Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Eight years ago, Jake Stanford had it all: a spot on the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team and the love of his life, Rich Evans. A tragic accident wipes out everything in the blink of an eye. Hard work and sacrifice get him another shot at Olympic Gold, but only if he puts his past behind him and agrees to work with Rich again.
Bound by secrets he cannot share, Rich was forced to give up Jake eight years ago. Now he has a second chance to help Jake realize his dreams. But the secrets that drove them apart haven’t changed, and Rich must face them or risk losing Jake forever.
This is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Madison and its a wonderful one. Fools’ Gold fully captures the world of world class horses and their equestrians and the sports they participate in. If you read the author’s notes and realize Madison herself is both a horse owner/lover and eventer, then its no wonder then she gets the details of this world and horses spot on. But its as a writer that she’s able to make it come alive for not only the reader such as myself who has horses and has been involved in the horse circuit (at a local level) but for the non-horse person as well.
From the drama and intricacies of getting a team, horse and rider, ready for the big league to what makes a great partnership between horse and rider tick, Madison puts it all down on paper and makes it pulse with the rhythm of the hoof beats and the beating of the hearts of the people involved. Its a great story all by its self. The drive to find the horse with the will to equal your own, what it feels like when that happens. Its magic. And Madison is able to convey that here.
Then all that hard work, all that incredible non-verbal special communication that goes on between rider and animal is overlaid with a romance that is both believable and heartbreaking.
Jake Stanford and Rich Evans are terrific characters and a great thwarted romantic duo. Torn apart by tragedy, it takes something serious to bring them back together, if one of them will agree to a working partnership once more. The author makes us feel the pain, the longing and also Stanford’s realistic need for Rich the trainer who understand’s not only him but the horses. I understood so well Rich Evans side of the story having met so many people in his circumstances, just as I expect Sarah Madison has done as well. The horse world is strewn full of them, such is the passion for these animals and the need not only to be near them but to be riding as well.
Fool’s Gold by Sarah Madison pulls it all together. A background, the history and world building, the men and their romance and makes it not only believable but heartwarming and special. Its a world close to my heart and I believe Madison got it right but made it accessible to those unfamiliar with it. And then topped it off with a romance to root for. I loved this book. I think you will too.
The cover art by Reese Dante is terrific and captures a moment perfectly.
Kindle Edition, 238 pages
Published July 28th 2016