions Sir Garfield for Charlotte's hand in marriage but to no avail. No matter how hard Robert tries to make himself worthy, he is always viewed as a lowly stable boy of no consequence. As a young man with no prospects, he must find his own way in life in order to gain favor with Sir Garfield and convince him that he is the best man for Charlotte...

After forging his way in life, Robert returns home decorated as a hero of war and Captain of the Horse Guard. With a hopeful heart, he seeks out Sir Garfield in another attempt for Charlotte. Unfortunately, Roberts hopes are dashed when he learns that Sir Garfield has his own selfish plans for Charlotte's future...

Charlotte and Robert are desperately in love and are determined to find a way to be together. Forgoing all consequences they embark on a plan, that if successful, will give them the future they dream of. Just when they can finally see the finish line to their problems, disaster strikes. With an unthinkable betrayal, self-fish actions and threats of death, Robert and Charlotte's path to happiness is more treacherous then ever...


With The Highest Stakes, Emery Lee has given the reader a highly detailed and researched plot. While reading this novel, there was never a time when I knew what was going to happen next. Unexpected twists kept you guessing until the very last page. There are just a couple small issues I had with the book, the first being the times when writing became a little dry with the abundant equestrian detail. The detail of the horse racing was great, it was just the history and lineage of horses that became a little overdone. That being said, any of the dry moments were quickly forgotten when the intricate plot became intense. Also, I felt the end was a little abrupt. I did love the outcome, but after such a long and intense journey to reach happiness, the ending was pale in comparison. Overall, this is an enjoyable and intriguing read that will keep the readers attention through it's 500+ pages. 


A Little Extra:

 Be sure to read the enlightening guest post by Emery Lee: 





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