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Natalie Keller Reinert Books

The Hollywood Horse (Ocala Horse Girls: Book Four) Paperback

The Hollywood Horse (Ocala Horse Girls: Book Four) Paperback

Regular price $19.99 USD
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This friends-to-lovers romance is a poignant and big-hearted journey for a horsewoman searching for meaning, filled with summer evening rides, break-of-dawn farm chores, and the thrill of training and showing horses. Alison's a driven and meticulous horsewoman, but when she meets a former teen star with an easy smile and devil-may-care attitude, she finds herself taking a closer look at the way she lives her and out of the saddle.

The Hollywood Horse is Book Four in the Ocala Horse Girls series. Read on their own or together, these romantic comedy novels focus on friendship, love, and the thrill of horsemanship in Florida's beautiful horse country. These books are set In the same lush and detailed world as Natalie Keller Reinert's previous bestselling series, including...

  • The Eventing Series
  • The Alex & Alexander Series
  • The Show Barn Blues Series
  • The Briar Hill Farm Series

These novels include overlapping characters, events, and locales which create a community of equestrians you'll love recognizing and catching up with in each book!

This paperback ships directly from the printer. Please add your name to the "Notes" box at check-out to have a signed book-plate to add to your book! It will be mailed separately.

Other Editions: Find the ebook here.


An unlikely friendship...could it become something more?

Striking out on her own for the first time, Alison is a barn manager extraordinaire with a reputation for flawless horsemanship. Unfortunately, she might have underestimated the challenges of running a farm on her own. Teaching beginners to ride is the only thing keeping her little stable afloat...but Alison is holding tightly to her dreams.

When she agrees to take on a Hollywood has-been in need of cowboy lessons, she only has two goals in mind: earn enough money to keep her fledgling training stable in business, and make the payments on a horse she can’t live without. But Cary Davies, former child-star, brings a sunny, devil-may-care attitude to her strait-laced stable that has Alison equal parts charmed and confused. And as she finds herself growing closer to both Cary and the heart horse she’s bet everything on, Alison finds herself facing the past that has made her who she is today, in hopes of finding a fulfilling tomorrow.

Ocala Horse Girls is a bestselling, award-winning romance/women's fiction series featuring women chasing their dreams and finding love in the Horse Capital of the World, Ocala, Florida. Written with adults in mind, these books are thoughtfully created to be appropriate for young adult readers as well, making them ideal for horse lovers of all ages. The content is sweet, clean, and extremely horsey!

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Look Inside: Chapter One

In the opening pages of The Hollywood Horse, we meet Alison, who had a supporting role as Malcolm's barn manager in The Regift Horse. Now, she's struggling to make it on her own as a trainer, but a riding student's mother has just made her an offer she can't you'll find in this excerpt from Chapter One!


In the arena, Nando ambles along, his long ears flicking as he takes in the scenery. I seriously love that horse. He’s a Thoroughbred and Dutch cross with a heart of gold, retired off the jumper circuit when he decided he was ready for the minor leagues. When I get on him, he still burns jet fuel, but with kids, he’s a big old sofa. Exactly what I need for up-down lessons—you know, the kind of riding lesson where you just call, “up, down, up, down,” for half an hour while they slowly, slowly learn rising trot?

Still on the phone, Mrs. C suddenly waves her free hand, startling me. I jump and Nando glances my way with his ears pricked. Something scary?

Mrs. C raises her voice. “No, no, no, I am telling you, Cary Davies, or no one. Yes, his screen test was perfect! Why are you asking me that? Why—oh.”

The change in her voice is abrupt enough to pull my attention from Sarah and Nando. Mrs. C pushes her luxurious dark curls behind her ears and nods, listening to whoever’s on the other end with a serious expression on her face.

“Fine,” she says at last. “That’s fixable. It’s fixable, Janine! Send him out here. Yes, to Ocala. There’s no reason to say it like that. This is exactly where he needs to be. We’ll fix the problem here and have him ready for preliminary shooting in late October.”

Oh, this sounds really interesting. Sarah and Nando walk past and I give her a thumbs-up, not wanting to speak and miss the end of Mrs. C’s conversation.

“Perfect. Yes, I’ll have the guest-house made up for him. No, he doesn’t need to bring boots. We’ll get him fitted here. Trust me, Janine. We have everything we need out here. Perfect.”

Mrs. C slips the phone back into her purse and sighs. She fluffs her hair with manicured fingers and gives me an apologetic smile. “Sorry about that. Work crisis.”

“I thought you were retired from acting,” I say.

“Producing now,” she says with satisfaction. “We’re working on a feature for Arrowhead Pictures. A Western.”

“A Western? Like cowboys and gunfights? I didn’t know they still made those.”

“No, heavens,” she laughs. “Maybe Western is too grand a title. Let’s say it’s a ‘cowboy-themed romance picture’. You know, Wyoming mountains and a big city girl and a big rodeo prize to save the ranch. That kind of thing. Only, hopefully we transcend a few cliches.” She sounds a little doubtful they can pull it off, but her smile is still bright. She likes the idea, I can tell.

