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Keeping Secrets (Timber Ridge Riders #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  327 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
A valuable horse is dead, and it’s all her fault, which is why 14-year-old Kate McGregor has banished horses and riding from her life ... forever!

But her new summer job as a companion to Holly Chapman, a former riding star who’s now confined to a wheelchair, takes her back to the barn—the last place Kate wants to be. 

Can Kate keep her terrible secret from Holly, who is f
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published November 2011 by Pageworks Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Younger horse lovers
My feelings on the book can be accurately described by the phrase: “it’s not you, it’s me.” This book is just so clichéd, and I’ve become far too critical for books like this. There’s no doubt that it’s well written and it’s definitely a decent book for anyone who loves horses, but I did have quite a few problems with this book.

Kate McGregor used to love horses a riding, but after a tragic accident that she was blamed for, she makes the decision to give up horses forever. She takes a summer job
I am almost done with the Chestnut Hill series (horses + boarding school) so I was looking around for some new horse books to enjoy. I found 3 new series, and I am going to slowly try them all out.

So this was my first one to try out and I have to say I really enjoyed this one. Though I have one thing I need to get of my chest. Why? Why, do all these Horse books have a mean girl (or a mean girl and a posse) in it? I get the whole rival stuff, but this is just ridiculous. Various Dutch books about
Laurence R.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-review
The perfect book for horse lovers!

If you've ever read or watched The Saddle Club, this is the next book you should pick up. There's a lot of descriptions of horses that make riders very happy, because they're all accurate. There's also the "horrible girl" thing we've seen in The Saddle Club, except with a different twist, because although both are similar, it'd be no fun if they were identical (and it would be plagiarism, which we obviously don't want). There's drama, horse and boy related, and
Claire (Cem)
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very exciting, albiet shortish, teen horse book. 14 year old Kate is struggling with the lose of her favourite horse, Black Magic, but finds herself about to spend the summer helping paralized Holly, around the barn her mom runs. Hard not to quickly fall in love with the characters or the story. I'm in my mid 20's and I love it. It's fun, fast, but with an emotional edge that stops it being silly. I really felt for Kate and her situation. And I felt that while the actions of one girl were on the ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a horse lover. I was one of those crazy kids/teens, who spent every free minute at the stable. My bedroom was wallpapered in horse pics. I only read books like these.....when I was 13 or 14.

So now that i'm just a few years (decades) older, I am still a sucker for a good horsey book. I'll even read a few bad ones to take me back to my time in the barn. Keeping Secrets is one I really enjoyed. It's pretty short, but I liked the story and the girls. It was different than the usual horse books,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Misty Baker
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first had my son I had a barrage of people imparting their motherly wisdom on me. As do most new mothers.

“He must learn how to self sooth, let him cry.”

“If you don’t put shoes on him right away, he will have weak ankles.”

“You must throw everything you have at him for the first five years…that’s when they learn the most!”

If I’m being totally honest, the first two I completely ignored, but the bit about “learning” I paid attention to. I didn’t want my kid to grow up behind the pack, struggl
C.P. Cabaniss
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short, horses, reviewed
*I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I really enjoyed this story. It reminded me of all of the horse reading I did when I was younger. Being an equestrian myself, I always enjoy a well written horse related read. This one fit both of those requirements nicely.

The story is rather predictable for anyone who's read a lot of these types of novels, so it may not appeal to all readers. Personally I don't find that to be a negative aspect. If the story i
Cathy Geha
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keeping Secrets by Maggie Dana
Timber Ridge Riders #1

Thank you to the author for the copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Reading this as an adult is probably different than if I had read it at the age of say 10 or 12 and that is the audience I believe would probably enjoy this book. It is a series so there are a number of books for a younger reader who likes horses and is not quite in her teens.

