Silent Harmony (Fairmont Riding Academy Series #1)by Michele Scott
Small town seventeen-year-old Vivienne Taylor is a talented equestrian with Olympic dreams and a little something extra going on she is also an “equine empath,” someone who has the ability to read horses’ minds and moods. When she receives a full scholarship to attend Fairmont Riding Academy, a prep school with a famous riding program, she struggles with homesickness, hazing by the school’s snooty drama queen, intense competition in the sport of three-day-eventing, and the not-altogether-unwelcome interest of a hot guy. On top of all of that the horse given to Vivienne via the scholarship is an animal that she cannot “read” or understand. When Vivienne learns that her new horse Harmony belonged to the school’s vet, who recently died in a freak accident, she senses that the horse’s aloof behavior may be the result of her witnessing this accident. But as a connection begins to unfold between Vivienne and Harmony, Vivienne begins to believe that the vet’s death was no accident at all but rather murder and she resolves, at considerable peril, to track down the killer.
Michele Scott lives in California with her family. With her days spent in the barn or at the keyboard, Ms. Scott has forged a flourishing career as mystery writer and is also deeply involved in the world of horses and equestrian riding.
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I really wanted to LOVE this book. When I saw it in Walmart and read the back, I was so excited for such a unique concept. However, it did not live up to my expectations. The POV of the boys was weak and less interesting than the main character (not sure why it was even included, honestly). The story dragged quite a bit, with no real “action” until Chapter 20. It was going to get a lower grade, but after Chapter 20 it really did get a hell of a lot better, so it got bumped up. The author and the storyline has potential, but I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been. I gave it a chance and finished the book, but not everyone is as happy to do that, so I worry that readers aren’t getting to the “good stuff”. I loved Viv and her gift, and I never saw the result coming- could not predict the killer, and I love that, because it seems mystery books are easy to predict lately. I sort of wish the story hadn’t gone to the academy, but rather stayed at Viv’s home. I much more enjoyed her chemistry with her mother, brother, friends, and horse, Dean. All of that being said, if the author continues the series, I will probably check it out, because I’m curious about Vivvie and her journey through life. ~Genevieve~
3.5 Stars Vivienne Taylor is 17 years old and is the equivalent of a teenage Horse Whisperer/Dr. Doolittle/Psychic to the Equine - she has a special connection with them and they have one with her. Her mom is also a vet. Vivienne wins a scholarship to prestigious Fairmont Riding Academy. She is really sad to leave her mom and little brother, but she has dreams of going to the Olympics some day. When she arrives, she finds that the schools vet has been murdered. She also winds up becoming becomes the target of the snooty spoiled rich girls. She does manage to make some friends, Riley and Tristan, who have secrets of their own, and her new horse, Harmony, is the only one she can't read. When Vivienne learns that Harmony belonged to the murdered vet, it adds even more mystery to drama that is now Vivienne's life. I found Silent Harmony to be an enjoyable read for the most part, geared definitely more toward teenage readers. There is some language and sexual references, which I didn't have a problem with at all, but parents may want to consider if their young teen is going to be reading it. There is quite a bit of drama and conflict that goes on, but when you have teenagers, I think that is pretty much expected. The only thing that threw me off a little was that the story though mainly from Vivienne's POV, which is in the first person, but did have chapters that were from Riley and Tristan's POV, which were third person, and it was kind of confusing. On a positive note there is romance, mystery, suspense, and drama, which young readers are sure to enjoy and is something that again, would appeal mainly to the 14/15 to 18 age group, in my opinion.