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4.0 out of 5 stars More than an injured soul, 1 April 2012
I love horses. I love polo. I've seen how Argentinians play polo. Bold, exciting and dangerous - and that was just to watch them mount! Susan Stephens certainly has many aspects of this novel absolutely right.

Our hero, Diego Acosta, has had his leg virtually destroyed by his polo pony falling and rolling on it (a very believable accident). A year later he is still suffering from the injury and he is still not sure if he will be able to play again (again, very believable and accurate). He's angry, depressed and frustrated that his body is not obeying his command to heal quickly (a common complaint amongst horse people). He is simply not in the mood for anything. Just at that moment his brother Ruiz's wedding planner, Maxie Parrish, shows up. She is everything he can no longer be: bright, young, attractive and uninjured. Bounding with creativity and excitement, Maxie beams the bright light of possibility into Diego's dark existence.

However, there is a mystery here too. Diego is riddled with guilt over the death of his best friend, Oresto. Diego had convinced him to invest all his money in an investment scheme, but alas, the scheme failed and the friend committed suicide. The investment broker? A chap by the name of Parrish.

Ms Stephens does a wonderful job showing the bravery and frailty of humans. The characters are well drawn and have a depth to them. Even Mr. Parrish, the root of all the problems, isn't a 2 dimensional device, but a person who had the best intentions in spite of an inability to follow through. Diego and Maxie are well matched and the dialogue does sparkle at points. I could almost smell the athleticism rising off the page during the polo match. I've never been to Argentina so I don't know if the travelogue is correct, but with Ms Stephens being so careful about the polo, I suspect it is.

So why didn't this get a 5 Star? There were too many uses of devices. I suppose if they weren't used the book would have needed another 100 pages to sort it all out, but that may have been worthwhile. Dying father, getting pregnant and winning the polo match is just too many.

It's a good book and if you love horses (and/or polo) then it is even better.
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