“Ah,” I say.

“You don’t sound impressed.”

“I’m not into ‘western’ anything,” I explain. “I know it makes me sound like a snob, but it’s just how I was raised. I like English riding, English countryside, English romances. Now, if you ever do a Jane Austen, you call me, because I will be an extra for free.”

Mrs. C laughs. “Don’t ever work for free, darling!
Speaking of which, I might have a new job for you.” She looks at Nando, who is idly walking across the diagonal of the arena—something I suspect was not Sarah’s idea at all. He knows how to cut corners, my clever school-horse. “That horse there…will he go in western tack?”

“If I had any, yeah.” His former owner, an old friend from my Virginia days, would ride him western for fun. “He’s actually been in parades and stuff in western gear, with the American flag dangling and everything.”

“What if I said I could finance the tack…would you consider taking on an adult beginner? It’s no good trying to teach him in English tack. We don’t have that kind of time. I just need him to be capable and balanced in a western saddle for a few scenes.” She laughs. “We can edit out any disasters. And he doesn’t need to learn rising trot.”

I want to tell her that not every kid takes three months to learn to rise the trot and I don’t know what’s wrong with Sarah, but tamp down the urge. Diplomacy is one of my skills. I needed it working for Malcolm, since that notorious grump was forever on the urge of offending someone with his unfiltered personality. I think I taught him a few things about how to deal with clients, and his girlfriend Evie picks up the slack for me now.

I’m grateful to that girl; I never could have left Malcolm without knowing he was in good hands. But then again, maybe I should have stayed.

I wonder about the life I gave up to try for independence at least a dozen times a day. It didn’t use to come up so often. But nowadays, specifically anytime I’m providing my credit card number to pay for something Malcolm’s tack room already has in drawers, or while avoiding my creepy landlord, I can’t help but think of my simpler life running Fine Day Farm.

I know, I know. I wanted my own place so badly, and now I have it, and of course it’s not what I expected…and I can’t very well turn down Mrs. C if she’s providing me with a new student.

Even if it’s yet another beginner.

Maybe an adult will be easier?

Not likely, but a girl can dream.

She pulls her phone out again, misreading my hesitation. “This is him,” she says, scrolling through her photos. “Could this face tempt you?”

I take the phone and screen it against the sunlight. A real Hollywood leading man grins back at me—he has the lazy smile, secretive dark eyes, and broad shoulders that make the killer movie combination. Dark brown hair floats back from a high forehead and curls gently just above his shoulders. He’s handsome. Too handsome, actually.

Tempting, alright. Imagine having this guy around the barn! I should take his picture, put it on a sign, and stick it out front. I’d have all the boarders I could want in no time at all.

“Well?” Mrs. C takes her phone back. She doesn’t exactly have to pry it out of my fingers, but I’m not proud of how long it takes me to give the thing up, either. Her smile is knowing as she says, “A hunk of a man like Cary could be good for business. I’ll give you full credit for teaching him to ride. Maybe you could move into the Hollywood business, too!”

Clever of her. If she gives me all the credit, I have to do an amazing job. A lot better than I’ve done with her daughter.

It’s like she hears me thinking, because next she says, “I know Sarah’s no rider. I just want her to stick something out. Cary will try for you because he wants this role. Are you up for a challenge?”

Her words are casual, but calculated. Mrs. C is shrewd, alright. She can see I’m struggling here. Physically, it’s obvious: the barn needs painted, the arena has grass poking through the footing, and I’ve been replacing broken wooden fence-boards with cheap electric braid while my landlord delays fixing it properly.

But, teaching some actor to ride western? Is this the way forward?

My aunt would be shaking her head right now. The art of English equitation is a privilege to learn, she told me, more times than I could count. Don’t muddy the waters with fads and trends. Stay focused on your discipline.
Western riding is hardly a fad or a trend, but her meaning still applies. Do one thing with everything you’ve got. I’ve lived by that rule for my entire life. Certainly, as a teenager I had no choice, but it’s served me well as an adult, too.

At least, I think it has.

“I don’t teach western riding,” I explain to Mrs. C, feeling like Aunt Kate is standing behind me, nodding her head with that precise way of hers. “This is an eventing barn. We focus on dressage and proper equitation over fences as we prepare riders for three-phase competition.”

I think I’ve stated things pretty well, so I’m shocked when Mrs. C just rolls her eyes at me. She says, “Don’t be stubborn, Alison. This is a good thing for you. He’ll be here on Monday. Pick out the tack you want and send me the invoices. And triple your lesson price on every bill you send me, too. Arrowhead’s paying for this.”

I try to protest, but stutter into silence. She’s not even looking at me. Her will is law, apparently.

I’m not used to someone else taking control so easily.

Maybe I’m not the tough girl I was a few months ago. Maybe the struggle of keeping this farm together has finally broken me down.

Or maybe Mrs. C is simply too powerful.

She takes my silence for acquiescence. “Good girl. Now get my daughter off that horse. Her therapy session is in half an hour and the office is all the way across town.”

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