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(Rutshire Chronicles #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  7,136 ratings  ·  333 reviews
Set against the glorious Cotswold countryside and the playgrounds of the world, Jilly Cooper's Rutshire Chronicles, Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata and Score!, offer an intoxicating blend of skulduggery, swooning romance, sexual adventure and hilarious high jinks.

Riders, the first and steamiest in the series, takes the lid off internat
Paperback, 919 pages
Published May 7th 2007 by Corgi (first published January 1st 1985)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,136 ratings  ·  333 reviews

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Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well, well, well, what a lovely surprise.

I picked up this book on the recommendation of last month's Goodreads newsletter, which said Riders was a solid summer read. British. Bawdy. Lots of cavorting around the English countryside. What's not to like? Then I went to my local Barnes & Noble, found the only copy in stock and was instantly dismayed by the book's heft (more than 900 pages!) and its ridiculous cover art depicting a huge close up of tight, white riding pants stretched taut over a
Original thoughts:

I read this in my teens in the 80s and loved it. Rampant Rupert stole my innocence, but it was beautiful Billy who stole my heart!

Today's thoughts:

25+ years later, I couldn't wait to meet Billy again as I buddy-read this book with my good friend Jemidar, but discovered that what the teenage heart and the 40-something heart want are two different things. Billy just didn't do it for me this time round, and even worse, he actually began to annoy me. Gutted that a teenage crush ca
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Drama, drama, drama,,, but, oh, so much fun! I was in the mood to read something light and a lil bit scandalous. This novel fit that bill perfectly. It won't win any literary awards but, oh, it was so enjoyable. In addition to being highly entertaining... I,actually, learned a great deal about show jumping. Highly recommend if your looking for a sexy, fast paced, compulsively addicting read.
Dec 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm pretty sure the blurb on the cover of my copy read "Sex and horses--it just doesn't get any better" or something like that, and I suppose that's really the best review. But the progress of the book into and out of my life is also a testament to its effects on readers:

A paperback copy of Riders was loaned to me by the director of a school where I worked. She'd bought it while traveling in England and made me swear I would give it back, as she wasn't sure she could easily get another copy stat
Liz Barnsley
This must be the tenth time at least that I've read this novel since my teens and it never disappoints or get's old - I'd hit a bit of a reading slump so picked this up as a tonic and it worked an absolute treat. I'm now going to move on to the rest of the saga- next up Rivals.

Riders is just simply a glorious romp set around show jumping, with some perfect characters (Rupert Campbell-Black, now a fictional icon, is still JUST as brilliant no matter how many times you "meet" him), this book is fu
Taryn Pierson
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Is that not the raunchiest cover art you've ever seen? I had to do an inter-library request to get this book (for some reason, my well-stocked urban library system doesn't have a copy of Cooper's classic literary masterpiece), and when I asked the peppy blonde girl behind the counter to retrieve it for me, she came back waving it proudly, asking, “Is this it?!”

How I responded: “Uh, yep. That's the one. Suuuuuuper scandalous.”

How I wanted to respond: “DUDE! Could you maybe NOT call the entire li
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Well, this is certainly no Pride and Prejudice! This is Cooper's debut book; a naughty romp through the elite world of show-jumping from local shows to the very top of the sport - the World Championships and the Olympics. Our main characters are Jake Lovell, a Gypsy underdog, and the first showing of Rupert Campbell-Black (who will appear in future books by Jilly Cooper), the good-looking rogue of the horsy set who jumps in and out of beds with no thought to the consequences.

There are masses of

Really 3.5 stars.

Totally trashy but fun 1980s bonkbuster. Horses, sex, scandal and 80s fashion; what more could you possibly want?

And many thanks to my reading buddy Anna who set such a cracking pace that I achieved a personal best for the least amount of days it's ever taken me to read a 900+ page book. I feel like I've run a marathon and dropped exhausted but grateful over the finish line in the early hours of this morning :-).
Stephen Henning
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ho ho. So much to enjoy about Jilly Cooper's Riders - the definitive bonkbuster from the 1980s.

I read Riders for the first time in the summer of 1995 because I wanted to be a writer, and I wanted to read as many different types of blockbuster novels as possible. I felt embarrassed to read it, to be honest. I had assumed that Jilly Cooper books were written mainly for girls, rather than boys. Maybe they are.

Another reason why I didn't expect to like the book is that it's about showjumping, which
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Pre-Read (3/28/17):

After finishing Blaze Wyndham, this is going to be next bubble bath book. This book cover screams kinky as fuck.

Reviewed (5/21/17):

This book lived up to my expectations. This raised the bar of my trashy goodness expectations. Worth every star. I even read this book in public, where I have some shame. Yes, it was that good. :P

Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book that started it all...probably the first piece of chick lit I ever read in 1991.
Horses, sex, scandal...amazing characters and great story line with hilarious original one liners and witty observations that still make me laugh even though I have read this book about 15 times in the years since.
Jilly is the Queen of this genre.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
I can't do it anymore.
This is the worst book that has ever been written.
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
How disconcerting it is to find how much one's literary tastes change over the years! The term "Bonkbuster" didn't exist when this book first came out, but it is SO appropriate!

I was a twenty-something then, expecting my first child, in between jobs and keeping my brain alive by studying for a late university degree. Then I thought this book was splendid, one enormous, terrific laugh: the horse competition episodes, encapsulating the excitement of equestrian championships, vaguely reminded me of
Jun 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Sadly, I wasn't particularly thrilled with the book. The biggest problem I had with it was that there was very little build-up to any of the relationships. Characters jump into bed with little pretense and marry after just a few dates. There was very little of the agonizing "Will they end up together?" suspense, and while some readers may find that refreshing, it's what I most relish in a romance read.

Overall I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. I was 2/3 of the way through the book before it sta
Cat Ray
When I younger, I spied this book on one of the shelves at my grandmother's house. I must have been in 7th or 8th grade and this book basically had everything a girl at that age could want-- horses and sex! Riders focuses on the sexy world of international show jumping, specifically the British national team and their trials and tribulations. I never got around to reading it when I was younger, so this year for vacation I decided to buy it for my Kindle (since an actual physical copy of the book ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Puh, if this hadn't been an university read, I certainly wouldn't even had picked it up - just look at the cover and it will tell you what the book is about.
First the story is at the beginning absolutely confusing. Cooper jumps from one scene to another without even having a paragraph between them. First it's this person, next sentence it's the other one. Then it's incredibly sexist. The women are only admirable if they are thin, have a decent sexual desire and are willing to go to bed with the
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! 919 pages and I would have kept reading. It was the perfect hilarious romp through the show jumping world that I adore with great scandal, amazing characters and such a great plot culminating at the Los Angeles Olympics. The ending had me on the seat of my chair Cooper built this book so brilliantly. Rupert - what can you say - Cooper makes him so complex you hate him one minute and adore him the next. Billy - sigh and well Dino - he was it for me. I fell madly in love with hi ...more
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports-star-hero
What a bastard of a big book this was!!! It reminded me of a Jackie Collins. I'd have trouble locking down my favorite character but I'd say Rupert and not because he was attractive but he said the most exordinary things that cracked me up and he was a rascal. There were times I loathed him, plenty. I did not like his wife Helen much, especially towards the end. Rupert was much the reason Helen was whack but still....I think Fen was young and did stupid young people things but I liked her at the ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I remember going to the local library and getting this out when I was about 14 or 15. I biked home on my ten speed with it stuck to my bike carrier as it wouldn't fit in my bag I had hanging over my handlebars. What a revelation. Still one of my all times favorites and who doesn't love Rupert. Rich characters and while now it might be a little dated, it's still a rather rollicking good time. LOVE Jilly Cooper.
Mandie Pierce
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I'm owning up to having read this. Look at that cover. It was a recommended book from Goodreads, unavailable from my library. I was slightly relieved because I wouldn't embarrass myself checking it out with that cover... But, that being said, I enjoyed the soap opera-like drama. More like 3.5 stars. Entertaining & brainless read.
Gilad Tiefenbrun
Jul 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
I got tricked into reading this by an article in The Telegraph claiming that it was far superior erotic fiction than 50 shades. In that case, 50 shades, which I haven't read, must be the most unutterable shite on planet earth.
Melissa Delport
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book so many times in the past 20 odd years and I still love it! Although, Janey now annoys the crap out of me!
Smitten's Book Blog
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
I read this years and years ago, before my reading addiction really took hold.
I think I need to re-read, cast and review it soon!
Such great, timeless books.
Has anyone else read these?
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
No words. So trashy, so 80's, soooo gooood...
There isn't enough romance with rider MCs, please someone write it.
Jul 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm getting too old to bother with boring books...and this IS a boring book. I didn't make it even a quarter way through before I decided I'd rather stare at the door knob than finish this.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Okay. This was really good. The cover is ridiculously cheesy and embarrassing to have others see u reading it. But I read it so fast I got over it! If U are in a reading rut and want something easy and soap like- this is the book.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A rip-roaring roller-coaster of riding and rogering.
Carole Beers
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An entertaining and fast moving read, accurate about horses and about the wealthier, privileged people who use them! Glamour. Drama. International intrigue. Two hoofs up!
Arto Mutka
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG I loved this book so much!! Really great bonkfest and great insights into the highs and lows of horseriding and horseracing... Loved the irrepressible hero/villain of the book Rupert Campbell Black... He just does whatever he wants without any thought of consequences but really sweet his devotion to best friend Billy. Could not put this book down once I started reading it! Looking forward to reading the rest of the series now!
Geena Barret
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: equestrian
For being a 900-page book, I did quite well for finishing this in only eight days! I lost a lot of sleep over it, but it was worth the read. The scandal, the horses, the girls, the fame, the show jumping. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and having chapters switch to different perspectives. It really flowed well. You'll get into Jake's story for a couple of chapters, and then you get to see what Rupert and Billy are up to, or Helen and Fenn. I enjoyed getting to know these charact ...more
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Jilly Cooper, OBE (born February 21, 1937) is an English author. She started her career as a journalist and wrote numerous works of non-fiction before writing several romance novels, the first of which appeared in 1975. She is most famous for writing the six blockbuster novels the Rutshire Chronicles.

Other books in the series

Rutshire Chronicles (10 books)
  • Rivals (Rutshire Chronicles #2)
  • Polo (Rutshire Chronicles #3)
  • The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous (Rutshire Chronicles, #4)
  • Appassionata (Rutshire Chronicles #5)
  • Score! (Rutshire Chronicles, #6)
  • Pandora (Rutshire Chronicles, #7)
  • Wicked! (Rutshire Chronicles #8)
  • Jump! (Rutshire Chronicles, #9)
  • Mount! (Rutshire Chronicles, #10)
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