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  • Posted August 11, 2014

    I really,really enjoyed this story. Having grown up around hor

    I really,really enjoyed this story. Having grown up around horses and ridden horse most of my life, this was a story involving horses that truly got the facts right on saddles, riding, and bridles(basically everything having to do with horses).
    Amanda is at her end after having to see her horse, Edelweiss, since she quit teaching jumping to her clients. She gets a job over the summer with a Hollywood actor, Grady, to teach his two spoiled daughters how to ride. Needless to say, she turns the whole household upside down with her rules and trying to teach two spoiled girls how to ride. 
    Such a wonderful and breathtaking story to sit down and enjoy. One of those books that you can read again and again.

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  • Posted July 12, 2014

    Thrown, Book One of The Aspen Valley Series, Colette Auclair. Re

    Thrown, Book One of The Aspen Valley Series, Colette Auclair.
    Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
    So, anything with horses catches my eye and this one drew me in. I've been a horse nut since a child – astonished my parents, and bewildered them when I spent time sitting ( and trotting!) on the brick wall with a blanket and string stirrups and braidle tied round the lamp post. In the book colette has the girls making a jumping course rtound the garden – yep, I too did that and jumped it with my imaginary much of how she's written the girls playing is really familiar to me and probaly ost horse mad children. This book reminds me very much in style of the great books I loved by Bev Pettersen.

    I loved Amanda, and could understand her PTSD and panic attacks. I've never been in the situation she was, but have had some nasty falls that made it hard to continue, and easy to stress and panic about. She was great with the girls too – very natural and gave them the structure to their life they needed. The kids at the end are nothing like the horrors we first meet. Then neither is Grady, Hottie film star but loving dad. He wants to be their friend though and as Amanda says – they don't need that, they need a leader, someone to set boundaries. It's a common scenario with divorce so prevalent and families separated. In this case their mother has died so that something else he feels they need leeway for. I liked Grady's humour when we first met him, and its clear he was attracted to Amanda but at times he was a jerk, a real pushover for the kids, and just not looking for what was really best for them in his overprotective, let them have whatever they want way. His PA Jaqueline was lovely – she knew the family really well, and ran his and their lives perfectly. Then there's his long time friend and chef Harris, and I enjoyed reading about him. Full of love and humour, he saw more than he let on and steered things to where he thought people would benefit. He was a sounding board for both Amanda – who became a real friend – and Grady, and a great addition to the book. I'd love cocktails withn him!
    So there they all are, a great cast, a terrific story from the obnoxious children and overprotective father, and Amanda is there for three months to teach the kids to ride. She slides into all their lives so easily – they soon love and respect her and it's as if she's been there years. Grady gets closer to her, and they fall in love, though neither will admit to it. Then when things go wrong – Grady was so emotionally cruel, though I sort of understood it he was really OTT, and it took Harris to show him what he'd done and why. Poor Amanda – I was heartbroken with her, but all romance stories need this sort of downside. It counteracts and enhances IMO the romance, and makes the drama and upsides so much better. I like it too when the sad parts are strung out over a period, and not just dealt with quickly – I like to wallow...What will happen when the three months are up? Dream ambition or give it up for love? Amanda has a real quandary to work out.
    Stars: Loved it – full five. BTW Colette, in UK we don't call it a headstall, but a halter as in US, or more often a headcollar. The yard/stall/barn defintion is a bit off too.... :-) I often thing of UK/US as the famous quote “divided by a common language” read a book recently where the girl asked if the guy knew how to Shag...US its a film/dance but here in UK is a slang term for sex....
    ARC supplied by publishers andNetgalley
    NB: Thrown, the first ebook in The Aspen Valley Series, will be on sale July 21st – August 4th for $1.99!( about £1.49 I think). Jumped, the second ebook in The Aspen Valley Series, is out soon, Branded, the third ebook in The Aspen Valley Series, will publish December 2014. Each book is a standalone, although the characters are vconnected. I've book two to read next and am looking forward to that.

