Desperate Endurance by Kasey Riley

Posted June 18, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments

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I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 16 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug use, alcohol use, language, and/or violence.
Desperate Endurance by Kasey RileyDesperate Endurance by Kasey Riley
Published by Create Space on November 14th 2013
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 348
Format: ARC
Source: ARC from publisher
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five-stars

When endurance rider Bethany's husband presents his pregnant mistress and demands a divorce, her plans for the future shattered. True, he isn't much of a husband, and she really doesn't have many plans, but it's quite an unexpected surprise. To heal from the shock, she falls back on her love of horses and writing and begins traveling the nation competing in each region and selling stories about each event. Witnessing a murder in a deserted rest area terrifies her. Before dying, the victim pleads with her to deliver some important documents to his son Roger. She takes on this mission and mousey Bethany develops a bolder persona to hide her identity. This mission leads her to Roger Meadows, the handsome son of the victim. Avoiding the killers and with the aid of Roger, they work to discover the mastermind. In the end, it is a desperate ride that brings both of them to the final knowledge they need to solve the mystery and realize the strength of their relationship. With a rich background of endurance riding, ride camps, horses, and the challenges of competition, this book takes the reader on an adventure of mystery and self-discovery while romance builds in the background.

Main Points
Writing Style:
The writing is enjoyable. At times it is a little explicit but mostly it’s wonderfully vague. Very few errors, but a little distracting at times.
Plot:
This book stayed with me days after I read it, even if it was a little slow to start. It took about 100 pages to really capture my interest. But once it did, it was really hard to let the characters go at the end.
I soon fell in love with Bethany as a character- she reminded me of myself a lot, even though we’re very different in most aspects. And the author’s knowledge of horses really shows through her.
The story itself is an intriguing one, equal parts romance and suspense. It’s also about Bethany learning more about herself and what she wants.
I just loved the friendly atmosphere of the town Riverview. It was such a close-knit town. And it was really adorable how naive Bethany was about the cowboys visiting the store she worked at just to see her (I highly doubt they all ran out of fly spray at once). And she made friends pretty much everywhere.
The murder mystery was the driving force behind the character’s actions, but it kind of took a backseat in the story as a whole. I think its main purpose was to help Bethany realize what she really wanted in life. When it was resolved, the murderer wasn’t exactly predictable, but by the end it wasn’t really about the murder anymore. It was about life.
The romance was a beautiful slow burn. The buildup lasted for most of the book. It took both of them a while to realize what they needed, but when they did it was perfect.
Bethany and Roger and most of the other characters seem like really loving people who want to live life to the fullest and are very protective of each other. It seems like such a pleasant town to live in and at a few points I was thinking, “There’s so much niceness going on. Why does there have to be a murder hanging over their heads? Why can’t they just live in peace and happiness?” Because then it would take longer for Bethany and Roger to get together, probably.
Ending
It wrapped up quickly and happily. And like I said, the book and the characters stayed with me for quite a while after it ended. They made quite an impression on me. There weren’t any loose ends that I could see, either.
Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • setting
  • plot
  • characters
  • writing
  • message
  • romance
Less than perfect:
  • slow start
Bottom Line
This is a lovely story, equal parts suspense and romance. The characters are wonderful people who leave a lasting impression. The story is paced perfectly and the writing is fantastic. This story is about so much more than a murder. It’s about life. Would I read more by this author? Yes. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes.

About Kasey Riley

Kasey (Kim) Riley is an equestrienne with over twenty years of horse ownership and Endurance riding to her credit. While never aspiring to place at the top of the events, her horses have seen that she has many top ten placements to their credit.

Due to the constraints of time, work, and life she has less than two thousand competitive miles at the longer distances and just under a thousand at Limited Distance. She enjoys riding her Missouri Foxtrotter even when she’s not working to condition him for competition.

She expects to back off from competing over the next few years as she feels it’s time to move into a different phase of her life. While she feels that horses don’t necessarily define her life, they enable her to keep interested and active as well as giving her a place to develop new story ideas. There’s nothing like a three hour ride in the woods to bring a new plot into focus. Her other interests, besides writing, include working in clay and painting ceramics. She lives with her husband of forty years on thirteen acres in Southeastern Oklahoma. Together they watch over three horses, four dogs, three cats and assorted chickens.

Rating
Plot
four-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Setting
five-stars
Romance
five-stars
Cover
four-stars
Ending
two-stars
Overall: five-stars
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