Hi there! My name is Melissa West, and I am the author of RACING HEARTS, book 1 in the Hamilton Stables series, featuring horseracing. When I set out to write my first contemporary romance, I knew I wanted to focus on a topic outside the norm. Cowboys had been done, and even horse racing had been done, but I didn’t know of any stories that focused on a horse racing family that was all but royalty in that world.
But to create a realistic world, I had to really do my homework. I started by picking up books at the library, reading until my eyes burned, and then reading some more, all the while feeling like I wasn’t getting a clear picture into the racing world. That was when I decided to reach out to horse trainers, and I was fortunate to hear back from legend, Todd Pletcher. Before long, I had a clearer look into what it really took to train a horse. The long hours, the dedication, the community-feel of a farm, and how every person on staff worked themselves to the bone.
Somewhere along the way of researching this amazing sport, watching more Youtube videos than I could count, and asking questions that were all too often idiotic, I found myself loving it. I loved the passion and drive, and I knew I had my story.
A female jockey, daughter to a legendary racehorse trainer, gets hurt and has no one else to turn to than the boy her father had once trained, who was no longer a boy at all. RACING HEARTS captures that thrill of the race, the tension of two towns that both claim to be the best in racing, and the sureness of a first love that never really died.
In the lush heart of Kentucky, the Hamiltons are horse racing royalty, born to produce champions. To win takes heart and soul—and to love takes the wild spirit of the land itself…
The oldest of three headstrong brothers, Trip Hamilton is considered the best horse trainer in the world. But he learned long ago to keep his focus on the horses and away
from the riders. He’s seen the way heartbreak can waylay a career, and he’s determined not to risk it—until a stubborn, sexy rider thunders into his life, breaks his resolve, along with several of his rules, and takes his heart right out of the gate…
Emery Carlisle has a point to prove. She’ll be the first woman to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby, if only Trip will hire her, and let her ride the spirited colt she fell for at
first sight. He won’t—unless she agrees to train with the horse at Hamilton Stables, under his guidance. It’s supposed to be strictly business, but as the race approaches,and their undeniable chemistry builds, Trip and Emery may be headed for the greatest win of all—as long as the losses of the past don’t gain on them…
Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and YA sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.
Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West.
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