Rating: 4 🌈
Remedy , the first in the Tulip Farm series by Alex Hall, is a very good contemporary story. The author certainly knows the show circuit or at least has done their research most effectively so that the world of competitive jumping, and later Dressage, is absolutely believable.
From the heartbreaking prologue to the story lines that involves the recovery of a high performance/level mare and rider , who were destined for the Olympics before a tragic accident sent both to various hospitals and clinics for surgeries and assessments.
Peter Griffin , one of the legendary McAuley-Griffin family and riding barns, is finally coming home after that devastating accident. But his future as a rider is unclear.
His mare is also at the barn, recovering, and waiting on a direction for her future too.
The key for both is Reed Androku. A Russian emigrant who’s specialty and passion is holistic equine rehabilitation, something that’s made them extremely well known in the equine world.
They are working for Peter’s sister at Tulip Farm and have use of another barn for their own animals.
Hall builds a great universe around this big Irish American family that’s equine royalty, their history and the Farm. Then brings in the haunting and painful background that arrives with Reed.
Reed works to bring Peter into decisions that need to be made about Annie’s future as a high level performance athlete, one’s Peter’s been ignoring as well as not dealing with his own.
These elements are real, grounded in the horse world, and , you genuinely get a great feel for all the characters as tenuous relationships and friendships are built over the knowledge and love of these animals.
The horse world, something I’ve been a part of my entire life (although not at this level) , the various levels of people you meet, the animals from show ponies to rescues are all well represented here.
Love every aspect of this part of the story and characters.
There’s other plots threaded into the romance one as well, including one that seems to overflow into the next book in the series.
There’s several mysteries, both of which have the culprits revealed but only one gets a semi resolution.
I would have been very happy with this book but a couple of things kept taking me out of the narrative. Things so easy to notice because frankly, it’s stands out. It’s a description Hall uses repeatedly to have Reed describe Peter’s eyes.
Once, twice even . Ok. But I was noticing this phrase so much that I started to guess when I’d see it next. Not a good thing when I’m paying more attention to counting certain words than content.
A few examples…
“Peter’s Lake Baikal eyes sparkled.”
“The gorgeous specimen in front of Reed rolled Lake Baikal eyes.
— Remedy (Tulip Farm Book 1) by Alex Hall
And when Lake Baikal eyes weren’t sparkling, then Reed’s eyes were peering up through their lashes…a lot.
Things like that should be caught, its ok to say blue. And Reed can just look up at Peter, without any lashes whatsoever coming into play.
When descriptions or phrases become overused to the point they are noticeable? Time to edit. At least in my opinion.
This book is so good without this taking away from the reader losing themselves in a lovely relationship and romance.
There’s another story coming soon. Absolute. I’ll be there to check it out.
If you’re a fan of Alex Hall, of contemporary romance, equine elements, this is a terrific place to go for all three.
🔹Absolute #2 – summer 2022
At just 28, Peter is one of the youngest athletes ever to secure a spot on Team USA’s Show Jumping roster for the Paris Summer Olympics. With the support a large, equestrian-centric family behind him Peter’s a shoo-in to win individual gold—
—until a freak on-course accident badly injuries Peter and the talented mare he’d been riding. Dreams of success in Paris quickly coming apart, he holes up at the family complex, Tulip Farm, to rehab and re-assess. His parents and three siblings try to keep his spirits up, but it’s hard to focus on the future when by night he’s plagued by reoccurring headaches and by day he can barely walk without pain.
Reed Androku has recently chosen to follow their passion: holistic equine rehabilitation. Tulip Farm – an immaculate facility run by the famous McAuley-Griffin clan – seems the perfect place to chase that dream, and when the family unexpectedly opens up Barn A to boarders, Reed jumps at the opportunity. They’ll happily take advantage of roomy stalls, heated arena, and state-of-the-art footing even if it means putting up with Peter Griffin, the family’s youngest son and ex-Olympic hopeful.
Peter needs healing, and a reason to hope. Reed’s got a knack for rehab and a soft-heart for hard cases, but they also have a dangerous secret. Fate throws Peter and Reed together, sparking a passion that could turn into something deeper, but first they must weather Peter’s recovery, the McAuley-Griffin family’s obsessive need to meddle, and Reed’s violent past.