‘Gift Horse’ is Jan Ruth’s latest novel. It was published on the 29th September 2018 as an eBook. Jan asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her book.
I will tell you what I thought about ‘Gift Horse’ in a minute. First though, here’s what its about.
Imagine living eighteen years of your life around a mistake…
Caroline Walker’s daughter suffers a horrific riding accident. Her distraught parents wonder if she’ll ever walk again, let alone ride. And when Mollie’s blood group is discovered as rare, her husband offers to donate blood. Except Ian is not a match. In fact, it’s unlikely he’s Mollie’s father.
Eighteen years previously, Caroline had a one-night stand with Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. Caroline fell pregnant. Deeply flawed boyfriend, Ian, was overjoyed. And Caroline’s parents were simply grateful that their daughter was to marry into the rich, influential Walker family.
Caroline turns to Rory’s friend Connor; and although his almost spiritual connection with his horses appears to be the balm she needs, Caroline cannot forget Rory, or her youth – both lost to a man she never loved.
Eighteen years on and after surviving cancer Rory lives as a virtual recluse in the Welsh mountains. Through his well-meaning but interfering sister, he is shocked to discover he has a teenage daughter. Or does he? As the truth begins to unravel, Caroline finds herself faced with a complex trail of moral dilemma.
Someone has made a terrible mistake… someone is going to get hurt…
I felt honoured when Jan Ruth asked me if I would review ‘Gift Horse’, especially as I have only read and reviewed a couple of her previous books. I really liked the sound of this book and it appealed to me straightaway. I also thought the cover was gorgeous.
This story is set in the present but goes back to the year 2000, giving readers a very good insight into how Caroline knew Niamh and how she met Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. I loved Jan Ruth’s style of writing and I found myself totally mesmerised by the story. Her descriptions of Wales and Bryn Teg were just wonderful and I almost felt as I was there at times.
Most of the characters were genuine, some more flawed than others. It was really quite unfortunate how things worked out and I couldn’t help but feel for Caroline. The sad thing was that events wouldn’t necessarily have gone the way they did if it hadn’t been for a rather careless mistake being made. Poor Mollie was in hospital recovering from a riding accident and needed lots of support rather than her parents falling out. I actually think that Ian meant well but at the end of the day he couldn’t really give Caroline exactly what she needed.
Rory’s music sounded wonderful and I wish I could have heard it for real. I quite liked Niamh but I did feel that she interfered rather a lot, making things a hundred times worse for Caroline. So much heartache could surely have been avoided. In its own strange way though it was as if all that happened was meant to be. Caroline deserved true happiness.
The ending was just so beautiful and tender and it made me want to cry.
‘Gift Horse’ has got to be my most favourite of this author’s books so far. Jan Ruth is a truly gifted writer and I hope to be reading her novels in many years to come.
Thank you for a wonderful read, Jan.
‘Gift Horse’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-
About Jan Ruth
Jan Ruth lives in Snowdonia, a mountainous area of North Wales, UK. Jan writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic, often blending life in rural Wales with a touch of city business. Her style is best described as fast-paced and realistic, with a sprinkling of dry humour.
The real story began at school, with prizes for short stories and poetry. She failed all things mathematical and scientific, and to this day struggles to make sense of anything numerical.
Her first novel – written in 1986 – attracted the attention of an agent who was trying to set up her own company, Love Stories Ltd. It was a project aiming to champion those books of substance which contained a romantic element but were perhaps directed towards the more mature reader and consistently fell through the net in traditional publishing. Sadly, the project failed to get the right financial backing.
Many years later Jan’s second novel, Wild Water, was taken on by Jane Judd, literary agent. Judd was a huge inspiration, but the book failed to find the right niche with a publisher. And then Amazon changed the face of the industry with the advent of self-publishing. Jan went on to successfully publish several works of fiction under her own imprint, Celtic Connections.
After a brief partnership with Accent Press in 2015, Jan chose to return to the freedom of independent publishing.
Jan’s books are available globally via Amazon in paperback and for Kindle; and locally, you’ll find them in North Wales libraries and Hinton’s bookshop of Conwy.
Website – http://janruth.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JanRuthAuthor/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor