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Publisher's Summary

Jules Thornton didn't come to Ocala to make friends. She came to make a name for herself. Young, determined, and tough as nails, she's been swapping stable-work for saddle-time since she was a little kid - and it hasn't always been a fun ride. 

Forever the struggling rider in a sport for the wealthy, all Jules has on her side is talent and ambition. She's certain all she needs to succeed are good horses, but will the eventing world agree? On her own at last, Jules is positive she's poised to become eventing's newest star, but soon finds she's making more enemies than friends in the close-knit equestrian community. 

Little mistakes cost big - her students are losing faith in her; her owners are starting to pull their horses. And then there's the small matter of Peter Morrison, the handsome, on-the-rise event rider who keeps showing up when she least expects him. Jules is convinced that all she needs is good horses - not friends, not romance, not anyone's nose in her business. But it's just the beginning of the long, hot, Ocala summer, and as Jules tumbles through the highs and lows of a life with horses, she might find she'll need help after all to weather the coming storm.

©2014 Natalie Keller Reinert (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Ambition

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Perfect for Eventing Obsessors

I thoroughly enjoyed the book! Very realistic! Gripping story- I didn’t particularly like the main character! Not sure if you’re meant to or not. Anyway keen to read the next 3!!

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  • Em
  • 12-06-2019

My New Favorite Author

Very well written with a plot that keeps you guessing until the end. The narrator is perfect. I really enjoyed getting to know a fresh heroine that I could relate to and root for despite her flaws. This is no bland fairytale. The setting is written spot on. I live in Ocala and Natalie K. Reinert nailed it and the horse community here. If you haven't read this book yet, order it now!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christine Wenner
  • 19-10-2020

One of the first pretty accurate eventing novels

I have always loved to read horse stories but am usually disappointed in the complete lack of reality. This book is well written; has good characters and fabulous on audio book so I can listen while doing my own barn work. I will definitely be downloading book 2.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Empathy
  • 07-07-2019

Took me awhile to like Jules.

I read the whole Show Barn Blues series on Kindle. Then I discovered Audible and I can "read" while mucking out stalls, doing chores, cooking, driving etc. I'm hooked! I hope Audible releases all of Natalie Keller Reinert's books. I love her characters and Piper Goodeve is fabulous with her narration. I hate to say it but an incredible book can be ruined by the narrator. But I have also heard some not so great writing brought to life by an incredible narrator. Audible books are judged twice as harshly as written literature. But with this combo of writer and narrator, it's a win in my book. I'm almost twice as old as Jules ALMOST. And I have to keep reminding myself this main character is only in her early twenties when her attitude starts to grate on my nerves. Once I remember how young she is to have so many responsibilities, then I can start to relate to her and be more forgiving of the chip on her shoulder. I also grew up surrounded by rich spoiled kids who were given everything they wanted and thought they were too good to work at the barn. But unlike Jules, I didn't care much for showing. I just wanted my own horse and craved the special bond between girl and horse. Not the superficial push button, show ring ready, only horse time is in the saddle, revolving door of blue ribbon winning and disposable red ribbon "losers" glassy eyed show mounts, that didn't care who was in the saddle and were all forgotten by high school anyways. I did whatever I could just to be around horses. I finally bought my first horse when I was 22 right after I married my husband (he's not a horse guy), and we bought our little farm a year later. I discovered trail riding and natural horsemanship and have the bond with my horses, I craved as a child. I rescued a few horses, and have buried a few on the hill. But I still have my first horse Magic. He turned 29 on March 10th. I can relate to Jules on the stress, exhaustion, and financial expenses of farm ownership and I don't even show. Natalie Keller Reinert does such a wonderful job with creating several series of horse themed books that are accurate with the realities of horse ownership, terminologies, and true to the sport. It's so refreshing to fall into the story because it is so well written and accurate with the subject matter. I loved Show Barn Blues series, I'm loving this Eventing series and I'm looking for to the Racing series. I hope Audible releases all of the "series" books by Natalie Keller Reinert with Piper Goodeve narrating.

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  • Joy O.
  • 04-04-2019

Worst main character

I was really hoping this book was going to be better. I do like the author gives some accurate info of the horse world (although the majority of riders are not cut throat). I couldn’t finish the book though. The main character is extremely unlikeable, rude, and entitled. Maybe if you don’t ride and just like horse stories you can get through it, but she is exactly like all the horse people I try to avoid. The authors writing style is not to my taste, although that is just an opinion.

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  • Jenny
  • 12-12-2018

Meh.

