This book, entitled Horse Play, is based around the world of horses, however do not let that put you off. I am not a 'horsey' person, however I soon was entranced in the book and, although it is a thick book, 600 pages long, I soon finished it over the Christmas period.
I have been a keen reader of Jo Carnegie's Churchminster series, meeting the many characters and having an insight into their world. This is the fifth book in the popular series, which is based in Churchminster. However, the books are not only based here, the characters are all linked to the village in someway but they all have individual lives too, some of which are outside of the close knit village and it is interesting to see some of the main characters outside of the village.
As ever Caro and Calyso are included within the book, along with their grandmother, Clementine and Angie and Freddie, owners of a large house and stables.. There are however two new characters which the story centres around: Kizzie, a young stable girl who loves horse riding and Javier Hamilton Scott, a mysterious man, who keeps himself to himself, but is a keen horseman and the object of Kizzie's affection. However, he has a past which he does not like talking about, centring around his wife, who was very ill and left in a coma many years ago, but no one knowing what happened to her. The story is centred around these two characters and I enjoyed finding out about Javier.
There is also a second story within the book, featuring Caro, her ex husband and their son, Milo. Her ex husband does nothing to improve my thoughts of him - in fact by the end of the book I actually despised him. He attempted to gain custody of Milo but by using dirty tricks and there were times during the book that I wanted to shake Caro and make her realise what was going on, but I think those sort of dirty tricks are used by other separated parents during custody battles. I do think this part of the story was perfectly written and a great inclusion to the book.
Although the cover of the book depicts the story well, I was disappointed to see it as it does not match the rest of my Churchminster collection - I do like my sets to all match, however this was a minor point and should not detract from this fantastic read!
As I have come to expect from a Jo Carnegie book, you can guarantee the book will be full of fantastic characters, believable story content, beautiful countryside and sexual antics (as Heat have said on the cover of the proof I received "The new SATC (Sex and the Countryside)) and compulsive reading that little bit more each night. This author is my guilty pleasure, I had an excellent Christmas curled up for hours in an afternoon while my children (and husband) played with their new toys and I lost myself in Churchminster.
As I hope you have gathered, I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend it to you all. Although this is the fifth book in the Churchminster series, each book is a standalone novel and can be read in any order.
Thank you so much to the publishers, Corgi, for sending me this book to review. And to Jo Carnegie - I am already eagerly anticipating my next visit to Churchminster!