Disclaimer: I can read anything. I think there have only been two books in my life that I was unable to finish. In other words, I do not present myself as a tough literary critic. However, I do like books and I do like horses, so if I see a book that looks halfway interesting that has the word “horse” in the title, then I am probably purchasing it. If it has an actual horse depicted on the cover, then I buy it without reading the title :).
I recently purchased “If Wishes Were Horses”, by Robert Barclay for a few reasons. One, it had a horse on the cover. Two, it is his first novel, and I always enjoy reading a first novel. Something about it seems more genuine to me, as if it is before the writer gets molded into a certain genre with certain obvious expectations. Third, Barclay was compared to Nicholas Sparks and sometimes you just want a good old-fashioned Nick Sparks cry. Actually you never really want that, but I always get sucked in regardless. Lastly, and maybe most on point for some of us, it was very cheap on Amazon (Kindle). There aren’t many things that I can purchase for under $5 that will amuse me for a few hours.
Rating: 3.25 stars. Scale: 0 being any law school book I ever had and 5 stars being Gone With The Wind.
Millionaire, handsome, rugged, animal lover, loyal, romantic guy that is getting over a tragedy? CHECK.
Pretty, but not too annoyingly pretty, down-to-earth, funny, charming woman who is looking for love? CHECK.
Beautiful, picturesque setting that has horses front and center without making you roll your eyes too many times at some ill-worded equestrian lingo?(okay, I did cringe a few times like when barrel racing was mastered in 2 months.) CHECK.
A great shout-out to equine therapy programs and how our beloved horses have the power to heal kids and adults emotionally and physically? CHECK.
A good mixture of loss, heartbreak, death, passion, love, second chances, and new life? CHECK.
The Bad: I love the lead couple but it is hard to ignore how contrived their set-up was. I think the chances of it happening, even in such a small town, is quite low. However, chances are you won’t have too much trouble foregoing logic since after all, I did warn you this was Nicholas Sparks-like, so you must be able to play along easily. My only other complaint, if you will, would be that the actual romantic scenes could have had a little more spice if ya know what I mean.
Favorite character: Ram, the ornery patriarch of the family, who is so likable I find myself still remembering him clearly and smiling. I sort of miss him.
Verdict: It is worth the price for sure, is an easy read and won’t keep you up all night, either “reading just one more chapter” or “thinking about stuff”. If you are looking for a book to chill out with for 30 minutes before you go to bed, this wouldn’t be a bad choice. It would be easy to read simultaneously with another book, for those that are into that sort of thing.