Book Recommendation – A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh

Book Description:


As a Black woman in a field with little diversity, Piper McKinney is determined to make her mark on the horse-racing world. Raised on a Thoroughbred farm in Kentucky, Piper’s dream is for her horse to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby. With the help of her best friend and trainer, Tucker Hale, she gains national attention but must grapple with the complications that arise when a journalist delves into her past as a transracial adoptee.


In an effort to win Piper’s heart, Tucker formulates a plan to train Piper’s horse to victory, hoping to prove himself to her, her parents, and his own self-doubts. Then a shocking scandal hits the media, implicating both Piper and her parents, and she and Tucker will have to survive the onslaught to find their way to the winner’s circle–and each other.


Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading A Run at Love, the second book in Toni Shiloh’s Love in the Spotlight series. The story is set in Kentucky in the horse racing world.

I’m pretty sure A Run at Love is the first Christian fiction book I’ve read that’s intricately connected to horse racing. Horse racing industry critics have expressed concerns regarding problem gambling and animal welfare. There’s no gambling in the story and I absolutely loved the way Piper and Tucker looked after the horses and animals in their care. Piper’s goats were both troublesome and hilarious.

Piper was adopted as a young child and moved to the USA with her wealthy adoptive parents who were successful and well known in Kentucky horse racing circles. Piper’s love for horses inspired her dream to own a colt that would go on to win the famous and prestigious Kentucky Derby. The story opens with Piper taking steps to fulfil her Derby dream.

Tucker is Piper’s lifelong best friend who has followed in his father’s footsteps and worked for Piper’s family as an assistant horse trainer. Tucker has loved Piper for years and has a list of reasons for why he’s not yet good enough to take a risk, step out of the friend zone, and ask Piper out on a date. His guy friends, who feature in other books in the series, are his Christian support network who keep him grounded.

Piper has loved Tucker for years and she’s afraid she’d lose him as her best friend if he didn’t reciprocate her feelings. She has grown up in a predominantly white community and experienced racism that has shaped the way she views the world. Her love for Jesus is her anchor as she navigates complex relationships with her adoptive parents.

Piper and Tucker’s romance is sweet and they make an adorable couple as they work together and begin to believe their hopes and dreams could come true. A family scandal puts Piper in the media spotlight and places multiple relationships in jeopardy. I recommend A Run at Love to contemporary romance readers who like best friends-to-more celebrity romances with depth that are set in the horse racing world and include a relevant faith element in the story.

Many thanks to Bethany House and Net Galley for the advanced reader copy.

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