Kate is pretty much on her own at 14 with a deceased mother and a loving if distant fa
Caitlin Brast
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horses, teens
I do like this book. And if I had read it, like, 7-8 years ago, I probably would have adored it. It's very much of "The Saddle Club" mode- best friends, great horses, catty mean girls, cute boys. I ate Keeping Secrets up, as in, I got it, I sat down, and about an hour later, I was done. I really enjoyed the dynamic between Kate and Holly, and they did actually seem their age, which I find is harder and harder to see in books these days. All of the minor issues I have with this book are just that ...more
Julia Nashif
Despite saying in my review of Turning on a Dime that I probably wouldn't read more books by Maggie Dana, the premise in this one lured me in anyway.

Thank you, NetGalley and Pageworks Press, for this free book to review!

What I liked:

1. It was an easy read. Maybe too easy.

2. Liz, Holly's mom. Poor thing, she has to put up with so much.

What I didn't like:

1. Aren't horses supposed to have some kind of personalities? These ones sure didn't.

2. For the matter, the girls didn't either. We hear Kate's d
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horses
A perfect middle-grade read. I was originally attracted to this book by the great cover, and the inside did not disappoint. Maggie Dana's engaging story-telling skills pull you immediately into the action, and introduce us to two very distinct but likeable characters: Kate - who is hiding a dark secret that keeps her from her one true passion - horses, and Holly, a fiesty new friend who has lost the use of her legs and is wheelchair bound, but whose spirit knows no boundaries.

Add a bit of myster
Erin Lindsay McCabe
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horse-books
This is an entertaining novel perfect for younger kids, especially horse crazy girls. I love the positive friendship that is portrayed between protagonist Kate and Holly, the wheelchair-bound girl for whom Kate works as a companion. Especially noteworthy is Holly's positive attitude, despite the fact that she has every reason to be negative and the Nigel's take on the importance of honesty and integrity.
You can real my full review for here:
Emma Rose Ribbons
This is an okay book. It lacks depth and my main concern with it was the shallow and stereotypical characterization. Besides, there wasn't enough horse content to keep me interested - by the end, I barely knew anything of the horse Kate was riding and I like a lot more horse/rider contact in my fiction. From what I can read of the next books, they follow the exact same pattern so I won't be purchasing the other titles. It's a shame, really, for I was excited to begin a series in which one of the ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot was very good. But it was lacking something..... I'm still not sure what that something is but I am excited about reading the second book soon. I loved the three day eventing featured in the book. But it lacked that competitive feel. Yeah Angela was a b-word but it's usually between barns.
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Keeping Secrets. I love the fun characters, drama, setting, and of course, the horses. A great start to the Timber Ridge Riders series. I look forward to reading more about the girls in the series and more by this author. Five stars
Ian Wood
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Aug 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Predictable. That's all I can say about this book. It's like every horse book in the universe. Girl has an accident and decides to never ride again, one horse brings back her memory, accident forces her to ride again, falls in love with some random horse. It's so predictable and you can tell what's going to happen next. Holly wasn't even really a character, she was mainly just a side person to encourage the riders on. It was an okay book, but I have read better.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Nice horse YA. I liked the MC and her friend.
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle grade readers and beyond
Recommended to Gmr by: Maggie Dana
Filled with quite a few devious acts on the part of SOMEONE or other that apparently can’t grasped right from wrong…certainly doesn’t help that their Mother doesn’t know this basic lesson either...whoever said the Middle Grade reads lack the energy and edge-of-your-seat pull you get from stories written for an older audience, should really think again.

Our main events center around Timber Ridge Stables, home of tranquil paths through beautiful woodlands and an award winning riding team currently
DelAnne Frazee
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Title: Keeping Secrets - Timber Ridge Riders Book 1
Author: Maggie Dana
Published: 11-18-2011
Publisher: Pageworks Press
Pages: 178
Genre: Children's Fiction
Sub Genre: Sports; Horses
ISBN: 13: 9780985150402
ASIN: B0069E39NG
Reviewer: DelAnne
Reviewed For: NetGalley
Rating: 4.75 Stars

I received a copy of "Keeping Secrets" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Description From The Publishers:

