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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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25 May 2015

Jilly Cooper
Arlington Books Ltd
Publication Date

Amazon description:
Set against the glorious Cotswold countryside and the playgrounds of the world, Jilly Cooper's Rutshire Chronicles, RidersRivalsPoloThe Man Who Made Husbands Jealous,Appassionata and Score!, offer an intoxicating blend of skulduggery, swooning romance, sexual adventure and hilarious high jinks. 

Riders, the first and steamiest in the series, takes the lid off international showjumping, a sport where the brave horses are almost human, but the humans behave like animals. 

The brooding hero, gypsy Jake Lovell, under whose magic hands the most difficult horse or woman becomes biddable, is driven to the top by his loathing of the beautiful bounder and darling of the show ring, Rupert Campbell-Black. Having filched each other's horses, and fought and fornicated their way around the capitals of Europe, the feud between the two men finally erupts with devastating consequences during the Los Angeles Olympics.

My review:

A few years ago I read a new Jilly Cooper book (Wicked!) that had just come out and enjoyed it enormously. Having read up on her, I found that the so-called Rutshire Cronicles what she is famous for, and it came highly recommended, so I got myself the Riders / Rivals ebook bundle for a forthcoming beach holiday. 

The book is set and was written in the late 1970's / early 1980's around the world of show jumping: riders, horses and women. And please - even if this is neither your decade nor the topic, I can absolutely reassure you that you will love this book. I'm neither into horses nor who-jumping but couldn't tear myself away from the book. And don't be put of by the length either. 

Riders is very much about the characters. Yes, there is a plot - telling us about their lives, loves and intrigues. But what you will fall in love with is the characters. Rupert Campbell-Black, of course, a brute, rich and obnoxious, with women everywhere he goes. His womanising ways are not stopped by marriage to Helen McAuley whom, as it becomes obvious, he is mismatched with.  He is almost a bit like an anti-hero and you will almost feel a bit ashamed to actually like him. Then there is Billy Lloyd-Foxe, Rupert's best friend and fellow show-jumper, who is more like a loveable teddy bear. And no, I didn't take to the woman he is going to end up with (no spoilers!). On the opposing end, there is Jake Lovell, with gypsy blood and a brooding nature to match, is another show-jumper who knows Rupert from way back in boarding school when Rupert used to bully him. Will Jake get his own back? Jake's wife was actually a character I really loved for her sweet nature, and Jake... well, we forgive him anything. 

This is not to say that the plot is boring, but maybe a tiny bit predictable. But after such an entertaining read, who cares. You will turn the pages on this book and I can't wait to read to follow-up Riders to see how the story continues.

The author: 

Jilly Cooper is a well-known journalist, writer and media superstar. The author of many number one bestselling novels, including Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata, Score! and Pandora, she and her husband live in Gloucestershire with several dogs and cats.