Expected Publication: December 3rd, 2013
Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4)
By: Miranda Kenneally
They’re from two different worlds.
He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.
With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…
Savannah has just moved to a new town with her Dad and his pregnant girlfriend, so that he can train horses for the rich Goodwin family. It's a good opportunity for them to no longer worry about money quite as much, especially with her Dad still trying to pay off the hospital bills left from her Mom's illness. All Savannah wants is to become an exercise 'boy' for the Goodwins and work with the horses, who she loves. But when she strikes on unexpected chemistry with Jack Goodwin, her classmate and heir to the Goodwins' business, Savannah will have to decide whether or not it's worth it to try making it work. Or will Savannah and Jack decide to do what is expected of each of them instead, staying far away from each other?
I will tell you all a secret: as a little girl I was absolutely horse-crazy! My family was pretty poor, so I never would have been able to afford riding lessons. But my best friend rode seriously (competitions, her own horse and all) and I would go with her to the barn. She would get me up on the horse, and give me 'lessons.' Also, I went to Girl Scout camp and rode horses there. So I was genetically predisposed to enjoy this book, just for the fact that it had horses in it as a focal point. I was wary though, considering how wishy-washy my feelings on Kenneally's other books happen to be. I enjoyed the stubborn and determined nature of Savannah, who was doing what she felt was best to try and protect her family. She only wanted to make enough money to help out her Dad. Savannah didn't have any plans other than working with horses for the rest of her life. Jack was spoiled and slightly thoughtless, but his heart was in the right place. He always wanted to help Savannah and protect her, even if he was a bit of a jerk at times.
The romance in this book is very modern, American South, Romeo and Juliet type romance. Neither of their families want them together but Savannah and Jack are drawn together like magnets. Their friendship and bonding over Star, an impossible horse was absolutely adorable. My only complaint would be that the angst got slightly out of control and Jack wanting to be secret "friends" really made me kind of hate him a little bit. Also, Savannah's loyalty to her family was something I can personally identify with in a painful way, but she got seriously weird about Rory and Vanessa's possible relationship. Just because Rory's family had less money than Vanessa's, she seemed to think that it meant Vanessa could never view him as equal or a romantic prospect. Basically, she calls her holier-than-thou by social status alone, even when she realizes Vanessa is nothing like this. She also kind of judges Rory for not wanting to work on his parents' failing dairy farm for the rest of his life. Savannah basically thinks she knows everything for a good portion of this book.
I still managed to like her anyway though, believe it or not! I will say that even as someone who liked the other novels but didn't LOVE them, I enjoyed the cameos by past characters like Parker, Will, Sam and who I assumed was Jordan. I liked the fact that Rory was Will's cousin and we get to see Will and Parker's wedding. This book was sweetly written, the ending was cute and I liked that Savannah & Will both learned to go past the class barriers their families had set up - that judging people based on social status and bank accounts is a stupid thing to do. I liked this the best out of the series so far, which has gotten progressively better in my opinion as it's gone along. I will definitely be reading the next one! :)
VERDICT: 4/5 Stars
*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is December 3rd, 2013.*