I am an avid reader and read everything from horse books to young adult books to training manuals. There isn’t much I won’t give a try, but when adult horse fiction gets into my hands, I’m pretty ecstatic. My friend Natalie Keller Reinert recently released her newest novel called Ambition, and once I found out it was about eventing I was even more intrigued! If you haven’t read anything by Natalie yet, it is time!
Ambition is about a young woman, Jules Thornton, who has spent her life as a working student and trying everything she can to make it to the top. Growing up, that meant riding any horse that came through her barn and cleaning up after the more privileged girls she went to school with. Instead of attending college, she broke out on her own, bought an old farm in Ocala, and began her training business. She had rescued an off the track Thoroughbred from an auction who slowly became her eventing star but didn’t quite have what it took to make it to the Advanced level in eventing. Would she push him too far?
The story follows Jules’ experiences as she slaves trying to reach the top in the eventing world as both a rider and a new trainer. She is extremely ambitious and the underlying theme throughout the whole book is “will it get the best of her?” I completely identified with her character, and Natalie has written this character in such a way that you feel for her, get irritated with her, want to shake her, and want to jump up and down when she achieves something. There is a love interest in this story that might make you want to swoon, but I don’t want to give anything away here (read the book)! You will have clear feelings about the other key characters (ie Becky-don’t care for her, Lacey-like her, Eileen-I know this type of owner). I was also completely sold on the story with the Thoroughbreds playing a key role. They are such special beings, and Natalie has a gift in portraying them and their wonderful little quirks. You will feel as though you know the horses as well as the humans in this book!
This is definitely a must read for equestrians. It’s a fabulous work of horse fiction that could easily translate to real life, and I am really hoping there is a sequel in the future. I would love to continue Jule’s story and see where life takes her and the horses next.
VR Rating: 5/5
You can purchase Ambition at Amazon and B&N: