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…
Racing Savannah is the first Hundred Oaks book that I have read. I have continuously heard how great the series is from multiple people, and I always see the covers all over the place. I thought that the first half of Racing Savannah was really good. I found myself not wanting to put it down. There was even one night that I stayed up until almost one in the morning reading it. I found it to be very addictive and cute. There was just something about the country girl meets country boy + the whole horse racing plot that I really enjoyed. By the time that I reached the second half of Racing Savannah, I wasn’t as in love with it as I previously was. The book started to go in directions that I didn’t want it to go in and even the tone itself was a little different than the first half of it. So, I liked the book…but I didn’t love it.
When it came down to the characters I was torn, because I loved Jack and hated Savannah. Jack was a hunky, sexy, all masculine type of guy. I had a crush on him from the very first scene he was in. I really liked reading about a male character with a work ethic. There was just something really attractive about that. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand Savannah from the first beginning of the book. She’s a written as a senior in high school, but she honestly came across as a middle school student. She was very much a daddy’s girl, very whiny and needy, had a Strawberry Shortcake bed set from when she was 8, was nicknamed Shortcake, had a severe obsession with lollipops, and was constantly begging for her dads permission to do everything. When I was 17, I was very independent. I pretty much made my own decisions by that point. I wish that Savannah would have had more of a spark and a fire to her. I wanted to see her develop into a young woman. That just didn’t happen. She just seemed like a very young character. As far as the supporting characters go, I would say that it was split in half. There were some characters that I loved just as much as Jack and there were other characters that I thought had more of a young, immature feel to them like Savannah.
(This paragraph might contain some minor spoilers. Nothing major!) I think the concept and plot for Racing Savannah was very strong and solid. I loved the whole idea of Savannah racing horses and the whole country scene. As someone who doesn’t normally read contemporary books, I was instantly intrigued by the whole concept. I do wish that there would have been a little bit more to the story. First, I wanted to see a big blow out between Savannah and her dad and his girlfriend. One of my biggest complaints with this book was the dad and girlfriend. I thought that they were horrible people, and I was not on board with many of their decisions or complaints toward Savannah. I was a little annoyed that Savannah didn’t really stick up for herself in the way that I wanted her to. Secondly, I wanted to see a bigger romance between Jack and Savannah. I didn’t really care for the fact that Jack wanted to use her. And then all of a sudden it’s insta love at the very ending of the book without much of a relationship to start with. So, I wish that there would have been just a bit more chemistry between them. Finally, and I hate to say this, I wish that there would have been a dramatic moment with the horses, such as a death or an injury. I hate reading books with animal injuries or abuse in them, but I felt that that scene would have made this book. There should have been a scene that made me bawl my eyes out, and I just didn’t get that. There was potential for it, but it just fell a little flat. There were a few things regarding the horses that kind of added to the story. However, I already knew what Star’s problem was, and while I liked reading about the flashbacks of Savannah’s old horse, I didn’t really feel the emotional connection that I should have.
One thing that I really did enjoy about Racing Savannah was the secondary relationship between Rory and Vanessa. I think I have those names right! I loved the additional benefit of two romances in one book. And while I thought the relationship between Savannah and Jack was lacking a little bit, I thought that Rory and Vanessa were adorable. They were hesitant and flirty..and just kids! That’s more what I wanted to see between Savannah and Jack, but I am glad that I did get a little bit of it in this book.
Overall, I did enjoy Racing Savannah. If the second half had continued to stay as good as the first half, then it would have been a 4 or 5 star book for me. Unfortunately, it did fall a little flat during the last half of the book. However, the first half of the book was so good that I do believe I will read the rest of the books in the Hundred Oaks series. I think that this a series that contemporary lovers will really enjoy!
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: [rating: 3]
Cowboy Take me Away” by the Dixie Chicks
“I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift
“The Space Between” by Dave Matthews Band
“If I Die Young” by The Band Perry
“Two is Better than One” by Boys Like Girls
“She’s Got it All” by Kenny Chesney
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
“The Fear” by Lily Allen
“Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House
“Carrying Your Love with Me” by George Strait
The entire Pitch Perfect Soundtrack (I must’ve listened to it 100 times while writing RACING SAVANNAH!)
“You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain