Literary awards: Golden Heart Finalist (2012),
Professional horse trainer and Olympic hopeful Amanda Vogel, has suffered a traumatic event that has left her unable to compete. Hoping to give herself time to emotionally heal, she has accepted a job to train movie heartthrob Grady Brunswick’s young daughters to ride and show horses.
Grady and his two daughters Solstice and Wave are just learning to live as a family after the tragic death of his wife. Leaving Grady floundering and overprotective, the superstar who can handle any red carpet is lost when trying to deal with two little girls. Add to this his unwanted attraction to his new headstrong and outspoken employee and Grady has some major adjustments to make.
Love, love loved it!! For a debut novel, Colette Auclair kicked some major literary butt. It is exremely rare for a new author to be as polished and produce such a smooth read as Thrown. From the first page I was captured by Amanda and Grady’s story. The opening chapter is full of chemistry and laughter. Throw in the element of two spoiled, slightly obnoxious girls trying to gain their father’s attention and you have one heck of a plot.
I loved the fact that this story was not rushed. The relationships and character growth evolve over a period of time that is not unrealistic. There are major issues that need to be dealt with and carefully handled. Grady has an ex-lover costar that wants to reunite, a mother that wants whatever enhances her social standing, two daughters that he is just getting to know, and a very demanding and public career. He also has the inflated ego of a major movie star. Grady was not exactly my idea of a romantic hero in the beginning of Thrown. In fact there were several times that I wanted to take my much lauded cast iron skillet to his head. His development as a fitting hero was IMHO one of the more enjoyable elements of the book.
Amanda was a GREAT heroine! I am notably hard on heroines, so my admiration of Amanda’s character says a great deal. She was the one steadying influence over every character and aspect of the book. Even dealing with her own emotional baggage, Amanda was the rock that everyone could depend own. When Grady threw his hissy fits, (and he did) she held her head up and did her job, hiding her hurt at his mistrust. She gave the girls structure while healing her own wounds. Amanda could be the blueprint for what to look for in a heroine.
While Thrown is a romance, it is also a great example of character growth. The romantic thread was used to enhance this story and not overshadow the other elements. When the attraction between Grady and Amanda does come to the forefront of the book, it is crafted with a careful hand. Hot and compelling, without being overly graphic, it was just steamy enough for the most jaded of readers while not being offensive to those requiring a milder read. For the laughter, the wonderful characters, the heartwarming romance and even the tear or two, I give Thrown my highest rating. Brava, Colette, brava.