In Ami’s debut novel, a beautiful equestrienne finds herself caught between her husband, who wants ownership over her body, and his sister, who’s desperate for a child.
Adelia Lindstrom, a successful horsewoman just beginning to make her mark in the world of equestrianism, finds herself emotionally unmoored when her environmentalist parents are killed in a car crash. Enter the handsome Miles Bremen, a wealthy sustainable-energy investor, whose power and impulsiveness awakens her unexplored erotic desires. She quickly marries him, but she’s unnerved by the constant presence of his infertile twin sister, Karolin, who uncannily resembles her. Karolin begins to act very oddly after the couple gives birth to twins, constantly badgering her brother about a mysterious plan—and a secret promise he made to her. Meanwhile, the investigation into the deaths of Adelia’s parents uncovers an upsetting connection between her father and Miles, suggesting that her husband may have had a hand in the “accident.” Ami excels at planting seeds of discomfort, from the troubling physical affection Karolin shows her brother to Miles’ possessiveness toward Adelia, which wavers between romantic and obsessive. The foreshadowing is especially telling; at one point, when Miles quickly shifts the subject away from Adelia’s parents, the author organically reveals the darker connections between Adelia’s husband and father. The erotic scenes manage to be steamy without being shy, silly or clinical (“The heat from her body passed through him like an electrical current”), and it’s surprising there aren’t more of them. The novel struggles, however, when its subject matter gets more serious in later chapters, and it seems unsure how to embrace its darker themes.
A fast-paced, if somewhat muddled, novel that offers a fine mixture of sex and suspense.