As a teen preparing for the Olympics, equestrian Annemarie Zimmer broke her neck and her horse was killed. Now her teenage daughter, fearless Eva (why do horse books always have troubled girls in them?), is a rising equestrian star, and Annemarie fights to shield her from any possible danger. Mending fences with her daughter means allowing the girl to jump them--Annemarie's literal nightmare come to life.

Meanwhile, Annemarie's relationship with her veterinarian boyfriend, Dan, progresses slowly, since he's often away on business. The hurdles standing in their way must also be cleared if this couple is to have a future.

Gruen clearly knows and loves horses. Unfortunately, her humans aren't as endearing as her equines. Annemarie's paranoia and fear emotionally paralyze her, even to the point of damaging her relationship with Eva, yet her refusal to seek counseling for much of the book makes her unlikable and childish. The plot meanders to her eventual recovery, and the novel ends on an upbeat note, as a tragedy turns out to have a happy ending. But Annemarie's good fortune feels unearned. (Nov., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Tara Gelsomino