Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh

Posted May 5, 2024 by meezcarrie in 5 stars, Book Review, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Kentucky, romance, Toni Shiloh / 55 Comments

A Run at Love book review

A Run at Love by Toni ShilohA RUN AT LOVE by Toni Shiloh
Love in the Spotlight #2

GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: May 7, 2024
PAGES: 344


As a Black woman in a field with little diversity, Piper McKinney is determined to make her mark on the horse-racing world. Raised on a Thoroughbred farm in Kentucky, Piper’s dream is for her horse to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby. With the help of her best friend and trainer, Tucker Hale, she gains national attention but must grapple with the complications that arise when a journalist delves into her past as a transracial adoptee.


In an effort to win Piper’s heart, Tucker formulates a plan to train Piper’s horse to victory, hoping to prove himself to her, her parents, and his own self-doubts. Then a shocking scandal hits the media, implicating both Piper and her parents, and she and Tucker will have to survive the onslaught to find their way to the winner’s circle–and each other.



Other Books In This Series

The Love Script by Toni Shiloh

Why did I fall in love with A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh? Let’s count the reasons… (this may be long so grab a snack)

Yesterday was the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby, an event with which I am quite familiar after living in the Bluegrass State for just shy of 30 years. The hats, the celebrities, the mint julep, the Derby pie, the all-day local news hype for a race that lasts all of two minutes. I am not a horse person… but there’s something very charismatic about Kentucky on Derby Day, including the stories of the trainers and jockeys and horses who worked so hard to earn a spot in the race. Which is just one of the reasons I fell head over heels for A Run at Love – it was great fun to be ‘back in the Bluegrass’ if only through the magic of fiction, and Shiloh captured its cadence – as well as the road of races to the Derby – so beautifully. And Dream… I can’t forget the beautiful horse at the center of Piper’s Derby aspirations. Shiloh makes it easy to see what Piper sees in him and I was cheering him on in each race.

I also love how Shiloh incorporates faith so naturally into her books, and A Run at Love is no exception. Piper and Tuck both love Jesus and they seek His guidance in their lives through prayer. It’s not done in a preachy manner or in a way that feels forced, but instead as a natural overflow of their personal relationship with God. It’s their first instinct, not their last, to reach out to their friends to request prayer for tough conversations, unexpected news, and the monumental moments, too.

Another reason is the little things that may not be critical to the overall story but warmed my heart nonetheless. Like the two adorable pygmy goats named “Ice Ice” and “Baby”. If they’re in a scene, they’re stealing it and undoubtedly making me chuckle. I mean, even their name pairing puts a smile on my face. Additionally, fans of Toni Shiloh’s books will find little references to her other story worlds tucked away among these pages, and it made me so happy to know these worlds and characters live on!

The main reason I fell for this book, though, is the ‘best friends to more’ story going on between Tucker and Piper, two people who have been each other’s person since childhood. This is my hands-down favorite trope in romance, because it’s my IRL love story too, and Shiloh pulls it off so well. All of us – and their friends and family – can see their obvious love for each other, so we’re all waiting for one of them to be the first to initiate the next step. And when it finally happens – whew! Keep a fan handy because they’ve got a lot of years of built-up feelings fueling those kisses!!

Bottom Line: A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh is everything I want in a ‘friends to more’ romance, and then some. Tucker and Piper are so cute together (sorry, you two, but it’s true) and I loved how they supported each other. Their story is swoony and sweet and a little sassy. But it also tackles some serious topics like Piper trying to find her place as not only a transracial adoptee in a very white world but also a trailblazer in horse racing and a disillusioned daughter. I was delighted to see the return of the text conversations between Tuck and his friends/accountability partners Lamont and Chris – I love the way they encourage each other in their respective relationships & walks with God, plus their banter is hilarious and on point. Find a fancy hat (or a going-out Stetson), a slice of Derby pie, and a cup of mint julep and curl up with A Run at Love post haste!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / loved it so much!

