Friday, 5 August 2016
#SummerImpulse Review: Stable Mates by Zara Stoneley
Now, I'm a fan of a good bonkbuster- and as a teen living in deepest, darkest West Wales, I devoured Jilly Cooper novels, so I was really keen to see if Zara Stoneley's novels lived up to the comparison.
Zara's writing struck me as a lovely cross between Jilly Cooper and H. E. Bates' The Darling Buds of May. It has all of the sex, horses and glamour of the equestrian world that echo JC's novels- that clash of new and old money, outsiders and those who appeared to have been born in the saddle. But, for me, the writing also belied the pure love and real pleasure that Zara herself seems to have for her subject- the descriptions of the surroundings and the characters have a knowing warmth to them, that made me think that they'd been drawn from life...
Since those long distant teen years of sneaking off to read in the fields, I've moved down to Devon, and have had the pleasure of living in a very (VERY!) horse-mad area. My other half is an equine photographer amongst other talents- so you could say I've been to a few horse events! I have to say that reading Stable Mates has been a bit like coming home and reading a novel about the places and people I know so well. I swear I could cast the entire novel at just one event!
The story beautifully captures the of gossip, in-fighting, loyalties and plotting that go on in these communities (oh - and the amount of rampant hormones too!) I did see the twists and turns coming- the plot itself was a fairly simple affair, but beautifully done - and the charm of this book is all about getting to know the people and places (& of course the animals!)
Overall - a fun, easy read that is naughtily true to life, and the perfect portrait of a specific slice of English country life.
Leaving a scumbag ex behind her, Lottie Brinkley has hotfooted it out of Spain and back home to the country in serious need of some flirtatious fun to soothe her aching heart.
Luckily for her she’s spoilt for choice with not one but three eligible bachelors offering a steamy romp in the hay! But faced with the attentions of roguish eventer Rory Steel, the smiling Irish eyes of hunky farrier Mick O’Neal, and mysterious newcomer Tom Strachan, how can she possibly choose?
When billionaire landowner Marcus James drops dead unexpectedly, his WAGish wife Amanda threatens to sell the heart of the village and sets her sights on Tom! It seems things are heating up for little Tippermere… both in and out of the saddle.
Next up: I had planned to go straight to book 2 of the Tippermere series, Country Affairs that follows on from Stable Mates (so excited to read more about this bunch!!) - but as the week has run away with me and it looks as though I'm only going to read 3 of my #SummerImpulse list - I'm going to queue jump to Brittania Beach (1) - Put It Out There by D.R Graham.