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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Hoofbeat Heartbeat: Fifteen Hands Above the Ground by Christine E. Mackenzie gives us a peek into the glamorous world of polo through the eyes of a very determined woman who is set on changing the rules. Jo always loved horses; they were an integral part of her life since she was a little girl. She had her pony when her mother and brother died and she always found solace in its simple yet comforting presence whenever life got a little hard for her. She was always passionate about whatever she did, so when Jo discovered polo, she knew that this would be the one thing that she would love just as much as horses. However, with a predominant presence of male athletes in the field, she has to fight tooth and nail to not only find her place but earn it. Soon she discovers that the glamorous world of polo is not just sitting on top of a horse and playing. It doesn’t help that she encounters two men who seem to catch her attention and she soon falls for one of them. But is that the right decision to make when she is just experiencing some approval for her presence in polo?
While the usual fiction novel regarding athletes is a romance where the reader gets a superhot male athlete and a nerdy, yet adorable female character, this novel is a breath of fresh air for those who love the genre yet want something new. I saw what Jo was going through, connected with her and experienced her highs and lows with her. Her development was amazing, she learned from her mistakes, tried to do better and succeeded with hard work and determination. She tried her best, which is the most you could expect from anyone. I loved how diligently she pursued her sport and gave it her all. She is intelligent, dynamic and very complex, which makes her the perfect protagonist for this very entertaining story. I loved it and I especially loved her.