KissingBook Level: 3 / will forget to breathe on occasion

affiliate links used

Toni Shiloh

Toni Shiloh ( is a wife, a mom, and an award-winning Christian contemporary romance author. Her novel In Search of a Prince won the first ever Christy Amplify Award. It has also been praised by Oprah Daily, POPSUGAR, Library Journal, and Booklist, and is a Parable bestseller. Her books have won the Selah Award and The Christy Award and have been finalists for the Carol Award and the HOLT Medallion. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Toni loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media.

Other Recently Featured Books by Toni Shiloh

In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh  To Win A Prince by Toni Shiloh  You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh

A Run at Love giveaway

Bethany House is offering a print copy of A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? What makes you want to read A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh? Do you ever watch the Kentucky Derby?

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55 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Run at Love by Toni Shiloh

  1. Julie Pripps

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about Toni Shiloh and this sounds like a fun read!

  2. Pam K.

    I enjoy Toni’s books. I’ve always been enthralled with race horses so this seems to be the perfect book for me.

  3. Ellen Gray

    I loved the first book in this Erie’s and really enjoy Toni Shiloh’s books. Looking forward to reading it.

  4. Patty

    I wasn’t at home this weekend so didn’t get to watch the Derby, but I normally do!
    Growing up I love horse books like Black Beauty and the Black Stallion books.

  5. MS Barb

    I enjoy Toni’s books! I don’t know much about horses, or the Derby, but I want to know more about how the characters in the story deal with the scandal…

  6. Janice Moore

    After living in Louisville, KY a few years while my spouse went to seminary there, I agree that the Kentucky Derby is a big deal there! The author, the book description, Carrie’s thoughts and rating all have me wanting to read this book ASAP!

  7. Perrianne Askew

    I do love Toni Shiloh’s novels and have to agree that her faith thread is always very natural. That’s a plus for me! I know nothing about the derby, but I’m sure to be well entertained by this friends to more story. I really like that angle and am sure to learn more about the derby, too.

  8. Suzanne Sellner

    I’ve not read a Toni Shiloh book before, so it sounds as if this would be a good first one.

  9. Carol Alscheff

    I loved The Love Script. Looking forward to A Run On Love. I did watch the Derby for the first time in years. I am newly retired. It was fun.

  10. Denise Turner


  11. Jessica

    I have loved every Toni Shiloh book that I have read, and I have been eagerly waiting for this one to be published. For being “just a romance” type of book, Toni Shiloh has such a way of communicating real truth through her very real-to-life characters. I have been encouraged or challenged in pretty much every one of her books. Can’t wait to read this one!

  12. Donna B

    I don’t know much about the Derby, only what I’ve read in the news. I have read some of Toni’s books and they’re great! This sounds like another one to read asap.

  13. marti

    This looks great! I’m not really into horseracing, but I’m a horse girl at heart.

  14. Thank you so much for this review!! I’m so glad you enjoyed their story. They’re the greatest (and yeah, I’m completely biased).

    • Carolyn Frazier

      I am a horse lover and as a child kept a scrapbook of the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown winners. Once I married, I began to drift away from watching racing. I have mainly just enjoy my own horse as an adult. I would love to read this book.

  15. Roxanne C.

    I have never watched the Derby, but horses are a favorite story and movie theme in my home. This book sounds like a great romance!

  16. I always like to read books that are set in Ky. and especially about hores or the Derby, I livein Ky and we just watched the 150th running of the this past weekend

  17. Ann Westerman

    Toni Shiloh’s books are pure and simply a good read, with believable characters–many of them from the other books she has written are running around in my head at the moment bringing with them the memories of the “worlds” they live in and their friends–, and –just say’n I am looking forward to reading this one. blessings

  18. I want to read this book, because I have enjoyed other books by Toni. I’ve never been to the Derby, but my parents used to go every year. I have watched it on TV.

  19. Joe Titone

    Looks like a very interesting read! The details make me want it to be my next read.

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