cover image Showdown


Tilly Bagshawe, . . Warner, $24.95 (472pp) ISBN 978-0-446-57689-5

The Horse Whisperer and National Velvet meet Jackie Collins behind the barn in this libidinous fly-on-the-stall peek at horse racing and California real estate chicanery, just in time for beach read season. Irresistible Bobby Cameron, 23, and already one of the most skilled horse breakers and trainers in the world, inherits Highwood, his father's 3,000-acre California ranch, but not the money to keep it out of foreclosure. He takes a job training two horses on a highly regarded racing stud farm in Newmarket, England, where he falls for the farm owner's 17-year-old daughter, Milly Lockwood Groves. Milly is a frustrated rider forced by her family to give up her career after a neck injury, and she's living in the shadow of her neighbor and rival, Rachel Delaney, a sexy and successful pro rider. Milly's dad has a minor stroke and finally agrees to let her return to riding and to train with Bobby at Highwood. While Milly grows closer to her dream of professional riding—and outshining Rachel—naïve Bobby takes on a sleazy partner with big bucks and an ulterior motive. This follow-up to Bagshawe's surprise bestseller, Adored , should satisfy this year's crop of vacationers. (June)