Although mystery writer Dick Francis probably won't fret over Roberts's invasion of his turf‘that of big-time horse racing‘this romantic thriller about shady goings-on at a Virginia horse farm comes on the heels of a string of best sellers (e.g., Hidden Riches, LJ 6/1/94).
The world of championship thoroughbred racing is the milieu for Roberts' (Born in Fire) latest, a fast-paced, engaging tale of envy, greed and romance. Kelsey Byden, 26, is in the throes of divorcing her unfaithful husband when she suffers a second shock. It is a letter from her mother, whom she has long presumed dead. Her father, it turns out, has been lying to her-at her mother's request, since Naomi Chadwick was in prison for murder during many of those years. Kelsey travels to Virginia to meet her long-lost parent at her horse farm. As mother and daughter get to know each other, Kelsey falls in love with horses, racing and the gambler next door. Gabe Slater is handsome, virile and unlike anyone the spoiled young woman has ever met. Their attraction is instant and explosive, but their romance triggers a chain of events that includes murder and sabotage, prompting the lovers to risk their lives as they race to clear Naomi's name and to deal with old enemies and betrayals that threaten their future. Roberts paints her story with a broad brush, but its colorful canvas, easily identifiable heroes and villains and swirling action add up to another winner for this popular author. (July)