This novel by Paul Bagdon highlights the life of Lee Morgan, a 30 something year old woman who runs a horse breeding operation in Texas at a time when women aren’t considered capable of doing such things. Riding astride, being in charge of ranch hands, handling stallions and wearing pants are all things that Lee does, to the disdain of the locals at Burnt Rock.
Burnt Rock is a small town that is slowly getting established. Lee and a family friend Jonas Dwyer both breed horses for a living. As Jonas develops an idea for the two of them to race their prize stallions and promote the horses they breed, it gains interest from many army officers and others who aren’t local and have no respect for the law.
Gambling becomes rampant in the town as people wager which stallion will win the long race. Lee is mortified when the local law Marshall brings her some disconcerting news regarding Jonas.
As questions are raised about her recently hired horse trainer, Lee asks herself what she should do now that the situation has changed drastically. Although Lee finds herself falling for the local lawman Ben, she questions if she really wants to be involved with someone who wields a gun for a living.
As gunshots and gambling become commonplace leading up to the race, Lee questions when it will all end, and if the end will be favourable for her. Stallions at Burnt Rock is an easy and enjoyable read, obviously written by one who knows horses. Recommended.
“Darkness comes on Stallion legs. Swift Black Rippling I ride.” – Susan-Louise Johnson