Member Reviews

I'm a fan of Toni Shiloh. I read another book by her and decided to give this one a try. I love horse stories and this one was right up my alley. Toni Shiloh did an excellent job with this Christian Fiction Romance novel. Piper and Tuck are two people who love God and aren’t afraid of asking Him for His guidance with situations that may come up in their life. Shiloh didn’t do it in a way that seemed awkward or weird. She did it in a way that people would normally pray to God. I would highly recommend this book.

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Like all Shiloh books I like the set ups but can't always get into rooting for the lead charactersevery time.

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I’ve read several stories from Toni at this point and probably said this before, but I really enjoy her stories. I’m not much of a romance or chick lit reader, but with this author, I make an exception.

The story follows childhood friends, Piper and Tucker. If you read the first book in the Love in the Spotlight Series, The Love Script, you will already be familiar with them since they were introduced in that story.

But in this story, we see how their relationship progresses to romance, as well as how they navigate through some troubling situations.

A major positive of this story was seeing how Piper and Tucker drew on their faith to pursue a romantic relationship and deal with the horseracing scandal that interrupted their lives.

There were no negatives I found in this story, other than Piper not resolving her desire to find or connect with her birth family. As an adoptive woman from Ọlọrọ Ilé, a fictional African country, in Kentucky, she oftentimes felt like an outsider from her predominantly Caucasian family, friends, and community. I understand having Piper find her birth family would have made the story very long, so it’s realistic that, that part of her life wasn’t fully pursued.

All in all, I would recommend this story to those who enjoy Clean Romance reads that are Christian or faith based. Also, stories about best friends that grow into something more. And stories that have an added touch of banter and humor.

***This book was given to me by Bethany House and NetGalley for an honest review.***

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In A Run at Love, Toni Shiloh takes us into the horse training and racing world, featuring the friends-to-lovers trope, interracial adoption and interracial relationship. The romance was a slow burn but sweet and steady. There are so many lessons in this book - communication, forgiveness, learning to trust God instead of depending on one's plans all the time, etc. A good read overall. Thank you, Netgalley and Bethany House for giving me the ARC. All opinions expressed are mine.

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This one is such a sweet and tender story with friends to lovers and a strong faith theme.

If you’ve read and enjoyed other books by this author, then pick this one up as well!

Thank you netgalley for my copy!

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I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and all opinions expressed are mine.

I am a huge fan of horses after this book and I absolutely enjoyed this. A Run at Love is perfect for fans of childhood sweethearts and friend to lovers romance. The book follows Piper whose dream is for her horse to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby. She intends to win and with the help of her best friend who she has been in love with -Tucker. This was more than a romance as it tackled adoption ,fears,family,legacy as well as belief in self. A well written book!

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3.5 stars
I enjoyed this story about Piper McKinney and her best friend Tucker Hale, I especially enjoyed the fun relationships with the friends from book 1. I found it a little hard to connect for the first third of the book, after which I really enjoyed it! A Run at Love showcases a lifetime of friendship and really sweet romance all while preparing for the Kentucky Derby! I loved the honesty and how they prayed as they went through difficult times, scandals, and before making decisions. Themes of a trans-racial adoption, self-doubts, family, and forgiveness. I am really looking forward to their friend Chris's story in book three (where the orthopedic surgeon who operated on Tucker makes an appearance)! It was fun to read the sneak peek for book 3 at the end of A Run at Love! I recommend this fun Love in the Spotlight series!

Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read A Run at Love. All opinions are my own.

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I grew up near Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, like three blocks away from the back side of the racetrack. There was a small rental house across the street from me where jockeys lived on a short term basis. The racing season in Arkansas lasted from January to April, and people followed the races from city to city--some were connected to specific horses, some were just roadies that followed the races and bet on the horses. One thing racing season always did was create unmovable traffic.

Piper owns a horse, Dream, that she wants to run in the Kentucky Derby, but first he has to qualify. Piper gets caught in a media storm that isn't all good and does more harm than good to her farm, Toni Shiloh has taken the racing culture and incorporated it into A Run at Love, the second novel in the Love in the Spotlight Series. There is some awesome horse racing information as well as a sweet love story that started when Piper and Tucker Hale were just elementary school children. Tucker is now Piper's trainer for Dream and travels with her from race to race. She has included some significant information about horses and the risks as well as the rewards from racing.

As with any good book, there has to be some tension to keep the reader engaged, and Toni uses the darker side of racing to provide that tension: doping the horses, equine flu, and other maladies that make the horses not perform as well as they should.

While there was some predictability and a bit of formulaic romance, the book is a solid read. Four Stars.

Bethany House provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh is second in her A Love in The Spotlight series. Living in Kentucky Piper McKinney has been around Thoroughbred horse racing her entire life. She now wants to buy her own race horse and win the Kentucky Derby. Tucker Hale and Piper have been best friends since they were little. He trains race horses and agrees to train Piper’s horse. Luckily, he lives next door. They must get through a scandal, the “friend” zone, and family to find love.

