Review: Race Girl by Leigh Hutton

IMG_4324Fresh on the heels of Michelle Payne’s historic Melbourne Cup win, comes a blockbuster Australian story about a Queensland girl and the ‘race that stops a nation’ . . .

Tully Athens has always dreamed of following in the footsteps of her hero Michelle Payne. Of living up to the Athens name and becoming the third generation of women from her family to rule the track. But Tully’s never been sure she’s got the nerve, and when her mother is killed in a horse racing accident, her whole world is shattered.

Six months later, in the heat of a Queensland summer, sixteen-year-old Tully is ready to face her fears. But getting back in the saddle leads to a whole lot more than she bargained for, with an out of control crush on the boy from their rival thoroughbred farm – the gorgeous but cocky larrikin Brandon Weston – and a forgotten filly with stardom in her eyes . . .

When faced with the most difficult decision of her life, will Tully choose to train and race her new filly in Melbourne? Or will she sacrifice it all to fight for love on the land that feeds her soul?

It’s only when tragedy rips everything from her that Tully finds a strength and courage she never knew she had, in this action-packed novel of passion, adventure and determination.

RACE GIRL is the highly anticipated third book in The Go Girls Chronicles – bestselling stories of gutsy girls in action sports, by Leigh Hutton!

*A PORTION OF EVERY #RaceGirl book sold goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, and to horse-welfare charity, Equine Action Qld*

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MY THOUGHTS:  First up, Thank you very much to Leigh for the review copy :-).

Leigh has a knack for making you feel like you are there amongst it, in the middle of the action with her characters. The on track descriptions in this book are brilliant – you really do feel as if you are riding the horses – I could give five stars just for the Race Scenes. You find yourself tearing through the words, like a horse tearing up the turf as it thunders down the track.

We meet Tully Athens out on her family’s farm in rural Queensland. After the tragic death of Tully’s mother in a horse racing accident the family’s farm has fallen on hard times and is wasting away. I found Tully immediately likeable. The then Fifteen-year-old is struggling to cope with her mother’s death. She is afraid to get back on a horse after the accident, but her soul is missing riding as much as it is missing her mother. After finally getting the courage to mount up again she finds herself riding, then racing side by side with a mysterious “hot” boy who can really ride. The fun begins when she finds out the stranger is in fact Brandon Weston the son of her families biggest rival. Ah forbidden love my favorite.

This the third installment of the Go Girl Chronicles doesn’t disappoint, as with the previous two books we get; drama, action, romance, a strong female protagonist, beautiful horses, studly men, lessons learnt, dreams followed and inner strength found.

There are even nods to Jump Girl, Rev Girl and next up, Surf Girl – cracked me up, especially when Clover pops up in the same hospital room as Tully.

We go on to see Tully develop into a loving and caring, yet strong and determined young woman of eighteen. We see her fight for the things she loves and make her mark on the world.

There is a lot of story crammed into this book, but Leigh has managed to keep it all fast paced and flowing well. I only wish we could have got to spend more time seeing Brandon and Tully’s love develop.

The last quarter of this book is a whirl wind of twists and turns and fast racing – I can’t say much more then that without giving the best parts away *imagine me doing a cheeky wink here*.

Three cheers and FIVE STARS for Race Girl Tully.

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REV-GIRL-final-cover-jpeg

It’s hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes…
Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?
Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.
She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super-competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.
Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?

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JUMP-GIRL-COVER-For-Web

SHOW JUMPING IS AN EXTREME SPORT WITH A DRESS CODE, ONE THIS GIRL DOESN’T FOLLOW . . .

Imagine being dumped by your mother as a newborn and shifted between foster homes your entire childhood. Imagine being taken in and offered hope for your future by a kind, loving show jumping socialite.

Imagine falling in love with some of the most gorgeous horses in the world, and making a life in the thrilling and glamorous sport of international show jumping.

Now imagine it all being taken away.

Ebony Scott Harris is painfully close to making her dreams a reality when the only mother she has ever known mysteriously dies. She’s forced from their home to live with the gold-digging aunt, who takes her in only to ride the prized show jumpers she claims are now hers.

Teetering on the edge of a hopeless depression, Ebony is saved by the discovery of a forgotten horse nearly starved to death, and an unlikely partnership with a handsome stranger, whom she must learn to trust if she is to uncover the truth about her mother’s death and reclaim her home.

But with the evil aunt selling her best and beloved horse, a maniacal ex-coach out for revenge and more savage competitors than she can count, Ebony has a lot more at stake than proving the truth, saving her horses and jumping for gold at the World Equestrian Games . . .

JUMP GIRL is a young adult crossover novel that is clean enough for a 12+ reader and real and relatable enough for any women’s fiction fan.

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LEIGH’S LINKS > >

Website | Goodreads | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Booktopia | Book Depository | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

555A5965Leigh Hutton is a former Courier-Mail journalist, dirt bike racer and horse show jumper. Leigh was born in Canada and lives on rural property in southeast Queensland, Australia, with her husband and three young children. When she isn’t writing, managing the relocation and restoration of historic ‘Queenslander’ homes, wrangling the kids or swilling coffee, she loves to read, watch smart TV and movies, ride her motorbike and daydream about gorgeous horses. Her family spell racehorses at their property and making friends with each one is also a favourite pastime of Leigh and her children. Leigh is especially passionate about promoting the growing number of girls and women in all action and equestrian sports, and is thrilled to be drawing on her experiences to bring you the exciting novels of The Go Girls Chronicles . . .

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