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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It’s always difficult to find someone you can really trust. For Regina, she’s lived her entire life in fear: of her mother, a convicted criminal and someone who abused Regina repeatedly, and Wade, her mother’s boyfriend, an abusive creep who flaunts his power as the local veterinarian. It doesn’t pay for Regina to show affection for another person or even for a dog or a horse. They are all taken from her, disappeared, probably killed, but she doesn’t know for sure. Regina enjoyed a brief reprieve from her mother and Wade. While her mother was in prison, Regina’s Aunt Sophia has maintained guardianship, with Regina living with her aunt in Texas far away from the girl’s horrendous past. But Regina’s mother is due to get out of prison, earlier than expected, and Regina is expected to pick up with her mother and Wade where they left off. Regina is older now, but still a minor. She’s frightened, too, and doesn’t know who to trust. People have always lied to her and taken advantage of her. And she’s had enough. But how can she break the endless cycle of terror?
It’s not very often that a novel portrays the sincere ‘wow’ factor. L.R. Trovillion’s young adult novel, Horse Gods: The Dressage Rider’s Betrayal: The Maryland Equestrian Novel Series (Book 2), definitely has this ‘wow’ factor. I was very impressed with this very poignant and powerful story. Written in first person, Regina’s state of affairs comes through very clearly. The reader is instantly attracted to the girl, wanting to be her friend, to help her, to encourage her to tell the whole story and get some help before it’s too late. Trust. Not something that’s easy for anyone to do, but certainly almost an impossibility for someone who has never had reason or opportunity to trust anyone in her life and when she does trust, she loses. The message comes through loud and clear. We do have to take chances in life. We do have to try to trust. We can’t always make it on our own. Regina slowly comes to this realization, but almost too late to save herself. A very powerful story, a solid plot, well written, great descriptive paragraphs and poignant dialogue. I loved it! Wow! Wish I could give it more than 5 stars.