A valuable horse is dead, and it’s all her fault, which is why 14-year-old Kate
Sometimes you just need a nice, quick read, and this fitted the bill perfectly. Holly's in a wheelchair and her mother hires Kate to act as her companion/helper for the summer. They live beside a riding school where Holly's mother works, which is a nightmare for Kate who was wrongly accused of allowing a horse to die at her previous stable. So she pretends she's scared of horses and refuses to go near them, but of course it all comes out when she needs to get help quickly for an injured rider, a ...more
Mary Pagones
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I've had many twenty-first birthdays, I'm late to the Timber Ridge Riders party...but I wish I had come sooner! Even though this book's target audience is middle-schoolers, readers of any age will fall in love with these characters. Kate and Holly are such wonderful, complex, different personalities. Kate is a fearless rider but she's much more shy and inclined to blame herself when things go wrong, even when it's obvious to the rest of the world that it's not her fault. Holly has a much m ...more
Barbara Ann
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in a series of books featuring young teens and their love of horses. Kate is fourteen and spending her summer with her aunt because her father is a lepidopterist who is busy chasing butterflies in Brazil. Looking for something to keep her occupied, Kate applies for a summer job as a companion for a teen named Holly. Holly is now wheelchair bound as a result of a horseback riding accident.

Kate has a dark secret. She was blamed for the death of a horse in her care. Now she is petrified to go
Laurie Cameron
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When Kate applies for the job of helpmate for wheelchair-bound Holly who lives at the Timber Ridge Stables with her mother, she has no intention of going near the stables, much less riding one of the horses. She was through with that, ever since the terrible tragedy at Sandpiper Stables where she used to ride. A beautiful horse named Black Magic had died due to her carelessness and she could never forgive herself for that.

But then there is an accident on the trail involving the beautiful Magicia
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Like so many YA horse books, Keeping Secrets is about the friendships and rivalries that horsey girls make. Who were your truest friends and your most formidable enemies when you were growing up? Not the kids at school; they were just an annoyance you had to put with for the purpose of getting through lunch and those dreary group homework assignments. Life, and laughter, and all-out war, resided firmly at the barn.

The twists in Keeping Secrets are unique, though. Holly, the riding instructor’s d
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a book is nominated to be on Amazon's new Prime reading program, you know you have to check it out.

"Keeping Secrets" is the first book in Maggie Dana's Timber Ridge Rider series geared to young adults. Filled with teen angst,Keeping Secrets sets the stage for those many life lessons that allow its main character, Kate McGregor, to come of age. She blames herself for the death of a prize show horse and has sworn never to ride again. Ever!

Enter the need for a summer job and a place to live an
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book is a very interesting story that you can find in any young adult story I love it a lot because of the love of horses. I think that this novel or series is really has good explanation and also seems the writer know s about horses as she actually knows what she is writing about.

The style of her writing is really good she explains every character in the book. I am giving 5 stars because I think the author explains the riding in a good way and give a lot details of everything and the story
Eva Schon
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Author: Maggie Dana

Genre: Tween

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Fiction

Time Period: Modern

Main Characters: Kate, Holly, Angela

My Review: Kate Macgregor feels responsible for the death of a beautiful sports horse. When her new job includes horses, she panics. She doesn’t want anyone to know her secret but she confides to her best friend, Holly, who was disabled in a driving accident. When Angela finds out, what will Kate do?

My Overall Opinion: I really enjoyed reading this book. It has twists
Jenny Rose
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Keeping Secrets by Maggie Dana is about a 14 year-old named Kate McGregor who is trying to avoid her past and her Aunt Marion by getting a summer job. Unfortunately that job means having to deal with her past instead of ignoring it.

If you know a girl aged 8-12 who is crazy about horses, this book is definitely for her. Kate has to deal with all the typical things girls this age face—bullies, truth and lies, trust, and emotional roller coasters. Even as an adult I found myself laughing and crying
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Other Books in the Series

Timber Ridge Riders (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Racing into Trouble (Timber Ridge Riders, #2)
  • Riding for the Stars (Timber Ridge Riders, #3)
  • Wish Upon a Horse (Timber Ridge Riders, #4)
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