What a Texas Girl Dreams - Kristina Knight 4 stars

full review

When I was approached by the author to review What a Texas Girl Dreams, I hesitated for about a millisecond. How could I turn down a book about a vet and a rodeo star with an injured horse? I couldn’t! I can’t resist books with horses, even though they are becoming the bane of my existence (yes, Elle, I am referring to you).

Monica Witte competes on the rodeo circuit, and she likes her life just the way it is. Living out of a suitcase, racing barrels with her trusted horse Jinx, hooking up with no commitments when the mood moves her. After she meets Trick, a large animal vet practicing in her small hometown in Texas, her mind is more on the man than on the barrels. After Jinx is injured at a rodeo, she sets aside her pride and heads back home, hoping the rehab her horse and then hit the road again. But when Trick examines Jinx, the prognosis isn’t good. He suggests that Jinx’s career might be over, but Monica won’t accept that. She thinks that Trick is trying to keep her in Lockhardt, close at hand. When therapy sessions don’t seem to be helping, Monica starts to worry that he might be right. Then she starts itching to be home in Austin, training her other horse, despite her feelings for Trick. She just wants to be on the road again, safe from her confusing feelings for him. She’s not cut out for a long term relationship, and being in Lockhardt has her so confused she doesn’t know what to do.

At first, I did not like Monica. She seemed so selfish to me. It’s obvious that her horse has a catastrophic injury, but she doesn’t want to accept it. Instead, she thinks that Trick is just trying to make her stick around so they can continue the affair that she started with him a few weeks ago. She thinks that if she just increases the rehab time, Jinx’s leg will get better and she will be able to compete with him again. Then I started see that most of Monica’s behavior is based on fear. Fear that Jinx won’t get better. Fear that she’ll fall in love with Trick and then make him hate her because the rodeo is in her blood. Fear of what she’ll do and who she’ll be if she can’t race barrels again. Once I understood that she’s just afraid of being hurt or of hurting Trick, I started to like her. A lot. It just took a few chapters to see where she was coming from.

Monica hasn’t had a happy childhood. Her father couldn’t commit to one woman, and he fathered three children with three different women. Then he remained a distant figure in her life. She barely knows her siblings, and she has allowed all of these factors to convince her that a committed relationship is impossible for her. She’s too much like her father and has too much drifter in her to settle down with one man and raise a family. From the moment she meets Trick, though, she is obsessed with him. He’s on her mind day and night, and she just can’t get him out of her head. What she thinks she wants with him is a no commitment fling; she makes him promise to keep their relationship a secret and to not let her family know anything about it.

What I liked about Trick is that he realized that Monica was skittish as newborn filly, and he gave her the space she asked for – at first. When he decides that things need to be a little more agreeable for him, he starts courting her. I thought he was sweet and thoughtful, and that he weighed his need to have Monica by his side with her fear of committing. He never pushed too hard, and he let her think she was calling the shots. He was willing to compromise to keep her, even if she wasn’t as willing to do the same.

What a Texas Girl Dreams is a fast, passionate beach read, perfect for an afternoon by the pool. I’m curious to read more by Kristina Knight, because this book pushed all the right buttons for me.

Grade: B