Dana reviews The List by Tina Kunkle (Published by Less Than Three Press, August 12, 2014, 210 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
This week we chose from books that are out of our comfort zone. It’s been a very long time since I read a book with a female lead so choosing a f/f story was pushing my boundaries a bit. Being set among horse farms and racing also was stretching things for me because I have no interest in that sport. What I did find though, was a great mystery and I’m glad I chose to do this book.
Blurb: Six years ago Zoe Reynolds killed a seventeen year old boy in self-defense, and was unable to let it go. Now she has exchanged being a cop for working a Thoroughbred racetrack, landing a dream job at Whispering Winds Farm.
But the Farm has come under new ownership, including a trainer who has no qualms about killing horses for his own financial ends. Knowing she’ll need help if she’s going to stop them, Zoe contacts the FBI, but she is not at all prepared for the agent they send…
Don’t hate me, but animals really aren’t my thing. I don’t hate them, but they don’t hold a lot of interest to me. The beginning of this book dragged on for me as the main character Zoe describes her life riding horses for trainers. It felt a little slow going and I started to lose interest. The farm she works at changers ownership and the real action starts when the new trainer and owners show up.
The new trainer, Patrick, was seriously unlikable, rude, and cruel to the animals. He was also committing crimes along with an owner of a nearby horse farm. While I chose this book because I thought it was out of my wheelhouse, I really love a good mystery and found myself enjoying it. Zoe seems to be the main character of the story and it’s more mystery than romance, and she was a good character. Brave and strong, with good scruples. The main focus of the story is the mysterious deaths of racing horses and what Patrick’s role might be. The new owners both turned out to be great people and Patrick’s nephew a real nice guy, but Zoe who is an ex-cop can’t let her suspicions go.
The story is a fairly quick read after I got into it. Sometimes if felt a little too quick and it lost a little bit of flow. There was a moment when Zoe acts in self-defense that I wondered if the outcome was completely necessary. Other than that I really enjoyed the book.
The romance in this story is very low-key. The FBI agent sent to investigate the farm is none other than Zoe’s ex. There is tension at first but neither one has ever stopped loving the other. But there is little focus on their reunion with a much bigger threat on the horizon. There was no sex,and I do think that made me more comfortable, but I didn’t find myself feeling differently about a f/f story versus a m/m story. I do really enjoy when characters find their happy ending and get to be with who they love, no matter the gender. Love is love.
8/10 Pots of Gold (80% Recommended) – Compares to 4/5 Stars
Tina’s best accomplishment is her 26 year old son Ricky, who she loves and adores. She resides in California, but is an East Coast native, born and raised in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. She has nine brothers and sisters and is the youngest girl.
Her debut book, The List, became a best seller within the first month of being released. She also had success with her next two books titled: The Half Breed & Soiled Dove, and Twin Bridges.
Aside from writing, she is also a professional equine photographer and her photographs have been featured on magazine covers and in books. They are also in the library of congress. Currently Nutrena horse feed company has one of her shots on its Peak performance horse feed bags.
She is an ex private investigator and ex-military. She enjoys gardening and landscaping. Her favorite saying is…”The two most important things in life are the books you read and the people you meet!”
Tina loves to write crime and romance and the combination of the two is the best of both worlds.
She writes from the heart in order to touch yours!