This was such a beautiful book. I came into it expecting a romance and a family struggling with alcoholism but “Riding the Storm” by Franci McMahon had so much more depth than your standard genre expectations. It was a love story in more ways than one – love for racing, horses, family, the land, the ties that bind.
This is the story of Kate Duncan, the daughter of a horse trainer who’s also a drunk and behind the scenes, possibly involved in shady race fixing, and her slow-burn romance with the ranch’s jockey, a Blackfeet Nation who’s also a two-spirit, akin to a genderfluid person in a woman’s body. I picked this up because of the sapphic vibes and I want to see more nonbinary representation in romance and that part did not disappoint.
I expected the usual stereotypical portrayal of alcoholism, too, but that was sensitively handled, showing Kate’s evolution from denial and making excuses for her father to standing up to him and showing empathy and compassion throughout.
Where the book really shone was in its vivid descriptions of ranch and racing life. Felt like I was right there in the barn torn between difficult choices.
I’d definitely read more by this author.