Nikole Swensen has the drive and raw talent to compete in the rigorous sport of horse eventing—and win. But fear holds her back from realizing her full potential. So her husband, a wealthy Vermont landowner, hires Gabe, a gifted former eventer, as her trainer.
The job gives Gabe, half-paralyzed in a jumping accident years earlier, hope for succeeding vicariously through Nikki in the sport he was addicted to and also allows both of them to rekindle a spiritual connection with horses. Before long, a powerful physical attraction develops between Gabe and Nikki amid the sensual world of horses and riding. As Nikki moves to higher levels of competition, their respective spouses, Cliff and Carla, grow jealous and join forces. The two couples become lost in a tangle of suspicion, ambition, and passion that leads, inevitably, to murder.
Inspired by an actual murder case, Horsefever will penetrate the hearts of suspense lovers, horse lovers, athletes, and all those drawn to the connections between animals and humans.
Praise for Horsefever:
Horsefever is a compelling story of desire, deeply appreciative of the dangerous power of eros. This is either the sexiest serious novel you will ever read or the most serious sexy novel you will ever read. It is light and heat in equal measure. You will read it with your whole self, body and soul, and you will never forget it.
—Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House and Love & Fury
Lee Hope knows the world of horses as deeply and well as she knows the world of marriage, and this fine novel is about both. With prose that is wonderfully inventive, she probes the complexities of passion— passion for riding, for winning, and for another human being—and in the process she plumbs the spiritual and emotional depths of four characters that come alive on the page. Full of feeling without ever crossing the line into sentimentality, Horsefever shines a light on our love and our demons, our pettiness and our courage, our urges for both self-destruction and liberation. What a heartfelt, skilled, and beautiful debut!
—Roland Merullo, author of Revere Beach Boulevard and Breakfast with Buddha
With its clear elegant prose and a pacing that makes it hard to put down, Horsefever is a triumph of a novel. What lingers long after the last page are the characters Lee Hope has brought to life–four vivid men and women whose complex and contradictory desires lead them into what we might call their fates. All the great human concerns are here: questions of delusion and self-knowledge, guilt and forgiveness, love and obsession. And everywhere the horses, wily or wounded, among whom the humans expose their own complicated instincts and values.
–Betsy Sholl, author of the poetry collection, Otherwise Invisible