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Blaze of Glory: Volume 1 Paperback – 5 Apr 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Petal Press (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988001306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988001305
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 776,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

M. Garzon rode horses professionally for ten years, until an injury prompted a career change. She returned to school and completed a BSc; then, for good measure, an MBA. After several years of toiling as a business consultant, she turned to writing in a desperate bid to regain her sanity. A mom of two fabulous children, she lives in St Lazare, QC and is currently working on the sequel to Blaze of Glory. Her website is www.mgarzon.ca.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is a coming of age drama about a seventeen year old girl, her dreams of becoming a show jumper and her first, and very passionate, love. Tea and her twin brother Seth live with their step-father Declan, their mother had died some years earlier and while overall the relationship between the three is generally good, Declan is quite strict and this sometimes causes tension especially between him and Tea. Tea's life takes an unexpected downward turn after she and her friend are involved in a car accident and Tea has to come to terms with the changes it brings.

The chemistry between Jaden and Tea is palpable from the start, the fact that legally they are cousins is a little controversial but as they are not actually related by blood I didn't have an issue with it, I was more concerned about the age difference.........later in life it is not so important but if my 17 year old daughter was in a relationship with a 23 year old man I would be concerned!!

I felt a variety of emotions while reading, anger at Dec's physical punishment and at the fact that he banned Tea from the show she had been training for years to attend...... it was way too harsh, the injustice of it made me really mad at him for her I actually wanted her to go behind his back and do it anyway........so not a good thought to have as a mum!!! I totally felt Tea's sadness after the accident, the descriptions of her feelings were so well written I was there living it all with her. Finally I felt happy with the outcome. The book ended how it should despite my earlier misgivings!

The story reads slow like a well narrated film and has a `lazy' feel to it, begging not to be rushed but savoured and enjoyed.
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Format: Paperback
I loved the details and explanations about horse riding, training and grooming. A lot of it was based off of the author's personal experiences. I appreciate that the author took bits and pieces from her background as a rider so it all of it felt very authentic. Some of my favorite parts of the book were the ones where Tea was dealing with Schweppes and Cameo. Tea's relationship with the horses made me understand them more.

The writing was consistently good throughout the book. It was easy to read, easy to follow. The plot was solid and well-constructed. I loved the characters and found myself rooting for each and every one of them. Even the horses had their own distinct and endearing personalities. And the dialogue was so realistic. Seth was just the most adorable brother. Dec, as flawed as he is, was a great character. You could feel his frustration and confusion very well and it made me feel sorry for him. Tea was very relatable and it was easy to empathize with her even though she sometimes had lapses in judgment. But hey, we all have our moments, right?

I must admit, I had trouble reconciling Tea and Jaden's relationship. As sweet (and frustrating) as they were, I was a little bit uncomfortable. I keep an open mind but to each her own, I guess. But they were still very cute. They bickered a lot, which got a little old towards the end, but it made for a great story. Jaden was very "knight in shining armor" even though Tea was far from being a "damsel in distress". It took me a while to follow some parts of the time line but over all, it was such a lovely read. The ending was very fulfilling and I am very much looking forward to a sequel.

Rating: 4/5.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90308d68) out of 5 stars 94 reviews
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c8c0a38) out of 5 stars Wanted to give it a good review 21 Nov. 2011
By Play. Party. Pin. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
**Spoiler alert**

Have you ever read a book you want to love but just can't? Blaze of Glory is one of those books for me.

Tea is seventeen and on her way to a promising career in horse jumping (not sure that's the right term). Her life revolves around her family, friends, and horses until one day she gets into an accident and her career is put on hold as she struggles to find her way back. While she's struggling, her hot, 23-year old, polo playing cousin Jaden steps in to play her protector from the bad choices she makes in her life. And through their experiences together, they develop a very strong bond, platonic at first and then more than platonic in Tea's mind. The first half of the book is centered around Tea's love for horses and the second is centered around Tea's love for Jaden.

This review is hard to write because I really liked the story and I loved the characters, but throughout the book I was pretending and creating a plot of my own to get over some fundamental flaws I had with the book, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. But there are a few things that I just can't get over personally, which also means I can't recommend this book to anyone.

First, this book is written for a young adult audience. The main character is a 17-year old girl, meaning the ideal audience for this would probably be teenage girls. The last quarter of the book is about Tea and her sexual relationship with a 23-year old man. The author, through Tea, treated sex like it wasn't a big deal and was just something that other people were doing so she should too. I completely disagree with this and wouldn't want my teenage daughter to read it. If this book were written for an adult audience and dealt with an adult relationship, I would be much more lenient on the author. And I know sex is everywhere right now and teens are out there having sex, but it doesn't mean that we need to write or read more books where it's just something that you do.

And second, I had a huge problem with the Tea and Jaden having a relationship when they are actual first cousins. I tried over and over again to convince myself that it didn't matter because they weren't related by blood, but they were related by adoption making them legal 1st cousins. It does matter and completely jaded my opinion of the storyline. I'm not sure why Jaden couldn't have been just like a cousin or just like a brother (someone's best friend, etc.), not an actual relative.

