Title: Dressage Dreaming, Book 1 in the Horses Heal Hearts Series
Author: Kimberly Beckett
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Michael Stafford was on top of the world. A proud member of the British Olympic Dressage Team and Olympic gold medalist, his life was perfect. Then, he lost his mount, his fiancée left him for another man, and now his brother has been arrested for manslaughter. He believes his luck has turned when he learns that a beautiful and talented stallion is available in Germany, just in time to compete in the next World Cup competition. The horse’s name is Tempest.
Jessica Warren is an up and coming American dressage prodigy with a brilliant future. Orphaned at the age of 21 when her parents were tragically killed in a car accident and the legal guardian of her younger sister, Jessica has lost her competition mount to injury and needs a new horse if she wants to compete in next year’s World Cup. She learns of a spectacular horse available in Germany named Tempest, but when Jessica arrives in Germany with her trainer, she discovers she will have to compete with the extremely handsome and talented Michael Stafford for the right to ride Tempest. Jessica has nothing but respect for Michael, but sparks fly when they’re thrown together in a competition that both must win. Who will win Tempest? Will Michael be able to trust another woman with his heart? Will Jessica allow herself to be loved, or will her personal demons keep them apart?
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Kimberly Beckett just led me dangerously close to water that quenched a hitherto unrealized "Guilty Pleasure" . . . and I already, just after finishing her book, started to look for more of her work! I picked up the book more out of my curiosity about dressage only to glimpse a reflection of the subtle harmony in Ms Beckett's story telling that results in the complex but smoothly graceful dance of a truly talented dressage horse and rider team. I look forward to absorbing Ms Beckett's next foray into Romantic fiction and, in the meantime, I'll perhaps peruse another . . . . Does Ms Beckett have any suggestions for this aging, Western "hell bent for leather" shoot 'em up reader?
Kimberly Beckett's debut book, Dressage Dreaming was everything I look for in a contemporary romance. Her characters stand up and walk out of the pages and I am hoping that Ms Beckett's Book 2 will let me get to know some of them much better. I need to find out if Ian gets out of his legal mess, how Haily does with her rehab in a whole new environment and how Liz and Tempest do in dressage competitions! Dressage Dreaming had enough intrigue, romance and challenges to keep me turning pages and I'm allergic to horses and know little about dressage! Enjoy the ride!
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As long as I can remember, I have loved horses. I wore out four rocking horses before I was 5-years-old. My parents thought my horse craziness was a passing phase, but I’m over 50, and I haven’t outgrown it yet. As soon as I got my first attorney job (I became an attorney so I could afford to own and board a horse of my own) I bought my first horse. Since then, I have always owned at least one horse. I now own a Trakehner gelding named Wycliff and compete as an adult amateur at dressage. In 2016 I earned my USDF Bronze medal.
I have an artistic side as well. I was the first Music/Pre-law major Ohio Northern University ever graduated, and though I majored in clarinet, I also played saxophone and flute in the jazz band, and French Horn in marching band. I also can play a little piano, and I sang choir in college. I have not performed or played music in quite some time (my riding takes up most of my spare time), but I love music.
My day job is something completely different. I have been a civilian attorney for the Department of Defense for nearly 30 years. I’ve served as labor and employment lawyer and a government contract attorney, both of which can be challenging and rewarding, AND I make enough money to own my own horse. :>)
In 2012, my life completely changed. In the fall of 2012, my parents passed away 11 days apart, and as the oldest child, and the lawyer in the family, I became the responsible party for all aspects of the settlement of their estates, their trust, and keeping my family together – all while working full time and keeping my dressage horse in training. One day, mentally and emotionally exhausted, I needed an escape, and reached for my favorite romance novel from my teenage years, Shanna, by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I remembered how much I had enjoyed reading romance as a teenager, and promptly re-read every Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, and Julie Garwood book available, then moved on to binge read some of today’s most popular authors – Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Mary Balogh, Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt, Loretta Chase, and Grace Burrowes.
It was a friend who suggested maybe I should write. I remarked during lunch that I read nearly 1 romance novel a day. She suggested that maybe I should think about writing a romance novel, especially since I’m approaching retirement, and could actually make some money doing it. Coincidentally, at about that same time, Grace Burrowes was offering a writer’s retreat to Scotland. I decided to go, and Grace read my preliminary attempts, gave me some really valuable advice, and my first pitch to a publisher resulted in a contract.
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