One Woman's Story of Family, Love, and Loss in the Horse Racing World
Release Date: Breeders’ Cup day, November 5, 2021.
What if you never had the chance to say I’m sorry?
Nineteen-year-old Dahlia Leggett is a brilliant student but a lousy daughter. Her mother, pioneer female jockey Marilyn Matteo, was once the star of the local sports pages but their relationship is far from stellar. After a nasty confrontation with her headstrong mother, Dahlia vows never to set foot on the racetrack again.
Then Marilyn dies and Dahlia is left with only a guilty conscience, boxes of her mother’s memorabilia, and a cottage on her grandparents’ horse farm. When her grandparents take on a dangerous horse that responds only to her, Dahlia is pulled back into the life she tried so hard to escape. Before she knows it, Dahlia has a rag-tag stable of neurotic Thoroughbreds, a bulimic jockey, a party-girl BFF, and an unexpected romance with Steve, the sexy son of her nemesis - legendary trainer Bill Bassett. When Dahlia stumbles upon a forgotten videotape among Marilyn’s possessions, it threatens her precarious relationship with Steve but reveals a way that she can make amends to her mother. Can Dahlia achieve her mother’s dream without losing the man she loves?
5 Stars for Racetrack Rogues
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Dahlia loves animals, particularly horses. She grew up around them with her mother, Marilyn, being a star jockey. Marilyn had hoped Dahlia would follow her example and become a jockey, or at least a trainer. At nineteen, though, Dahlia was more interested in university grades and her goal of becoming a vet rather than the racetrack life that ruled her mother. Then she learns that her mother has died suddenly, and her grandparents are struggling to keep their horse farm afloat financially. A dangerous horse threatens not only Dahlia’s grandfather but also their ability to save the farm. Remarkably, Dahlia has a knack with horses, and she manages to do what others can’t - train this dangerous horse to race and maybe even win. Lured back to life on the track, Dahlia stumbles into one mystery after another while going through her mother’s things. And some of these mysteries threaten a growing romance between her and the son of a rival trainer. While Dahlia quickly establishes a reputation for training the untrainable, the plot continues to thicken, and the romance sizzles. But, she still can’t remember what she last said to her mother, a tragic family eclipse that haunts her daily.
Dawn LeFevre’s novel, Racetrack Rogues: One Woman’s Story of Family, Love, and Loss in the Horse Racing World, is a fast-action, powerful story that will engage horse-loving readers of all ages. The author has woven a plot full of horse racing, training, romance, family ties, and so much more. It’s a high-energy story that lures the reader right from the first page. The characters and situations are believable, and the author’s knowledge of horses and horse racing is obvious. The dialogue and narrative are well developed as both characters and settings are established, allowing the reader to feel instantly comfortable within the story, which is powerful and thrilling right to the very end.