Westerhall Books (2015)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (02/16)
In “Backstretch Baby” by Bev Pettersen, we meet Rick Talbot, a private investigator whose skills at hunting down hardened criminals are unsurpassable. Yet, the pressure of being deep undercover takes its toll after a while, and when Rick’s boss suggests he takes some time off, Rick threatens to quit. He soon finds himself on a low-key assignment, well below his competency level, tracking down stolen bridles at Riverview Racetrack in California, and he has a feeling it’s going to be a long month.
Eve Lewis is a rookie trainer, trying to prove herself around the tight knit track that is reluctant of outsiders. Eve has a lot on her plate, juggling her responsibilities on the track with her staff, and trying to stay under the radar of her boss’s adversarial wife, all driven by the need to be an able provider for her young son. The recent theft of the horse bridles and her car battery, along with other forms of sabotage have made Eve’s job even more challenging, if not near impossible. She hasn’t been able to train the horses and the boss is pushing to win the upcoming races. The absolute last thing Eve needs right now is a private investigator hanging around and getting in her way, but when the foul play accelerates, Eve and Rick must work together before things take a fatal turn.
I was excited for the opportunity to read the latest romantic mystery by Bev Pettersen, as I’ve enjoyed all of her work thus far, and “Backstretch Baby” did not disappoint. Pettersen is a natural storyteller – she knows how to keep her readers engaged with just the right amount of romance, mystery, and intrigue. The strong personalities of both Eve and Rick make for entertaining reading as they measure each other up, sometimes trying to fight off the feelings for one another, and sometimes not even bothering to try. The plot moves along at the pace of a cozy mystery; once curled up with this book, there is no chance of putting it down until it’s finished.
I highly recommend “Backstretch Baby” by Bev Pettersen to romance and light mystery enthusiasts. The story is sure to please her already strong fan base and will more than likely cause that fan base to multiply. Great story!