In Share and Share Alike, Tessa's brother Gus manages a race horse syndicate, and through him, Tessa has acquired a leg of a racehorse, as well as the collection of wildly different characters who between them own Ta' Qali. She's intrigued by one member of the syndicate - the author Hugh, but finds the saturnine acadmic Sin Sinclair oddly attractive. But none of that matters much when Ta'Qali, after a storming first race that fires the syndicate's ambitions, is found injured. Deliberately..
From that point on, suspicions are raised against most of the syndicate. I can generally work out whodunnit, but I must admit I didn't have a clue here. Hannah Hootton lays the trail very well - the dénouement, when it arrives, is entirely believable, and entirely unexpected.
Romances, like all genre fiction, only work if the characters make you want to follow them, and Tessa grabs you up and takes you with her. I particularly liked the fact that she's not a ditzy heroine - she runs her own business successfully, and when her ancestral home burns down, she's in there helping with the rebuild. As for the romantic hero, Sin is the standard model who at first appears to heartily dislike our heroine, but he has a certain icy charm I found I wasn't immune to.
If you like romantic novels and racing, you'll love this. The racing scenes are well done, and you feel the excitement of being there as the horses - and among them, your horse, thunder past. Probably a bit late for a beach read now, but Share and Share Alike is just right for curling up with when it's foul outside. Rather like now, in fact.
~ 0 ~
Aspen Valley Books, £9.99
Ebook, £2.37 (Kindle, Kobo)
Hannah Hooton's website
Age range: adult
Themes: racing ethics, some horse cruelty