Jason and Rylie, the hero and heroine in Remember Not, my first novel, are at odds, not only because this is an East meets West romance, or because Jason is from Texas and Rylie is from Missouri, or because of the way they ride horses. The physical differences between western and English riding are significant, but so is the attitude. The cowboy attitude is more laid back, which puts Rylie and Jason at odds with their outlooks on life.

Together, they are a mess at the beginning.

The Focus is Horses

Rylie lives for horses. They have been the center of her world since childhood. Her passion in life begins with the letter H and has hooves. It whinnies. She’s a perfectionist and has spent years working to hone her art. In a world where people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for one horse, she's learned to make the most of the horses available to her. 

Eskador is a case in point. Rylie would never have afforded a horse of his caliber, had he not been mistreated and abandoned. After putting years of patience and hard work into him, she finally has a horse that can take her to the top of her game. She and Eskador share many of the same traits. They are both wounded, high energy, sensitive, and focused. Because of their experiences, neither has any use for men with horses. Rylie has talent. And they both have talent.

Horses are only a part of life to Jason, not a passion. He’s continued to improve the quarter horse breeding program started by his. It’s part of his legacy. He tests his horses on the racetrack. His Diamond H Quarter Horses have a show career and do ranch work before he decides which ones to keep for his breeding program. He culls what he has, and he’s finally bred the best of the best. Now he needs a talent to show the horse.

The Cantankerous Trainer

Santo is Jason’s trusted horse trainer, but the gnarly old Mexican refuses to suit up in the fancy English gear, which means they must find a different rider for Pretty Chica. Rylie is a trainer, and she trusts no one. She’s her worst critic and when she screws up, she’s harder on herself than anyone else would be. Even though wearing the English outfit is part of her business, she has no interest in riding a quarter horse.


Jason’s lifestyle is ranching. His career is oil and cattle. The horses are a legacy. And he has the money to do things right. Rylie’s lifestyle is horses, particularly jumpers, and horse training is her career. Originally, she planned to go to law school like her dad, but her education was waylaid, and horses were her next best choice for a future. She counts every penny and does most of the work herself.

Money allows Jason to delegate the menial jobs that take him away from business. He has a system of organization that cuts down labor and ensures the horses have what they need. Rylie is a single mom who is up to her eyeballs teaching riding and training horses. She ekes out time to ride and show her own horse in between the needs of her nine-year-old pony loving daughter Lexi, and those of her clients. If you’ve ever been a mom, you’ll ‘get’ how impossible it is to be organized. Add no partner to that plus a business that caters to people and animals, and you regularly face ‘the tyranny of the urgent.’ Rylie looks organized on the surface. Underneath? Well, let’s just say you don’t want to look in her tack trunk or in her dresser drawers.

The 'Aha' Revelation

The ’aha‘ moment in Jason’s life came during deployment to Afghanistan. He returned home confident in who he is and his goals in life. Although his business life is fast-paced, he isn’t worried about the future. Rylie is only confident in her role as a horse trainer. College destroyed her self-worth, and her revelation was not edifying. She still blames herself for making the wrong choices, or for allowing them to be made for her. She believes the mistakes in her life are unrepairable. Now she manages her perceived options for herself and Lexi.

Jason is bold and brave, which is proven by his participation in an emergency rescue team. He doesn’t hide his feelings for fear of being wounded. He hasn’t had a lost a love, and he never worried he wouldn’t have a family, or a future. Past mistakes cause Jason regret, but he considers them forgiven, mostly. Life is automatic for him. Things will come in due time. 

Rylie shares the bold and brave traits with Jason, but only on the back of a horse. Life circumstances nearly destroyed her. Her wound is not a lightweight heart-break scenario. The moral tenants of her life were trampled and ground into the earth. Now she stores an emotional armament for protection. She never wants to revisit her past or expose herself to emotional risk again.

The Result

While Jason is helping Rylie break free of her emotional chains, he experiences something new. The fear of losing the person he loves.

Call it role reversal or balancing. Or maybe HEA.

Thank you

You can enjoy Rylie's journey in Remember Not on Amazon or Kindle Unlimited. Have you already read the story? Yay! Thank you. You've helped Remember Not to become an Amazon Best Seller. And thank you so much if you left a review. It's the best encouragement you can give me. If you haven't had time to leave a review yet, please consider letting me and other readers know how much you enjoyed this story.




Lifetime horsewoman, Barbara weaves her extensive background with horses and their people into exciting stories about happily ever after for men, women, and horses. Barbara also enjoys helping others with horses and writing.

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