I am enjoying this series. Piper and Tucker are a sweet couple, and I was cheering for them to get together pretty much since page one. The author writes fun, thoughtful and interesting characters. I was fascinated by the world of horse racing and enjoyed my time visiting Kentucky horse farms. The story shared faith in a real-world way, and I loved the redemption arc.

Adoption is complex and the author captured it wonderfully. As an adoptive mom of three children trans-racially I felt the author did an excellent job writing about the world of trans-racial adoption. It was shared beautifully, compassionately, and realistically. I loved the romance, faith, and setting. The author takes you through hard things in an engaging way deeply connecting you to the characters. I highly recommend.

I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a positive review.

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I have read and enjoyed a lot of mysteries about horse racing and training so it was fun for me to read a romance in the same setting. I loved Tuck. He will always be Ryan Gosling in my mind. He was friendly, funny, and totally devoted to his best friend, Piper. Piper is a strong, independent woman who longs to strike out on her own. (I pictured her as Chelsea Harris.) She loves her adoptive parents but still has a hard time processing her transracial adoption and experiences at times.

I love the interactions with Tuck and Piper and their friend group. I look forward to learning more about Chris in the next book. It was hard to put this book down. I’d highly recommend it. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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A Run at Love is a contemporary Christian romance novel written by Toni Shiloh. It is book two in the Love in the Spotlight series, but it is not necessary to have read the first book in order to enjoy this one.

Summary: Piper McKinney is ready to step out of her parents’ spotlight (and famous horse-breeding business) and strike out on her own.

She has a dream of owning her own racehorse and winning the most important race in all of horseracing-the Kentucky Derby.

Now she just has to find the right horse, convince her best friend Tucker Hale to train the horse, and somehow not let him know she has been in love with him since she was a kid.

No problem, right?

My Thoughts: This book was great. I really enjoyed the unique storyline, the sweet romance, and how the main characters choose to weather the storms they face.

I do wish I had read the first one first, but it really isn’t necessary, and now that one is up next for me to enjoy!

I would definitely recommend this book. It's a quick read, is well-written, and a very enjoyable story.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Thank you!

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Thank you so much to Bethany Books for the gifted book!

Wow- this was so much more than I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised!

Since I'm not super interested in horses/horse racing, I wasn't sure if I would be the target audience for this, but it really worked for me! I also learned a lot about horse racing along the way! I though the romance was so sweet and realistic. I loved the couple's friendship dynamic and loved watching them realize more and more how strongly they felt for each other romantically as well.

What to expect from this book:

-Closed Door Romance (kissing only)
-Betrayal/Forgiveness themes
-Strong Christian messages
-Interracial couple rep
-Best friends to lovers
-Horse racing
-Adoption rep

This is out now!

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This is only my second book by Toni Shiloh but I am definitely a huge fan. This book is full of great characters and is so immersive. I especially loved the backdrop of horse racing, quite timely given the recent Kentucky Derby.

If you want a great feel good story, this one is for you.

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Why did I fall in love with A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh? Let’s count the reasons… (this may be long so grab a snack)

Yesterday was the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby, an event with which I am quite familiar after living in the Bluegrass State for just shy of 30 years. The hats, the celebrities, the mint julep, the Derby pie, the all-day local news hype for a race that lasts all of two minutes. I am not a horse person… but there’s something very charismatic about Kentucky on Derby Day, including the stories of the trainers and jockeys and horses who worked so hard to earn a spot in the race. Which is just one of the reasons I fell head over heels for A Run at Love – it was great fun to be ‘back in the Bluegrass’ if only through the magic of fiction, and Shiloh captured its cadence – as well as the road of races to the Derby – so beautifully. And Dream… I can’t forget the beautiful horse at the center of Piper’s Derby aspirations. Shiloh makes it easy to see what Piper sees in him and I was cheering him on in each race.

I also love how Shiloh incorporates faith so naturally into her books, and A Run at Love is no exception. Piper and Tuck both love Jesus and they seek His guidance in their lives through prayer. It’s not done in a preachy manner or in a way that feels forced, but instead as a natural overflow of their personal relationship with God. It’s their first instinct, not their last, to reach out to their friends to request prayer for tough conversations, unexpected news, and the monumental moments, too.

Another reason is the little things that may not be critical to the overall story but warmed my heart nonetheless. Like the two adorable pygmy goats named “Ice Ice” and “Baby”. If they’re in a scene, they’re stealing it and undoubtedly making me chuckle. I mean, even their name pairing puts a smile on my face. Additionally, fans of Toni Shiloh’s books will find little references to her other story worlds tucked away among these pages, and it made me so happy to know these worlds and characters live on!

The main reason I fell for this book, though, is the ‘best friends to more’ story going on between Tucker and Piper, two people who have been each other’s person since childhood. This is my hands-down favorite trope in romance, because it’s my IRL love story too, and Shiloh pulls it off so well. All of us – and their friends and family – can see their obvious love for each other, so we’re all waiting for one of them to be the first to initiate the next step. And when it finally happens – whew! Keep a fan handy because they’ve got a lot of years of built-up feelings fueling those kisses!!

