Cole Masterson and his horse Fleet have come to stay at Second Hope while they recover from injuries obtained when the ground on the trail they were riding on along a cliff face gave way. Financially Cole’s very secure but he certainly never expected to become emotionally vested in Nat or become so immersed in the various horses spending time at the rehab center.
Nat’s decision to house Cole in her own home while his horse is recovering is one she may come to regret as she finds herself becoming enamored with the man. She might have been able to resist him if it wasn’t for his gentle caring nature with a rescued mare he’s named Emma who’s given up on life. Through the care of the horses Nat and Cole come to know each other and the mutual attraction they feel builds to the point where neither of them can resist it any longer. Nat isn’t looking for a happily-ever-after which makes indulging in an affair with Cole perfect since once his horse is healed he’ll be leaving. She just hadn’t counted on her feelings for Cole being so strong.
J. B. McDonald’s SECOND HOPE is a heart-touching story on many different angles. Cole and Nat’s developing relationship is captivating all by itself but coupled with the needs of the horses and the emotional reaction you experience while reading about her rehab center and SECOND HOPE becomes a true emotional roller coaster. I was stunned by how beautiful I found the relationships each of the characters share with their horses. There’s a special bond and level of trust between them that has been nurtured and treasured for many years. In addition to their personal horses, there are other horses at the center whose troubles really pull at the readers heartstrings and incite you to think about these majestic creatures as companions rather than just an animal. The mare Emma really drew my attention with how she seems to have given up until Cole invests so much time and energy into enticing her to eat and get better. Ms. McDonald certainly won me over with this endearing read and I hope to read many more tales like this one in the future.