Friday, April 13, 2012

Review | Horse Play by Jo Carnegie

We have been away. Despicable I say, absolutely despicable. But that's because we have been reading and well Afsha has been off writing about food, sunburn and all things nice.  I just finished Horse Play by Jo Carnegie and I must say as chicklit goes, this was cocho-block full of sex, drama and bad language- a complete winner.  It's the fifth book in Ms Jo Carnegie's romp through the little country village of Churchminster and I think she's just gotten better. Think Joan Collins in the stables. We have sexy trio of sisters, Calypso, Camilla and Caro ( Even the names are so LA!) who are going through various stages of relationship bliss, Calypso - confused, Camilla- in that familiar state of discontent and Caro- blissfully happy until her scheming ex-husband walks in through the door wanting to spend more time with his son.

The other key plotline includes Ms Kizzy who finds the horse of her dreams only to have it all taken away in a heartbeat. In return cupid feels sorry for her as she gets a little too close to the sexy, mucho caliente Javier Scott Smith, dressage champion and all round hotness. Tsssss! There is also a lovable fuzzy couple Angie and Fred, who take in a strange jockey, Edward, who seems to bond with Nobby - the underdog horse at the center of it all. It's all very  Sea biscuit in its plotting but still cleverly done. Jo Carnegie wants to get the fun back underneath the sheets and she does it. After reading the disappointing  RSVP,  I was almost beggining to buy that rumor that funny women's fiction - otherwise known as chicklit, was dead.  But it's not. Only the wrapping has changed and instead of pastel blues and shoes on the cover, you have a whip and tight jeans that put it out there. This is about relationships and sex. Thanks to Ms Carnegie, good old romance is back.

The plot is a tad predicable, especially with regard to Caro's story arch, so much so you can see it coming for miles and roll your eyes when it actually happens. I must have said- 'I told you so', a few times during this read but it doesn't matter because she really does create magical dialogue and characters you fall in love with. Especially Edward; all I wanted to do was feed him chicken soup and beat up anyone who dared to threaten him. In other ways the plot even surprises you, as it did me with the horsey storyline. All in all there is only one real villian. No prizes for guessing who.

Heat Magazine is calling it SATC- 'Sex and the Countryside' but am not too sure about that since the fashion is limited and any reference to brands is perfunctory. This is no Candace Bushnell setting the tone for the women of my generation with regards to their opinions on sex and careers. This is just a romp in the hay and an extremely fun one at that. The beauty of it lies in its simplicity; it could really happen anywhere. Her language is hilarious and unapologetically frank as are her sex scenes. Yes, sex scenes are back in fashion and I am so happy to read something adult. No, not the 'I feel something hard against me and shudder in ecstasy', more like ' I feel his c*8k against me and I want him to sh&* me like no tomorrow'. This one is not for the tweenies but I loved it and cannot wait for more scandal from Churchminster.

Verdict- Worth buying and lending to your girlfriend when she's in the need for a good cheering up. Or else join  The Caterpillar Cafe book club and get your hands on it during the book exchange.

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