Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Long Shot by D. Jackson Leigh

Publisher:                 Bold Strokes Books

Being a nice person only gets you pain, or so it seems to Veterinarian Tory Greyson.

Tory is nice to everyone, sometimes too nice, and she usually ends up getting hurt.  She's watched her best friend steal every girlfriend she's had, including the one Tory thought she might really love.  Even when she does pro bono work for people who can't afford care for their horses, she ends up getting shot by a demented old woman who thinks Tory is a horse thief.  At least that causes her to meet the woman's granddaughter Leah Montgomery, an out of work journalist.  Having a woman dig buckshot out of your butt is certainly a different way to start a relationship.  As they come to know each other better an attraction develops, but Leah isn't planning on staying in town and Tory is afraid of being hurt again.  If there was ever a relationship that was a long shot, it's this one.

Long Shot travels around Virginia from horse country, across to the race course outside of Richmond and then over to Chincoteague for the annual pony swim.  It's beautiful scenery that provides a variety of interesting backgrounds for the story.  It also deals with a painful issue that more people are facing all of the time, what to do with a relative who is slowly fading away mentally, but not physically.  One of the hardest parts of that experience is trying to find a facility that will provide proper care and maintain the dignity of the patient.  That combination isn't easy to find and even when it exists, family members still feel a level of guilt for not being able to cope with the situation.  Leigh brings that emotion out very well in what Leah goes through.  One of the most intriguing parts of the book is to watch Tory be emotionally drained each time her good actions are turned back on her and wonder when she will draw the line.  When the explosion comes, it's a very satisfying scene.

Long Shot is a quick read with enough plot points to keep it interesting.  Anyone looking for a story to provide some brief leisure reading should find this book more than satisfactory.

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