Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.
When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.
But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?
“Virginia’s trees look like they’re burning. Most of them blaze crimson or gold, but some still have a chokehold on their green. I wish they’d give it up already. Leaves are more beautiful when they’re dying.”
And so Moonlit begins. From here the story rolls from one twist to another with many vivid characters whose motives are hard to predict. I found myself being suspicious of everyone, wanting to tell Tanzy to be very careful. The deeper I fell into the plot, the more questions kept rising to the surface. But not to worry, all of my questions were answered. Appropriate for all ages, if you love paranormal fantasy mixed with suspense, mystery and other-worldly romance, you’ll love this novel!
~Author Julie Ford
The first anniversary of my father’s death was even harder on my mother. Back then, I thought she was haunted most by what she didn’t know. I refused to blame her when she raged above me on our staircase that night, drunk and sad and angry. When she made me promise I’d never ride again. When she hurled a half-full bottle of vodka at my face and it exploded on the wooden stairs at my feet. I hadn’t tried to get out of the way. She had just missed.
I wanted to tell her that knowledge was no solace, that what you know can burn inside you until there’s nothing left but guilt and ash. I also wanted to protect her from losing the only piece of him she had left. So I didn’t say a word.
Now for that review I promised:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Moonlit’s beautiful writing pulled me in from the first paragraph. It felt like Jadie Jones wrote the book for me even though it wasn’t what I expected. It was a lot more. The author painted scenes I could both see and feel, building my love for horses and fantasy along with the tension. Although she could have revealed certain things sooner, I enjoyed the mystery and the small pieces she dropped to put the puzzle together. And what a puzzle. More like a magnificent explosion shot backwards. I was blown away as each new detail fell into place and the whole picture became clear.
Although I can’t give a complete review without spoilers, I can say I was very pleased to find romance wasn’t the overriding theme. I loved it even more when I found out no werewolves or vampires were involved in the accident in the woods. Danger, twists and turns, the question of who to trust: all of these and more made me hate to put the book down. Nothing was what it seemed, and I love it when an author surprises me. Things that seemed unimportant, maybe even random, are revealed as key plot points. Great world building and very unique. For once, I didn’t find a bunch of errors—I marked fewer than twenty in the entire book—which made reading even more of a pleasure.
What didn’t work for me? Very little. Some of the beginning scenes could’ve been shortened while still developing Tanzi’s character and the equine theme that ran throughout. I would have either shortened the recovery period or dropped more hints. Some of the revelations came a bit late. My biggest disappointment was the abrupt ending. In my mind even a series book should feel complete. Rather than ending on a cliffhanger, I thought the final chapter should have explored Tanzi’s unexpected meeting and made me at least start to forgive the other character, if not like the person. Complete the arc; then make a few plans for the coming war. But all in all, Moonlit was an excellent book. 4.5 stars, and I’ll be happy to read the sequel.
About the Author:
Georgia native Jadie Jones first began working for a horse farm at twelve years old, her love of horses matched only by her love of books. She went on to acquire a B.A. in equine business management, and worked for competitive horse farms along the east coast. The need to write followed wherever she went.
She currently coaches a hunt seat equitation team that competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, and lives with her family in the foothills of north Georgia. When she’s not working on the next installment of the Moonlit series, she is either in the saddle or exploring the great outdoors with her daughter. Moonlit is her first book.
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Hope you enjoy it! Please come back Wednesday for my review of The Trouble with Toads by Danyelle Leafty.