Dealing with her husband’s infidelity means Eva’s throwing herself into her equestrian dreams. Her trainer convinces her to show. Her goal? Not to embarrass herself.
Except her husband wants back into her life, her horse has colic, and Eva’s world is turning upside down. Does she want him back into her life and what if her riding goals are stressing out her horse?
Eva knows there’s only one way to get through. Heels down. Eyes up. And relying on her support team, which may now include her husband.
Note: Each book in the Noble Dreams series focuses on one character, though a fuller picture is provided by reading all the books in the series.
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
As someone who grew up around horses and remained a "crazy horse lady", I longed to read books about women in my age group trying to balance their equestrian goals with a job, a family, and all the things that we thirty and forty-somethings deal with. Having experienced a wonderful and supportive barn environment, I wished to recreate the experience for my readers.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Though I do not ride or show, I created characters I would love to be at a barn with, whose dreams and goals I would support, or possibly if my life were different, pursue.
Brushing the sweat marks out of Cin’s coat had become a ritual to her. One that took away the stress of the day, the biting pain that always accompanied thoughts of her husband and served to prop up her bruised ego. Had it really only been three months ago when he’d turned to her, said that she loved the barn and that damn horse more than he and walked out the door. Eva drew a long, shuddering breath. Cin turned his head to watch her with his big, liquid brown. Those eyes said that it would be okay. He loved her. He knew she did the best she could, and he’d always be there for her. She moved to the other side, smiling when she thought about their schooling session today. They’d easily cleared 3’6”.
“Way to go,” Sara said as she strode into the barn. “I watched you guys in the area for a while. You’re looking great.”
Eva beamed with the praise. “Thanks. I didn’t even hear you pull up. Guess I was too involved.”
“Thinking about showing at the Invitational next month? It’s a big show, but you’re ready. So is Cin.”
The horse’s ears perked at the sound of his name. He nickered at Sara as she walked to his head and patted him on the neck.
Eva admired her friend. From her buff-colored breeches and tall boots, to the turtleneck and sweater in deference to the chilly early Spring day, to the Charles Owen helmet—totally out of her price range—she already had on her head, she looked so classy, so put together. Eva glanced down at her paddock boots and jodhpurs. Her old, faded college sweatshirt and one of the cheaper helmets she could afford, made her feel haphazard. Cin didn’t care, but it mattered to her. She finished brushing him.
“I don’t know. I’ll talk to Cora about it. See what she has to say and who is already scheduled to go.” Eva unclipped Cin from the cross-ties and led him into his stall. The big Thoroughbred took a nice, long drink, before cocking a hind leg and settling into rest. She leaned on the stall door and watched him through the bars. It’d been a stretch, and she drove a car that was ten years’ old so she could pay board, but she loved Cin. He’d taken her riding to new heights, and saved her when life made her stumble. Thankfully her job at the local architect’s firm allowed her to care for him, even with the loss of her husband’s income.
Sara went to Rose’s stall and haltered her mare, then lead her into the aisle and fastened the cross-ties. She started grooming the horse, though her flea-bitten gray coat shone. “I think you’d do great.” Sara bent over to pick out hooves.
“I don’t know. I haven’t shown since I was a kid and that was a schooling show. I’d have to buy everything! I don’t even own a show coat or white breeches.” Eva stifled a laugh. “My god, can you imagine my ass in white breeches?” She laughed hard enough to startle Cin from munching on his hay.
“That’s why the coats cover it. Believe me, all the other riders are going to be worrying about their asses. You were my groom at the show last fall. That ought to give you an idea of what it’ll be like.” Sara finished picking out her mare’s hooves, then put the dressage pad and saddle on her.
Eva turned away from the stall, seriously considering what Sara had said. It wasn’t as crazy as she thought to show; it had been her goal all along. Sara was changing up her gear, using her dressage saddle instead of her jumping one. Must be going to work on the flat. Rose had been getting quick to the fences. “I’ll think about it,” Eva replied. She turned for the tack room, needing to grab her purse and phone, then head home and take care of some work before Monday morning.
Sara nodded and led Rose to the arena. The time for talking was done. Sara was super serious about her schooling. And who could blame her? Everyone knew Sara was a formidable competitor, placing well in the hunter arena.
Once in the tack room, Eva checked her phone. No messages from work, or anyone else. She sighed, thinking she ought to be relieved. Instead, she wondered what her husband was doing. Where was he staying? She’d hardly heard from him, not even to talk about finalizing their separation with a divorce. She supposed she ought to talk to an attorney. She worked in a building with a family law office. Yet, she couldn’t. She loved Mark. Still loved him. Tears stung her eyes. She blinked furiously; there was no way she was going to break down now. Not here. Not after a fabulous ride on Cin. Knowing she was leaving him in good hands—Cora was the best—she went to her car and a few moments later was driving back to her house which was all too empty these days.
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