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  • Posted March 1, 2014

    Like I have told one of my friends "love will come when you

    Like I have told one of my friends "love will come when you least expect it." Amanda Vogel wanted a summer away from her normal life. Her dreams were put on hold since the tragic accident that claimed the life of her friend. She knew she could ride but questioned if she was brave enough to show horses. Will she ever see her dream of the Olympics? Amanda could never predict how her life will change. This i a great love story, yet it also shows a way of life that is a mystery to all of us..... Beautiful scenery.  Outstanding horses, and information about the horse show lifestyle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    A great read! I found myself pulled into the plot and related to

    A great read! I found myself pulled into the plot and related to the characters and totally enjoyed the horse/rider aspects of the story even though I've only ridden a horse once.
    I recommend this book to anyone looking for a great end of the day read.  Captivating and satisfying.

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    Professional horse trainer Amanda Vogel was on her way to realiz

    Professional horse trainer Amanda Vogel was on her way to realizing her dream of riding jumpers in the Olympics when she witnessed her best friend die in a riding accident. Traumatized, broke, and desperate, Amanda takes a summer job teaching the spoiled daughters of an A-list movie star. Three months in Aspen promise to be torture. But things are not what they seem. The hot-shot movie star has a sensitive side, and the bratty girls crave structure. Now she has a choice: return to the horse show circuit as a professional trainer or risk her heart for the chance of a family.

    While I was originally put off by the length, it ended up working in the story’s favor. The story takes several more twists and turns than usually happen in romance novels. This helped me to get a better sense of the love interests, Amanda and Grady, and the flaws that threaten to keep them apart. It also caused me to become even more invested in the relationship. I wanted Amanda and Grady to be together, to create a family for Grady’s daughters. 

    I also found the characters relatable. Take away Amanda’s job as a professional horse trainer, and she’s a young woman struggling to chase her dream of riding in the Olympics. She has her doubts about being able to achieve her dream. But that doesn’t stop her from going after it even when others doubt her. While Grady is a Hollywood actor, he’s also a widower with two daughters. His over-protectiveness makes him vulnerable, and his sense of humor gives him charm. Everything he does is done because he believes it is the right thing to do. Women can see themselves in Amanda and would be attracted to a man like Grady.

    This book would be a good read for someone who has a basic knowledge of horses (though a lot is explained). It is a good vacation, weekend, or plane read since it draws the reader into the story.

    Rating: five of five stars

    Thrown by Colette Auclair will be published Pocket Star and available for purchase on December 16, 2013.

    *I received an advanced copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.

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  • Posted December 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    REVIEW: Colette Auclair's Thrown is a heart-warming, must-read r

    REVIEW: Colette Auclair's Thrown is a heart-warming, must-read romance!
    Every child dreams of having a horse, don't they? I know I did. So when the publisher offered an advance copy of Thrown by Colette Auclair, I couldn't resist reading it.
    The heroine, Amanda Vogel, is almost guaranteed a berth on the equestrian Olympic team, however a friend's fatal accident seems to have crippled her even more than her own injury. To earn money, after having to sell even her own horse to pay medical bills, she takes a summer job in Colorado to instruct two young girls in riding.
    Sounds easy right? Well the two girls are the very pampered daughters of a Hollywood A-lister, Grady. I laughed in commiseration with Amanda's character when she first encounters the Hollywood star and manages to drop (and break) his Oscar. He endeared himself to me by is non-reaction. Soon I began to root, not only for Amanda to recover her dream of Olympic stardom, but also for the two of them to, perhaps, find love with one another.
    It doesn't seem on the cards though, as Amanda begins dating someone else - then a woman from Grady's past pays a visit. Along the way, the two girls (absolute monsters when first encountered), begin to flourish under the love and attention Amanda pays them. I was quite jealous of them actually as they live every child's dream in having their own horse, private lessons, and fun. (This book should be read just for the over-the-top description of the barn Grady built for his girls.)
    I found this a true heart-warming novel with enough plot twists and turns to hold my interest through the end and which prevented the story from ever becoming predictable. I'd highly recommend that you add this book to your must-read list and I'm looking forward to reading more by Colette Auclair in the future.
    I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley for use in this review.

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