Some grownup problems for horsey girls. Fifteen-year-old Karen has a crush on golden-tongued, silver-haired horse trader Harley--partly because he once assured her that her unwed mother-to-be, Della, sold her prized palomino to provide well for her babe. So, when Harley sticks her with a defective horse, Karen doesn't want to think badly of him; and she goes on nurturing her illusions--and suffering--when she comes upon him cozying up to women and gets a cold shoulder. But in the end everything comes together for her: the overpriced mare produces a perfect foal; Harley and his latest conquest are shot-at by the woman's ""common-law husband,"" ending the town's (and his wife's) indulgence; Karen and her mother smooth out things between them (while Karen never does learn, presumably, that her mother really sold that palomino to get an abortion--which didn't take). The book concludes with Karen telling Harley off good and proper . . . and Harley peddling his line to a wide-eyed waitress. Tacky, but easy to relate to and to get through.