Wild Heart

 Wild Heart Kdp-FINAL-72dpiShe’s afraid to love again, and he’s afraid to love at all … until their shared love for horses shows them how to love each other.

In one day at a horse show in 1975, Linny Eagan loses her job, her beloved, and her dream of becoming an equestrian champion. The triple loss forces her to invent a new dream—this time skipping the romance part and trusting only in horses, which can never betray her.

Her first try lands her at a public trail-riding stable on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. There she meets Con Winston, who dreams of being a Western artist on his own Montana ranch. But he must play family head-games for two more years, when he will inherit a fortune that will make his dream come true. Until then he won’t waver from his path, or give himself to anyone.

Yet in working together with horses, he and Linny discover a perfect match of heart and mind. But Linny doesn’t share Con’s dream and won’t ask him to sacrifice it; and Con feels the same way about her dream. When things fall apart at the stable, they regretfully continue in opposite directions, connected only by Con’s half-wild horse.

Living apart finally proves to them that dreams need love to sustain them, and the only chance to have both is to reinvent a new dream together.

NNLight-AwardWinner    Chatelaine-semi   Bronze-LowRes

Available through Amazon at Carolyn Haley’s books.

The first edition of Wild Heart was published by Wild Rose Press as Into the Sunrise, and is no longer available in this form. The books are identical save for light edits and typo corrections. Into the Sunrise won 2nd place in the 2015 International Digital Awards in Contemporary Romance. A few print copies of this edition are available direct from the author. Contact at dcmahaley [at sign] gmail.com.



“We believe this book is a good read for those with a love of horses and the equestrian life. And because this book is a good reminder of the power of love and the benefits of having both dreams and someone to share them with.

“Wild Heart is a well-written book with an excellent story about life, growth, and healing.”

National Association of Independent Writers and Editors
(full review here: NAIWE reviews)

* * * * * * * * * *

“It’s hard to find a romance that stands out but the main characters in this one are quite different and do make the book stand out. The story, location, even wardrobe was unique. The half-wild horse was truly beautiful and played a major role in the outcome—as a horse person myself, I loved that! … The 1970s setting was unique and I really enjoyed that aspect.”

—Feathered Quill Book Awards Judges’ Comments

* * * * * * * * * * *

“I was expecting a romance with horses. That characterization of this incredible book doesn’t do this work justice. This is a book about life. Yes, there is romance and it is the world of horses but it is so much more.

“I couldn’t help but think I was reading a modern James Michener. Wild Heart is a sweeping tale that draws the reader in quickly and never lets go. It is so captivating and intense, I had a dream about it the night before I finished it. This book has been a hard to put down on almost since I started it. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. …

A fantastic story that was a pure pleasure to read. I recommend it to all readers of romance and horse books but more so, I recommend it to anyone who wants a great story.”

—N. N. Light’s Book Heaven (original review at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven)

* * * * * * * * * * *

“All it takes is one fateful day for Linny to lose her dreams of becoming a horse-riding champion and the love of her life. One dream she can tweak and begin again (the dream of horse-riding success); but the other—a healthy romance with one who won’t betray her—seems ever-elusive. And so Linny sets aside her longing for love in favor of horses, which seem like a much more achievable goal, in comparison.

“There’s only one problem with her newfound goal and rejection of romantic entanglements: love has a way of entering even the horse pen to ride away with one’s heart; and when she meets a stable boy with dreams, the entanglements begin again.

“Only this time it’s two love-shy individuals with their own powerful, different goals in life—both horse-oriented—which come together with a clash. In some ways they are perfect matches; in other ways, their paths in life seem quite different.

“One of the pleasures of Into the Sunrise lies in its exploration of how two very independent individuals change courses to stay true to their dreams while slowly evolving a love for one another. Another strength is the book’s attention to presenting romance as just one of the lures in each individual’s life. With such perspectives, depth is achieved—and under such a hand, attraction is tempered with realistic success, tragedies, strife, and mental compromises for both characters.

“While Into the Sunrise is most definitely a romance, it’s also a story steeped in horses, psychological twists and turns, and revelations that indicate how relationships past and present influence future choices: ‘Though I was dying to know what dear-old-daddy had done that could provoke my prince to violence, I didn’t want to sidetrack Con or have him clam up. Better to show I could respect his privacy, since he was clearly confiding, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know all the gritty truth.’

“Readers of horse stories, romances, and novels will find Into the Sunrise satisfyingly complex.”

—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review (original review at Donovan’s Literary Services)

* * * * * * * * * * *

“Carolyn Haley brings the reader a realistic story of Linny Eagan’s recovery from both physical and emotional trauma. After Linny finds her fiancé with another woman, she loses her concentration while competing in an equestrian event and is thrown from her horse. Her family decides she should spend the summer recovering. She and her sister, Jona, are invited to stay in a house on Cape Cod with Jona’s fiancé and the host and owner of the house, Con Winston.

