My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Even if “Racing Savannah” had been a standalone, I’m pretty sure I would’ve breezed through it. I’ve been a horse racing fan for most of my life, and I had high hopes for another awesome Kenneally story about a girl participating in a sport that isn’t exactly female-dominated.
Savannah’s connection to the horses she rides shines through as clearly as her connection with her new friends and her loyalty to her family. I loved that her relationships with the animals were handled so carefully, and her surprising bond with the Goodwins’ star Thoroughbred was a believable reason for Savannah’s promotion. Her transition from exercise rider to jockey also made more sense than, say, groom or hot walker to jockey.
The class difference between Savannah and love interest Jack–not to mention the importance of their business relationship–added a whole extra layer of tension. It was hard to forget how much Savannah and her family were indebted to Jack’s father, for their residence and for their jobs. That angle really kicked the whole ‘forbidden love’ thing into high gear.
Unlike in “Catching Jordan,” the romance almost took a backseat for me here. Whether Savannah and Jack got together or not mattered less to me than whether Savannah would win a race, or figure out how to help secure her family’s future. There was a lot going on for such a quick read, but I never felt like any of the story’s threads were lost.
As a total tangent: seeing other characters from the Hundred Oaks series mentioned made me want to go out and read the rest of Kenneally’s books. Soon!
Check this out if you’re looking for a cute love story with very real stakes. Check this review out if you enjoy terrible horse racing puns. 😉