Keeping Secrets (Book 1: Timber Ridge Riders)
A valuable horse is dead, and it’s all her fault, which is why 14-year-old Kate McGregor has put horses and riding out of her life. Forever! But her new summer job as a companion to Holly Chapman, a former riding star who’s now confined to a wheelchair, takes her back to the barn where she’s forced to confront her guilt.
Can Kate keep her terrible secret from Holly, who is fast becoming her best friend? And, more important, can she keep her secret from Angela Dean who lives for only two things: winning ribbons and causing trouble?
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I loved this book, and I plan to read the rest in the series. It's one of those rare books in which the characters stick with you long after you've finished the book. In fact, it's even inspired me to consider writing my own young adult horse series, an idea I've toyed with in the past.
I fell in love with the two main characters, Kate McGregor and Holly Chapman. Kate believes she is responsible for the death of a beloved horse. As a result, she cannot bear to be around horses. Holly survived a terrible accident in which her father was killed. She's been unable to walk since and is in a wheelchair. When Kate takes a summer job as Holly's companion, she never planned on the job including horses, but it does. Holly's mom is a riding instructor who is readying her team for a big competition. When one of the girls sustains an injury and can't ride, Kate finds herself taking her place. The villain of the story, Angela, pulls out all the stops to keep Kate from winning during the competition.
The ending left me wanting to read more about Holly and Kate. I immediately checked Amazon to see if the next book in the series was available. Sadly, it's not out yet.
This is a book about the healing love of horses and the developing friendship between two girls. If you have a pre-teen girl on your gift-buying list (or a horse lover who enjoys a trip back to her childhood), I strongly recommend Keeping Secrets.
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