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Excerpt of Silks And Sins by Clare O'Beara

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Self Published
August 2013
On Sale: August 10, 2013
Featuring: Valentine Murney; Geri O'Keane; Jackie O'Keane
ISBN: 0992638666
EAN: 9780992638665
Kindle: B00EGXYKR6
e-Book
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Romance Contemporary

Also by Clare O'Beara:

A Dog For Lockdown, September 2020
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A Dozen Dogs Or So: New Edition, July 2020
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Dogs Of Every Day: New Edition, July 2020
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A Pony For Quarantine, June 2020
e-Book
Dining Out On Planet Mercury, August 2017
e-Book
Murder Against The Clock, September 2016
e-Book
Dining Out with the Gas Giants, September 2015
e-Book
Rodeo Finn, November 2014
e-Book
Show Jumping Team, September 2014
e-Book
The Prisoner In The Tower, September 2014
e-Book
Dining Out With The Ice Giants, September 2014
e-Book
The Prisoner In The Tower: Short Story & Big Cat Bones, September 2014
e-Book
Murder at Irish Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Murder At Scottish Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Murder At Kildare Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Dining Out Around The Solar System, September 2013
e-Book
Murder At Wicklow Mensa, September 2013
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Murder at Dublin Mensa, September 2013
e-Book
Silks And Sins, August 2013
e-Book

Excerpt of Silks And Sins by Clare O'Beara

Jackie was given the signal honour of riding out with the second string on Sundays, wearing skull cap and back protector, so she was glad she'd got her riding muscles and reflexes schooled back into shape. The first morning she was given a leg–up on a thin, tall, muscled colt, with a skimpy mane and fine coat, she thought she would be killed. The young horse had no manners, wouldn't stand still and hung on the bit, skittered and threatened kicks at any excuse. But once out of the yard he settled and she realised that he'd just been impatient to get moving. The string walked steadily along small roads, hooves clopping and heads nodding, and Jackie relaxed enough to move easily to the colt's stride. She was sitting with knees sharply bent in the short stirrups and it felt as though she had neither grip nor balance. After the roadwork had loosened them up the horses trotted and cantered along the headlands of a big field, then Jackie was instructed to breeze the colt up the track along with another horse. The track led away from home and uphill, so the exercise riders were less likely to be carted away while the horses had to develop more muscle.

The horses galloped neck and neck and Jackie, feeling the powerful muscles bunching and working, the whip of wind in her face and surge of speed, was amazed by the primal instinct, in her as much as the horse, to win. She pulled up when the other rider did and they jogged back to the trainer who'd watched with binoculars from his own quieter horse. The horses were calmer now, allowed to stretch their necks on long reins while they blew before going home to the yard. Jackie patted the colt, feeling his sweat, amazed that she'd survived and stayed on. She realised that she was looking forward to doing this every week.

Val's job entailed working the horses which had a race imminent, and teaching them how to enter and leave starting stalls. He also did a great deal of stable work and planned the entries with the trainer. Jackie found the stable lads civil, though a few female grooms were unfriendly, stopping just short of surly, and she half–feared that they would cause some accident to occur – an easy matter with half a ton of barely schooled young Thoroughbred under her tiny saddle.

The most stylish lady prizes continued to elude Jackie, though she now went to race meetings every weekend. A week–long meeting might hold Ladies' Day on Thursday to draw a bigger crowd. She soon discovered that the same women turned up in every location, some of them friendly and treating it as a laugh, some highly competitive, and some bitchy. Several treated getting their photos in the paper as a consolation prize. A few women did tend to win repeatedly, provoking their competitors, and these women were often at pains to say that their outfits had not been expensive. Of course, they did have quite a lot of clothing store vouchers at their disposal. Perhaps the most scandalous of all the gossip Jackie heard was when a woman in a loose maternity smock was watching from the crowd and the girl next to Jackie elbowed her pal.

"Shona there won it in Hurlsdown a few years back. I heard she slept with the judge beforehand. Look at her now, married and expecting. Wouldn't think it would you?"

"That awful old codger, Simons? Wouldn't fancy it myself. He probably can't get it up anymore anyway."

"Just likes to ogle us. They can't get rid of him apparently because his ancient house is on the access road but is it any wonder so few enter there?"

Abbey made good on her word to update or alter some of Jackie's clothes, simultaneously delivering some style advice.

"Flatter your best feature, which in your case is your legs, just as mine was. Concentrate on your overall shape and look for a simple statement. Your hemline should match your shoes. Match the accessories – if you have a gold band in your hat, have a gold band around your handbag or umbrella. The in thing now is an umbrella that matches your dress, if you carry one. Not too many items and keep jewellery and makeup to a minimum outdoors."

"How come you never told me all this when I was growing up?" complained Jackie.

"I did," returned Abbey. "But you wanted to wear a black miniskirt with shocking pink tights that made your thighs look like sausages."

"Oh, yes, I remember."

"Now if we could only get Geri to dress smartly more often. I worry that she'll go to seed early. She looked well at your launch party but since then I only ever see her in check shirts and jeans."

"Doesn't seem to bother Dan Farrell," Jackie said unwisely. She knew Geri and Dan shared the odd cup of coffee and chat in the café. Geri said it was good to have a friend.

"Mr Farrell is a married man." Abbey's tone would have shattered glass.

"Divorcing," muttered Jackie, but it made no difference to her mother. The fact that her younger daughter was living in sin was never referred to and Jackie was thankful for small mercies.

Excerpt from Silks And Sins by Clare O'Beara
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