If you can get over those two fundamental flaws, this book may for you. Like I said, when I imagined Tea and Jaden as just a man and a woman (not a teenage girl and her cousin), I loved this story and found it hard to put down. I also loved the characters and the way they were so well-developed. But for me, the two things above ruined the book for me and I really can't recommend it. I will probably read something by M. Garzon in the future because I enjoyed the writing, but only if the storyline is one I can get behind. 2 stars.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c8c0a8c) out of 5 stars Fantastic read! 1 Oct. 2011
By Sharleen Banning - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Im not the target audience for his book at all, but I stayed up late and then finished it during a play date, lol. I love that the author trusts her teenage audience as this book is written in a way that doesn't dumb stuff down on their account. Her main character is what I would consider a strong ethical role model and when the time comes I'll absolutely let my girls read this. I was taking far steamier books out of the library during my teens than this and I think it's great that it's sort of a romance novel made for teens. As far as some people being uncomfortable with the cousin aspect of this book all I have to say is that "clueless" was WAY worse (Cher dating her step brother) and I loved that movie as a teen! Pick this book up, I promise you won't be able to put it down! Sequel FTW! I'll be reading it for sure <3
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c0a9b64) out of 5 stars Blaze of Glory is Vampire Hot 24 Feb. 2014
By Erin Lindsay McCabe, author of I Shall Be Near To You - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
(This review originally appeared on HorseNation.com)
My favorite sentence in M. Garzon’s novel Blaze of Glory might be one that has absolutely nothing to do with horses. Here it is, in all its glory: “Now that’s vampire hot.” Hm. OK. It’s obviously way more funny in context. Maybe because it’s in reference to the main character Tea’s (pronounced Tay-a) step-cousin and is preceded by this description: “Jaden was taking a bale off the conveyer. He’d taken his shirt off… and I had to admit the view was impressive. His muscles weren’t huge like Kabir’s, but there seemed to be so many of them—you could have used him for anatomy class.”

Maybe I just liked the nod to the Twilight crowd, which is also pretty much the same as the intended audience for Blaze of Glory. But truly, Blaze of Glory has a lot more going for it than Twilight. Horses, obviously. Specifically jumpers and school horses and polo ponies. Also, boys bucking hay bales and a (human being) love interest who plays professional polo. And a tough cookie/smarty pants/scrappy protagonist who loves to argue, yet has a tremendous soft spot for troubled horses (Now that kind of girl doesn’t sound at all familiar, does she?). Then too, Blaze of Glory tackles a full roster of weighty issues: domestic violence and child abuse, loss (both human and equine), grief, depression, drug use, and sexual relationships, all wrapped up in a coming-of-age story about a complicated, troubled heroine. For these reasons, although Blaze of Glory is technically YA, I think it would appeal to and satisfy an older audience. In fact, I might even be a teensy worried about anyone younger than 17 (the age of our narrator) reading it, although the drug use is dealt with in an honest, non-glorifying way and the sexual intimacy is used to emphasize the right kinds of qualities (you know, love. Birth control. That kind of stuff).

The novel is fast paced and plot driven. Normally I’d call it a page-turner, but I was reading it on my Kindle, so I guess that makes it a push button book. This description is even more apt since, based on my extensive study of the greatest romance novel of all time (Pride and Prejudice, duh) and, you know, some other high quality romance novels, I can say with assurance that Blaze of Glory pretty much exhibits all the expected tropes of the Romance genre. This is sort of like how, when you ride a hunter you expect auto changes and when you ride an eventer or jumper you expect some crazed galloping between fences and when you ride a dressage horse you expect perfection. In the case of a romance novel this means that the romantic leads initially take a disliking to each other, their relationship is fraught with all kinds of verbal sparring, each character needs some sort of “rescue” at one time or another, their desire to be together is thwarted by circumstances out of their control, and, of course, it all ends happily. In Blaze of Glory, these tropes all occur in the context of horses (i.e. Tea has to be rescued from the skeevy underworld of the racetrack, Tea “rescues” Jaden’s horse from his fear of trailering, etc.). And the setting (especially the bits about polo which I know nothing about) and characters (Tea in particular) are unique enough that the story feels original. I do think some of the minor characters could be more fully developed. And if you’re expecting Art or Literature, this isn’t the book to ride off into the sunset with. If you’re looking for a totally entertaining, engrossing romance that has lots of spot-on horse action, well, then saddle up!

Oh, and word on the street is there’s a sequel coming soon. Take that, Twilight!
HASH(0x8c8c0d14) out of 5 stars Truly Great Book! 28 Feb. 2012
By mistee dawn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved this book. It is extremely intriguing, interesting, and well-written. I love the family drama/romance theme. But it also has so many other themes. Therefore, I believe anyone and everyone would enjoy reading this book. I highly recommend it.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c8c0cb4) out of 5 stars Great story 18 Feb. 2012
By PrismBookAlliance - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the story. I loved the characters. You find yourself rooting for them despite some glaring reasons to not. It is an infection tale that is hard to put down and invades your thoughts once you have.

******SPOILER ALERT******

There are a few scenes and plot points that you will have to decide for yourself how to handle (and how much they matter to you).
1) The main characters are cousins by adoption. This is not glossed over, this is a major plot point and point of contention within the story. It is what creates much of the tension, and it is much of the reason you are so compelled by these characters.
2) There is a scene that involves some drug use. Consequences are had, but it is definitely there. It is a major plot turning point. I at first thought it was a little extraneous and wondered if it could be left out, but in the end I think it was a necessary awakening that drove the story forward.
3) There is talk a lot of talk of sex in the second half and one short sex scene (not detailed but much is implied). I personally found it well written and well handled. I have read reviews that said she treated sex casually, but I do not agree. I think the the author treated it honestly. The female lead is 17 and interested in having sex, as many 17 year old are. As the story is written from the first person, I think it would have been dishonest not to broach the subject given the intensity of the relationship involved. The male lead is very sensitive to the fact that it is a "special" thing and is not to be entered into lightly. It is another major contention point in the book.

If your teenaged daughter where to read this book, I think there would need to be some conversation surrounding the above topics.

I am not saying this book is perfect, but I think it is a great read. I am giving it 5 stars because I loved this book in spite of its flaws. It is a great freshman effort and I am anticipating the sequel.
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