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15 April 2010

Book Review: The Highest Stakes by Emery Lee

Title: The Highest Stakes: He's racing to win back his country, his fortune and his one true love
Author: Emery Lee
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Paperback: 560 pages
ISBN: 978-1402236426
Genre: Historical Fiction

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From the Publisher

The breathtaking origins of thoroughbred horse racing
A tale of drama, danger, thwarted love, and retribution set in the high stakes gentleman’s world of 18th century horse racing, where fortunes could be won… and lost…
She’s lonely and neglected, but she knows horses…
Charlotte Wallace is orphaned and alone until a sympathetic stable boy takes her under his wing and teaches her everything about thoroughbred racing. In the process, the two discover in each other a love destined to be thwarted at every turn…
If only he could, he’d take her away with him forever…
Robert Devington has tried everything to persuade Charlotte’s uncle to allow them to marry. Then an ill-fated friendship, a scandal in the making, and one desperate act of folly rob them of their love and his livelihood… Dead set on retribution, all Robert’s hopes are hanging on one small horse—his only chance to reclaim his land, his dignity, and his love, against all odds…

My Review:

When I received The Highest Stakes by Emery Lee I began reading the novel with trepidation, since I know very close to nothing about horses, however my worries were for naught as this novel is so much more than just an 18th century equestrian book. True, the author has clearly studied horses and there is plenty to keep those readers fascinated with all topics equestrian to be engaged in this novel, however, this novel offers so much more. The Highest Stakes is also about love, betrayals, treachery, retribution and vividly portrayed life in 18th century England as well as in Colonial Virginia. Lee writes beautifully and passionately not only about the highborn in society, but also about the lowborn. The Highest Stakes takes a good look at society as a whole, while telling a story of equestrian life and all it encompasses including arranged marriages, as were typical of this time period, yet in this novel the view is arranged marriages or marriages of convenience for what horses can be brought into the marriage. The reader is privy to the lives of Charlotte Wallace, her arranged marriage to Philip Hastings, Earl of Hastings, and Charlotte's true love, Robert Devington, known in the colonies as Daniel Roberts. From here the plot moves at a rapid clip with extraordinary twists and turns, leaving the reader wanting to know more. The Highest Stakes is well written and equestrian aficionados, as well as those merely looking to enjoy a delightful historical novel filled with treachery, romances, riches gained and lost, will find this tome to be one that will keep the reader entertained, enlightened, and guessing through the various plot twists along the way.

About the Author:

Emery Lee is a life-long equestrienne,history buff,and a born romantic. Combine the three,and you have the essence of her debut novel, an 18th century tale of love, betrayal, and horse racing. A member of the Historical Novel Society, RWA and GRW, she resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with her husband, sons,and two horses.

I received a complimentary copy of The Highest Stakes by Emery Lee from Sourcebooks. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



fredamans said...

Lovely review, though I don't think the book would be my cup of tea!!

I awarded you!!

Laura Hartness said...

Great review! I read this one as well, and I loved it!

Laura Hartness
The Calico Critic