I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on 2013-12-03
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Sports & Recreation, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher
Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Book Depository
They’re from two different worlds.
He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.
With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…
As I said above, Racing Savannah is definitely my favorite Hundred Oaks books since Catching Jordan. If you have yet to read any of the Hundred Oaks books, you can most definitely start with this one. We do get a glimpse of past characters that you won’t recognize but you won’t be lost either. The characters that come back don’t show until closer to the end but the important players in this book are definitely Savannah and Jack and a few of their school friends. And since I definitely recommend this book if you like YA contemporaries, I want you to know that if you haven’t read the whole series, you are fine to start with Racing Savannah. But make sure you don’t miss Catching Jordan either.
My favorite part of this book, besides the romance, was the characters. Savannah was definitely my favorite lead since Jordan. She loves horses, is loyal to her family, works hard, and doesn’t melt right away when Jack flirts with her. She knows he’s the owner’s son and is therefore off limits. Of course, she eventually gives in because she starts to like him but still, she doesn’t fall for him right away and I liked that. She also sticks up for herself when she knows what she wants. Her life hasn’t been easy but she sees the possibilities that are out there and works hard to achieve her dreams. I like that she doesn’t let a boy set the rules for their relationship and doesn’t want him getting in the way of her dream job. She shows strength and courage and isn’t afraid of asking for what she wants, even when she changes her mind. I like how open minded she is and how even though she isn’t a huge fan of the fact that her dad has a pregnant girlfriend, she still wants to take care of her because her dad loves her. She was a truly great character.
And then, of course, there’s Jack. He’s the ranch owner’s son and has quite the reputation. Savannah hears much about it from the staff and knows to stay away from him. As the book progresses we learn there is much more to Jack than the amount of girls he dates. He has been given the chance to run the horse ranch by his dad and considers this his one chance to prove how well he knows the business and that he can be successful as well. He’s already bought a horse to train and race but that is proving harder than he thought. The horse is powerful but untrained and skiddish. He needs someone who understands horses and someone the horse will like. That’s where Savannah comes in. They agree to work together and he sees something in her that he likes. But he knows he’s not allowed to get involved with the staff. And if he wants to prove to his dad that he can do this job, he needs to stand by that rule. But as time passes he finds it difficult to stay away from her. Overall, though, Jack is a really good guy. He’s loyal to his family, maybe even a bit too much, and treats his friends really well. He loves the horses and takes care of them. He really wants to see Savannah succeed. He was a fun character to get to know, even though I did get frustrated with him at times.
Miranda Kenneally books always take on an serious theme and for Racing Savannah it was class. Jack is rich. His family owns racing horses, they go to college, they employ hundreds of people, and live on an estate. Savannah is not. Her father is a horse trainer and her father’s pregnant girlfriend is a maid. They are in debt due to her mother’s medical treatments. No one in her family has gone to college and it hasn’t even been a consideration for Savannah. She lives in a staff house and doesn’t even own a cell phone. Savannah worries about her half-sibling having a place to live and Jack worries about the $500,000 he paid for his horse. Their lives are very different. It was interesting looking at both of their situations and finding the similarities. Both characters were fiercely loyal to their families and sacrificed their wants for their families’ on more than one occasion. It was interesting seeing their reasons behind their actions and their love for their families even though they were so different. Some things are universal and I always love being reminded of that.
Overall, Racing Savannah was very enjoyable. I liked the characters, Savannah especially and Jack was frustrating at times. I enjoyed getting glimpses of our past favorite characters and seeing them more grown-up now and how their relationships have played out. I really liked reading about the horses and the training and the races. I liked seeing the similarities between Jack and Savannah and how they felt and interacted with their families even though they came from very different backgrounds. Racing Savannah is definitely one of my favorite Hundred Oaks books and highly recommend it if you enjoy YA contemporary romances.