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Monday, July 27, 2009

Murphy’s Law by Sandy James

Murphy’s Law by Sandy James
Publisher: Bookstrand
Genre: Romance
Length: Full (325 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Seth Remington had a fortune at his fingertips, but something was missing in his life. Purpose.

Knowing he has one last chance to redeem his son, terminally ill Sterling Remington rewrites his will. To earn his inheritance, his son Seth must labor as a groom for a horse trainer.

Katie Murphy's orderly existence is turned upside down by Sterling Remington's will. Raised on hard work and dedicated to her harness racing stable, Katie agrees to take Seth on as a groom. How can she ever fulfill the challenge of instilling a work ethic in Seth and still keep her faltering stable running?

Kept at arm's length by the strict terms of Sterling's will, Seth and Katie are forced to struggle with their growing attraction until a devastating racing accident forces them to take a hard look at their relationship. How much is he willing to risk for her love?

Murphy’s Law brings us to the world of high stakes harness racing, and even higher stakes love.

Seth Remington, chaser of thrills, is a lot like his Porsche; all about speed. Is father – life – expectations, even the woman he proposed to, all are just tethers, keeping him attached to a world and the threat of a corporate life he simply does not want. He might pretend that sort of thing holds appeal, but he puts off dealing with reality. He thinks he can wend his way around those expectations and live the life of a playboy, but events – one in particular – seal his fate. Reality hits in so many ways.

Katie Murphy – accomplished horse trainer – can hardly expect her part in Seth’s life either, but it’s a case of like it or not, no turning back.

Murphy’s Law starts off just plain intriguing. While Seth might seem, at outset, the stereotypical playboy, it’s easy to identify with his motivations, and understand his pursuit of freedom. He is unlikable for some things. He has a wildness we all might wish for… and Katie knows about that kind of yearning. She knows how to channel the drive. Eminently practical, she just might prove to have a wild side.

James does an exceptional job presenting her characters, and developing them throughout the work. The setting, largely in a busy Standardbred Racing Stable, contributes to an overall sense of achievements. The track environs, the horses, patrons, trainers, groom and drivers all become the community that Seth gets to know, feel part of, and quite unexpectedly, is contributing to. Yet, even as things improve in some ways, Seth’s options are still limited by a hand from the past.

Beautifully written, engaging, and hard to predict, Murphy’s Law was a pleasure from start to finish.