Hello everyone, today as part of the Racing Savannah blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours, I get to share with you my review of Miranda Kenneally's upcoming release Racing Savanah. I have been a huge fan of Miranda's previous books, so was very excited about diving into this one. Here's a bit about the book.
Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: December 3rd 2013.
My rating: 4 stars
They’re from two different worlds. He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries. With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…
Miranda Kenneally has quickly become one of my auto-buy authors, she knows how to charm you into one of her beautiful stories and leave you with a nice glowy feel good feeling once you finish the last page of her book. I have been recommending her books to everyone I know because each time she releases a new book, she always delivers a solid read for me.
With Racing Savannah however things were different, I didn’t find myself as involved with the characters or the gorgeous world Kenneally had created straight away. But knowing the way I had loved Kenneally’s previous books, I knew my reward for reading this book would still come. And it did. Personally I blame my reading mood lately for my slow start with this book, it’s either taking me ages to read a book lately, or I find myself reading for the sake of reading. But Kenneally once again reminded me why I love reading in the first place. She was able to take something which meant a lot to her in her own life and bring this belief out strong in her characters. Savannah never had the most privileged life, her family used to get by just fine, but then with her mum’s sudden illness and medical fees to pay, things became a bit tight. But then Savannah’s dad was given a great opportunity, Savannah and her family would be working for the Goodwin family of Cedar Hill farms. They were a well established family renowned for their horses. They’d had several successful horses under their belt already, not only would Savannah’s family get the chance to work with luxurious horses (Savannah’s dream), it was a job which they would pay them all well and provide a roof over their head at the same time too. But it meant Savannah had to leave everything behind during her senior year, make a fresh start and of course there was the Goodwin’s son Jack who was cocky, self-assured, but oh so cute, but as he was in charge of the farm and the Goodwin’s son clearly off limits. Could Savannah finally make a life for herself here and her family? And keep her head and heart in check around Jack?
Kenneally for me is amazing at creating swoon worthy characters; Sam Henry, Will Whitfield and Matt are definitely on top of my fictional crushes list. So you could say I was expecting a lot from her latest character Jack. Whereas Jack could be caring and considerate when he wanted to be, I thought that he really wasn’t his own person. He did a lot of things to please others or because it was the right thing to do. A couple of times I did think he’d made the wrong decision and that I wouldn’t be able to forgive him, but he was quick to pull out some sweet gestures when I least expected him to. Although Jack wasn’t my favourite fictional crush, he has some great scenes in this book that I’m sure will woo many readers over.
Whilst I had my ups and downs with Jack’s character, this was not the case with Savannah at all. She was such a hard working girl who wore her heart on her sleeve that I just wanted her to get her happy ending she deserved. Despite not been given many opportunities at Cedar Hill farm, she slogged it out to work her way up, despite disencouragement from many others including her father. Also she also knew in her heart what she wanted and she wasn’t afraid to put it on the line. Alongside Savannah once again there were brilliant secondary characters, friends who were quick to take her side, when others were quick to make assumptions about Savannah. Also these two people went on to show just how brilliant they were, by having Savannah’s back whenever she needed it the most, but also brightening up a scene immensely with their bubbly personalities.
Kenneally was able to deal with several real life issues in a realistic way, but a central idea to this book was family. There were several families involved in this book, they all had their different ways of how they treated one another, or how much money they had, but at the end of the day the question which mattered the most was, how important was ones family? There were times when some ran the risk of their family losing their history entirely, others which said family was important, but then did something completely different to contradict this and others who made decisions with interests of their families future in mind. I loved all the different areas in which Kenneally explored the idea of a family and how she made it such an integral part of the story.
Kenneally totally surprised me with Racing Savannah, first of all I have never had any interest in horses, but Kenneally quickly enough got me into a first name basis with the horses and I soon understood Savannah’s passion and gentleness with them. Secondly Kenneally was able to change my earlier impressions I had made of several characters quite quickly, once I’ve made an assumption or decision I’m quite adamant in my ways, but here I found myself being won over quite quickly. Third this was a great story which explored several realistic issues that I’m sure many individuals could relate too. It also had a solid set of characters and a nice sprinkling of sweet scenes along the way. Also fans of the previous books will not be disappointed, there were a great amount of re-appearances and name dropping of characters from previous books that all I wanted to do was to re-read all three books there and then. Overall Racing Savannah was simply a sweet and beautiful story.
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.
This wonderful blog tour for Racing Savannah will be running up until December 13th, you can follow all the great posts here.