Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic

Published: February 16, 2022

Gallery/Scout Press

Simon & Schuster

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Susan Mihalic has worked as a book editor, curriculum writer, writing instructor, freelance writer, and editor. She has also taught therapeutic horseback riding. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi and now lives in Taos, New Mexico.

“Every time she looked at it, I wanted her to see the ten-year-old girl who’d told her mother—a mother who’d done nothing.”

Roan is a champion equestrian destined for the Olympics, just like her award winning father. Her father strictly structures her world. She has a short scheduled school schedule, a strict riding schedule. Her father controls everything she does. Even her body is under his control. Her mother is an addict and takes no interest in anything except herself. Everything changes when Will comes into Roan’s life. Suddenly she wants normal things. She wants to say no. To take control of her life. And her father is not happy.

This book is heavy. Really heavy. I have to start this review with a trigger warning; this novel contains sexual abuse towards a minor. Not necessarily in graphic detail, but enough to know what is happening. That may disturb some readers. Be aware.

This was a beautiful broken novel about a girl who has been controlled and broken her entire life until suddenly she isn’t under her father’s control anymore.

This is a story of redemption and forgiveness, of growth and success. This novel will mean different things to different readers. But mostly, this is a novel of healing. Of growing and learning to ride on your own.

Roan spends most of her life trying to please her father in every sense of the word. She spent her life trying to make him happy. To earn his praise. And she never considered what that cost her.

Until it hits her full force, and suddenly she wants to break free of the man who has been building her to be a champion. Secrets weigh a ton, and secrets this heavy are sure to cause some trauma, but Roan is strong. She is smart, and she is tired of being a victim of her circumstances.

She has tried and failed to find her footing previously, but now she is ready to break free. With the support of Will, she knows she will find her freedom. But at what cost?

Find Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic on Amazon.

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