I agree with the Sarah Jenkinson's review - as a lifelong horse person - I really, really wanted to like this book, but I found myself a little disappointed with the entire plot. I guess it was believable in that horse people aren't always very professional in their dealings with other people. Maybe? I was disappointed enough that even though I purchased the entire series on Audible, I set the series aside to listen to a few other things. I will continue on eventually.

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  • Sarah Jenkinson
  • 31-10-2018

I really wanted to like this.

As a lifelong horseperson and an eventer, I really wanted to like this. I'm not all the way through yet, but I'm finding myself SO irritated by the protagonist. I really don't like her at all. Most of the horse facts are pretty accurate, but there are some that drive me nuts. This book is only a few years old as of my reading it but there are horsekeeping habits described in it that belong to the 1970s. The narrator is great, and I like all the ancillary characters, but Jules needs to get the hell over herself already.

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  • Brianna Rhodes
  • 13-11-2020

Fantastic!

Very interesting yet realistic with a lot of twists. Relatable characters. An Eventer's perfect book.

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  • brandice
  • 12-11-2020

I love horse stories but was put off a few times in this book.

I trained show horses professionally for 15 years so I wanted to help the heroine not be so naïve. A flip over backwards horse is never one to stand and watch. Then who shanks a horse over the nose or under the chin that rears up and flips over backwards? Then is this young trainer so naïve that she can’t even see the horses feet are too wide or not angled right and does not sit there and micromanage her farrier? Yes if the Farrier does a fantastic job you leave them alone if they leave them a little long or a little wide you hold the horse and tell them what you want. Get hoof xrays to prove your moving towards getting that horse in balance with his coffin bones. Oh well 10-14 yr old girls should love the book.

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  • Karl S
  • 21-08-2020

Excellent love story, without all the mush.

While it did take some time for me to get through this one, since it wasn't my usual mystery or historical fiction, I loved listening to the details of 3-day Eventing in Florida. My heart pounded as the horses, and the heroine, flew over jumps and worse. This was quiet and calm, then moments of thrills and spills, then emotional turmoil, followed my even greater excitements. This was a safe, non-explicit love story between a woman and her horses as well as between her and her love interest. It was very "real world"-esque, not fantasy. I truly appreciated that aspect of this story. On the down side, going into this read, I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure if I was embarking on a Romance or a Comedy, a Mystery or a thriller. I suppose though that it did have all of those in it, without leaning too heavily on any one genre. I just kept waiting for the story to reveal which genre it would choose though, but it never did & then the story ended. I don't know. Maybe I'm just not familiar with this style of writing. I am looking forward to the rest in the series, which I fully intend to enjoy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-04-2020

What a bitch.

I'm only about a quarter of the way through this so far, but I already know that I don't like it. I'm going to finish it because I paid for it, but I'm not going to get the rest of them. The man character is miserable. The author took the worst characteristics you could have as a horsewoman and out them all into one character. Honestly, who looks at their horse that they "love" and thinks that the horse isn't good enough? Dynamo deserve a better owner. And who in the world wouldn't call a vet immediately when a horse rips it's forelock off? Or the fact that she tries to push the vet bill for all of the horses off on Mickey's owner and then has the nerve to think about stealing supplements and using tack without permission. I have a horse but I'm in no way an experienced horsewoman. My horse is a Paint, so I was a bit offended by the random and unnecessary attack on Paint horses. I ride English, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with Western riding. From what I've seen in my short time of owning a horse, the people are nice and they want to chat and make friends. They're a bit psycho sometimes, but they generally have good intentions. I'm sure there are people like the main character in real life, but they're not the kind of people that we want around our barn. The main character isn't an "underdog". She's an entitled, hateful, arrogant bitch. Edit: Is Coca-Cola a sponsor? Why does she drink SO MUCH Diet Coke. Maybe she'd be happier if she drank some water instead of constantly drinking poison. Moderation is key.

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  • Ceilwart
  • 13-12-2020

For teenagers

Great book for teenagers. I struggled to read it after realising the author didn’t know much about training top level prospects. I also found the main character difficult to like. Shame as I was hoping to get the whole series, but just too frustrating.

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  • Fiona
  • 07-07-2020

Disappointing

Main character was really unlikeable, and story improbable. Kept referring to Horse's "ankles" - horses don't have ankles!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 27-04-2019

good book takes a little while to get into.

main character is annoying to start with but gets more likeable as the book goes on.

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  • Kelly J
  • 10-11-2018

amazing book

great story, you can tell that the writer has a passion for eventing, the main character is very well thought out, not the normal happy-go-lucky horsey girl , it shows the blood sweat and tears of the real side of eventing.

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