Bottom Line: A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh is everything I want in a ‘friends to more’ romance, and then some. Tucker and Piper are so cute together (sorry, you two, but it’s true) and I loved how they supported each other. Their story is swoony and sweet and a little sassy. But it also tackles some serious topics like Piper trying to find her place as not only a transracial adoptee in a very white world but also a trailblazer in horse racing and a disillusioned daughter. I was delighted to see the return of the text conversations between Tuck and his friends/accountability partners Lamont and Chris – I love the way they encourage each other in their respective relationships & walks with God, plus their banter is hilarious and on point. Find a fancy hat (or a going-out Stetson), a slice of Derby pie, and a cup of mint julep and curl up with A Run at Love post haste!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)

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What a delightful story! I loved the friends to lovers trope, especially because the two main characters were perfect for each other. The information about horse racing and the controversial ways the horses could be treated were fascinating and heartbreaking. I appreciated the focus on biblical principles and the emphasis on forgiveness, as well as standing up for what is right, even when a family member does something wrong. I also appreciated reading about the struggles a Black person might have in the horse racing industry and in a predominantly white community. I thought these issues were handled very well and in a tactful manner. The banter and cute moments that Piper and Tuck had were so much fun, and I hope they make another appearance soon. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! I highly recommend this book.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book for the author and publisher. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Toni Shiloh tackles several weighty subjects in her newest book but it's never a downer! A Run at Love has two characters who are clearly meant to be together but they each believe that the other only thinks of them as a friend. I admit that I'm partial because my Daddy's nickname was Tuck, but Tucker Hale is one of Shiloh's best male characters yet! He's loyal, hard-working, and he never leaves God out of his decision-making. Tuck is devoted to Piper McKinney but he considers himself as being in a different social class. How could he expect her to consider him more than a friend? And then there's Piper. She was adopted by a wealthy white couple so she recognizes her advantages but she's now trying to break into the male-oriented racing world! She knows that Tuck is there to help her in business, but could he ever give his heart to a black woman?

I've only recently discovered her writing, but no one creates better contemporary fiction than Toni Shiloh! The setting is my home state of Kentucky and the plot centers around preparing horses for the most famous horse race in the world, the Kentucky Derby. There's excitement, drama, and references to unforeseen circumstances that have plagued recent Kentucky Derbies. There are also shout-outs to fashion, the famous Derby parties, the mint juleps, and the celebrities that flock to our state on the first Saturday in May. Add some swoon-worthy but sweet romance between "friends" and throw in a faith element that's inspiring but never preachy, and the result is a book that I couldn't put down. I loved this book so much and I can't wait to read the next story in her Love in the Spotlight series!!

I received a copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review, and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts!

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A Run at Love is the second in the In the Spotlight series. The book also works well as a standalone story too.

The basic story sees Piper, adopted from an orphanage of the island of Oloro Ile, working with Tuck to train her racehorse Dream, for a shot at the Kentucky Derby. But in this friends to more trope, neither knows the other is in love with them and are too afraid to risk their lifelong bestfriendship by mentioning their feelings.

I’m a longtime fan of Shiloh’s books, and wasn’t disappointed. The characters leapt from the page, the details were meticulously researched and the romance was swoony. The Derby is a clever backbone for a plot and allows the reader to experience life as a minority in a high stakes sporting environment. The racing, family problems, an a few other curveballs sit very well with the romance thread. The faith element didn’t preach but was insightful and deft. I can say with confidence – this is another winner from Toni Shiloh. Can’t wait for the third installment.

I received a copy of A Run at Love from the publisher, via NetGalley. The enjoyment is all my own.

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I feel like this book was put in the wrong category, it should be in Christian fiction! The author spent way too much time bringing up praying! Every time a character was going to do something, everyone was praying on it for them! Someone was praying in almost every paragraph! I enjoy the friends to lovers trope but all the praying detracted from the storyline!!

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I enjoyed this book. I liked seeing characters from the first book and the great friend group that they are. I liked the friends to more storyline. I liked how Piper and Tucker where there for each other through all the hard things they went through. I also liked learning more about horse racing. I thought the author did a great job of showing us what someone would feel who is of a different ethnicity then those around them and how it might effect how they see themselves. I liked that Tucker helped her to see that her being of a different skin color then him didn’t matter. I loved that he loved her for who she was. I loved the romance in this story and thought the story was well written.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

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This is second in the Love In The Spotlight series and follows Piper McKinney, a Black woman in a field with little diversity that is determined to make her mark in the horse-racing world. With the help of her best friend and trainer, Tucker Hale, she gains national attention which comes with its own negative side.

A journalist looking to interview her brought up her past as a transracial adoptee and with that he had Piper questioning her identity. I loved how she drew strength from knowing that her identity was in God and not in whichever box man put her in.

Tucker supported her throughout and I loved that even though he had a plan for how and when he'd reveal his feelings for her, God reminded him in a humourous way that we should surrender all our plans to him.

When things took a turn for the worse concerning people close to Piper, I loved how she came out of it stronger. She also exercised forgiveness and grace though difficult. Seeing things work together for good at the end was beautiful.

Thank you to Netgalley and Publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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