Studs and Stilettos

Bev Pettersen
Westerhall Books (2013)
ISBN: 9780988115132
Reviewed by Sheri Bebee for Reader Views (2/14)

I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review this book because the author came so highly recommended, and “Studs and Stilettos” by Bev Pettersen beyond a doubt lived up to everything I’d heard!

Emily Murphy has dreams of becoming a famous movie star some day.  Meanwhile, in desperate need of money and too ashamed to turn to her sister for another “hand-out”, Emily finds herself on a bus headed for Kentucky to work as an “extra” in a movie about a famous racehorse and past Kentucky Derby contender named Reckless.  Emily will do whatever it takes to “make it big” and prove to her sister that she IS somebody.  Dan Barrett is the expert horse trainer on the set and is driven by hard work and his love for horses.  Dan is completely immune to all the beautiful women vying for his attention, as puts more value on what’s inside a person.  While Dan and Emily work hard to downplay and even fight their attraction to each other, someone else on the set is working just as hard to make sure old secrets about Reckless and his former groom stay hidden.  

Pettersen writes with eloquence and passion – the story flowed so seamlessly that before I even realized it I had come to the last page!  “Studs and Stilettos” is the sequel to “Thoroughbreds & Trailer Trash”, which I didn’t even realize until after I had finished the book.  That being said, “Studs and Stilettos” stands on its own strengths and I found I did not miss a beat.  I really didn’t like Emily in the beginning but she seemed to grow up a lot during the story and I became a big fan!  All of the characters were multifaceted and I just loved that the big strong gorgeous leading man was also sensitive, gentle and had issues of his own – he wasn’t just a hero on a pedestal but someone real and relatable.  Pettersen is someone who clearly knows a lot about horses and I felt she was able to translate her knowledge into something an inexperienced person could appreciate without feeling like they had to learn and understand all the terminology. 

Overall I think “Studs and Stilettos” was an excellent read.  Romance, mystery, drama, a happy ending:  what more could a girl want?

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