“Con is on his own emotional roller coaster. He stands to inherit a fortune if he does what his father demands. In the meantime, he’s earning a living by working as a trail leader on a horse ranch and isolating himself in his room to paint. He’s just trying to make it to his twenty-fifth birthday so he can settle down on a Montana ranch and paint for one of the local galleries.

“Linny and Con live in the same house and they’re just friends—at least that’s what they tell everyone. They both fight the urge to be more than that. Linny wants to get back to a place where she can fulfill her dream of being an equestrian champion and Con has his own plan to work on if he intends to receive his inheritance. Neither one wants the complication of a partner, so they go their separate ways for a while.

“Into the Sunrise deals with some real life issues—learning to trust and making some tough life choices. Haley developed characters who are thoughtful, believable and likeable.

“For me, the only downfall of the book was the setting of 1975. This book reads like a contemporary except for a few references to appliances (typewriter and landline phones). Although the year was stated at the beginning of the first chapter and the book was published in the Vintage Rose collection from The Wild Rose Press, I found each time a typewriter or landline phone was mentioned, it took me out of the story. Perhaps if more references to the year were employed, it would have felt more like a 1970s story. Overall, Haley delivered a story I can recommend to readers who enjoy a good romance.”

—Jackie McMurray, The Book Breeze (original review at The Book Breeze)

* * * * * * * * * * *

Into the Sunrise by Carolyn Haley is the story of Linnea Eagan (Linny), a woman who is bent on having a career with horses even though her family doesn’t agree. After a nasty fall that left her bruised, sore, and with a concussion, Linny must decide what to do with her life as she comes to accept that her relationship is over and that she might not have what it takes to be the champion she always dreamed of being. To make things even more difficult, Michael won’t take no for an answer and keeps popping up. Con evokes feelings in Linny that she doesn’t want to examine and that she feels she isn’t ready for, but no matter how she tries to run, Con keeps making things more difficult and forces Linny to examine the feelings she has for him. Dare she hope they can work through Con’s jumbled family ties and have a happily ever after with their horses by their sides?

* * * * * * * * * * *

Into the Sunrise by Carolyn Haley is a tale that could step off the pages and become reality. Full of the truth and heartbreak that happen in daily life, Into the Sunrise is a heartwarming story as one woman learns she’s stronger than she thinks and starts to fight for what she wants, despite not knowing if it will really work out. Beautiful imagery puts you right there with Linny as she rides one of her three favorite horses. I hope Carolyn Haley continues Linny’s tale in a sequel, as I’d love to know how the story really ends!

—April Gilly, Readers’ Favorite (original review at Readers’ Favorite)

Customer reviews from Amazon when book was out through WRP:

Kevin Gale

June 1, 2015

Let me start by stating that I’m surely not the target audience for this book. As a near 50 year old male who reads a lot of hard science fiction I’m pretty sure the book wasn’t written with me as a reader in mind but that says good things about the book. I was immediately drawn in by the characters and their story and I just had to see how it ended. It was a hard story to put down which is always a good sign. I had no problem identifying with the main characters. I remember that time of life. The time where you are starting out, trying to figure out a direction. The time when love seems to happen but when it isn’t convenient and often seems more of a complication than anything else. This story brought that time back to me and I loved it.

* * * * * * * * * * *


3.0 out of 5 starsHorses and romance

August 31, 2016

This story takes place in 1975. Lenny Eagan was a young woman who had always loved horses. She had recently sustained an injury in an equestrian competition and had decided to travel with her sister to Cape Cod for the summer to recover and heal. Following her injury, she had lost her love, her job and her future. She was offered a job as a stable hand at a horse stable near where she was staying with her sister and as she began to heal she was reminded how much she loved working with horses.
Con Winston had inherited the home where Linny and her sister and her sister’s boyfriend, Dave, were staying. Dave and Con were friends and he had offered to have them all stay for the summer. Lenny began to enjoy her time with Con as a friend but before long she began to feel deeper feelings for Con. She was still healing her broken heart after she found her boyfriend, Michael, cheating on her. She wasn’t ready for another romantic relationship so soon after her heartbreak. Lenny and Con began to bond over his horse, Klatawah. Klatawah did not allow many to get close to him without a negative response. Lenny was able to break through Klatawah’s barriers and get him to trust her. As the horse began to trust Lenny, so did Con.

I enjoyed reading this story about Con and Linny and their journey towards love.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

D. Beck

July 7, 2016

I loved this book! I must admit I love horses, so a book about horses & romance was right up my alley. I loved how the romance unfolded in the book. It was based on the ups & downs of real life instead of storybook “perfect” love. I couldn’t put this book down. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

September 28, 2016

a good read really nice story a great summer read really liked it
* * * * * * * * * * *

Author interviews at

N. N. Light’s Book Heaven

The Writer’s Ally

One Response to Wild Heart

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: