Review: Rafferty Lincoln Loves... by Emily Williams

Rafferty Lincoln Loves... by Emily Williams
Published by Lutino Publications
Released 14th February 2018
236 Pages
Kindle Edition

A big thank you to the author for sending me an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A sensational and compelling, coming of age story for older YA readers.

Rafferty Lincoln doesn't like horses. Not one bit. But when the popular high school girl of his dreams, Liberty Ashburn pulls him into a world of lead ropes and horse brushes, who is he to say no?

Except this isn't any old horse. This is the missing racehorse, Profit's Red Ridge. The horse Rafferty and three of his friends are hiding from the world. And Liberty Ashburn isn’t just any ordinary high school girl. How far will Rafferty go to win her over?

An intense, witty and powerful coming of age story with startling consequences.


One thing I love is discovering new authors, so, when the lovely Emily Williams messaged and asked me if I'd like to read her new YA novel Rafferty Lincoln Loves.. I couldn't refuse. It didn't sound like the typical YA I read but I was certainly looking forward to giving it a go.

Rafferty Lincoln isn't a big fan of horses but when his popular, high school crush Liberty Ashburn drags him into a world of horse brushes and ropes, how could he say no? This is all due to Rafferty, Liberty, her brother Will and outcast Dexter finding the missing racehorse Profit's Red Ridge. With the foursome hiding him from the public how long is it until their secret is revealed? and how far will Rafferty go to win Liberty over?

When I first started reading I was so sure this would just be about four friends looking after a horse. Oh boy was I wrong! This story goes a lot deeper than that and it surprised me..a lot. Yeah, most of the scenes do involve the horse but it wasn't the sole focus. It's a coming of age story and all of the teenage characters do evolve in some way or another.

What I really enjoyed about Rafferty Lincoln Loves... was the theme of friendship and togetherness. These four teens, should, on paper not get on but throughout the book you see them all come together with one purpose in mind; do what they can for the horse (or Minty as they call him..great name!) and each other. It was rather heartwarming to see them all gel and it just proves that social status shouldn't matter. warned this book isn't all rainbows and smiles, there's a dark element to it to and it does touch on some pretty upsetting topics such as domestic violence and bullying. These scenes weren't uncomfortable to read mind you and felt very realistic. Emily didn't glamourise it and went about it in a respectful manner and I have huge admiration for her for putting topics like this in a YA novel. It should be done more!

Rafferty was a flawed character but I think that made me like him more. He was just a typical teenage boy and as we all know they all have flaws. You could tell he meant well with whatever he did though. I got very invested in him and found myself laughing whenever he did something stupid and crying when something bad happened. His relationship with Liberty was something I didn't like. To be honest I disliked Liberty a lot. I found her to be rude, bitchy and self centred. I think this was how she was meant to be portrayed as, however. Dexter and Will were probably my favourite characters. There was just something about them both that made me want to reach into the book and look after them..I felt motherly towards them both. Not sure if thats a good thing or not!

Rafferty Lincoln Loves... exceeded my expectations and I really did enjoy reading it. It goes beyond the boundaries of a story about an animal and has real depth to it. If you read any YA novel this year do make it this one. Oh and did I mention all profits from the sale of this book will be going to the charity The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre. Even better eh?


Emily Williams lives by the seaside in West Sussex with her family and a menagerie of small pets. After graduating from Sussex University with a BA in Psychology, Emily trained as a primary school teacher and teaches in a local school.

 Rafferty Lincoln Loves... is her first YA novel after the success of her debut adult novel, Letters to Eloise, released in 2017.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful review, Amy 😀💕


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