by Tilly Bagshawe

Tilly Bagshawe is back with her latest novel, SHOWDOWN, which is
one part HORSE WHISPERER, one part Jackie Collins, and all parts
entertaining. Much like her debut novel, last year's ADORED,
Bagshawe whisks her readers around the world to some of the
wealthiest, most glamorous playgrounds of the rich. But instead of
Tinseltown, this time her tale is set in the exciting world of
high-stakes horse breeding.

Modern-day Marlboro Man Bobby Cameron inherits Highwood, a
magnificent ranch nestled in the Santa Ynez Mountains of
California's horse country, from his old-school cowboy father,
Hank. The only trouble is that his father was a helluva cowboy but
no businessman. Wyatt, the ranch's trusty foreman, alerts Bobby
that they are in dire financial straits. Apart from being an
enviable tract of land, Highwood sits upon untapped oil reserves
that many people would kill for. Throughout his lifetime Hank had
not wanted to ruin or exploit the land in any way and Bobby would
like to keep his legacy alive, at least as long as he is able.
Perhaps they can raise and train quarter-horses on the ranch. But
they would still need a partner with lots of quick cash who could
commit in a flash, before the bank forecloses.

Milly Lockwood Groves is a frustrated horsewoman at 17. On her way
to becoming one of the most accomplished riders in her corner of
the English countryside, a fall off a horse convinces her father
that she must never ride again. But since her family lives on a
prominent horse-breeding estate in the country village of
Newmarket, not thinking about horses is harder than you'd think.
Although her father Cecil has banned her from the actual riding of
horses, she's desperate to help out with the breeding, and here she
proves herself invaluable. Despite her young age, she gives men
twice her years a run for their money. To add insult to injury, her
wretched brother, Jasper, who fancies himself quite the horseman,
has begun dating her nemesis, Rachel Delaney, who has taken over
Milly's spot in the lineup of local riders. How will she ever
convince her father to lift his ridiculous ban?

Sorely in need of funds, Bobby accepts a job working for Sir
Michael Delaney ---  wealthy landowner, horsebreeder and
father of the spoiled Rachel, bane of Milly's existence. Because
the Delaneys' estate is going through massive renovations, Bobby is
boarding with the Lockwood Groves, where he immediately notices
Milly's prowess with the horses, among other things. He quickly
finds himself smitten with her, much to his chagrin. He sees how
she's suffering and begins training her in secret. With her help,
he might be able to turn Highwood into a profitable breeding ranch
in no time. Can he train her, be professional and deny his growing
feelings for her? Can he save his beloved ranch from the bank and
greedy developers?

A big, juicy beauty of a beach book, Bagshawe has followed the
formula that worked so well in ADORED. Her descriptions of the
equine playgrounds of California, Palm Beach and the English
countryside are so lush and vivid, the reader is immediately
transported and transfixed by each new, glamorous locale. Bearing
no pretense to be something that it isn't, this novel is a
rollicking, fun, sexy read. With SHOWDOWN, Bagshawe is securing her
place as the rightful heir to Jackie Collins.

Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller on January 23, 2011

by Tilly Bagshawe

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 044661890X
  • ISBN-13: 9780446618908