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Perfect Revenge

LIST PRICE $8.99

About The Book

From the author of the Canterwood Crest series comes the fourth book in a middle grade series about an equestrian boarding school as Abby works to bring up her grades while new students make waves at the stables.

Abby can’t believe she’s officially been accepted to join other elite riders at the Sasha Silver’s winter riding clinic! Training with the Queen of Canterwood is a dream come true…until she finds out her frenemy, Selly, is the only other Foxbury rider who got in.

Even worse, Abby’s recent grades haven’t been so hot, and her dad says that if things don’t shape up, she won’t be allowed to attend the winter clinic. Then two surprise Canterwood transfers make things very interesting around the Foxbury stables. Are they coming with good intentions, or do they plan to upset the status quo?

Excerpt

Chapter 1: The New Girls The New Girls
IF I FREEZE TO DEATH, you have to adopt Beau,” I told my best friend, Vivi, as we huddled against the cold November air and speed-walked toward Amherst. At least it was finally Friday, and I wouldn’t have to trek across campus again until Monday.

“Okay, you got it.” Vivi tugged her cute maroon beanie down over her ears. “Are you riding today?”

“Not today,” I said. “But tomorrow, I’m supposed to ride with Mila.”

Last Sunday, Beau had wound up lame at the Canterwood Crest Academy show. I’d ridden Wolfie, a Foxbury horse, for the last phase, and we’d pulled out a win. Thankfully, Beau healed this week after lots of rest, TLC, and a few carrots with frosting on top. Everyone at Foxbury had rallied behind me and Beau. He’d sailed through a light riding session, and now he was good to go.

“I’m so glad he’s okay now,” Vivi said. She grinned at me. “And you’re going with Milaaa. Ooh!”

I laughed. “I know! I can’t wait.”

“You’ve gotta be exhausted, though,” Vivi said. “I’ve barely seen you!”

Over the last week, I’d spent every free second with Beau. I’d wanted to keep an eye on him and hang out so he wouldn’t feel sad while he was hurt.

I nodded as we started up the sidewalk to Amherst. “So tired. But it was worth it to be with Beau.”

“I know you were anxious. But hopefully, you can get caught up on rest this weekend.”

I winced. “Well, I really need to catch up on homework.”

Lately, I’d been avoiding looking at my grades because I knew they’d slipped from their normal As and Bs in some classes. I really needed to log into my student portal soon and see how things looked, but I was also too scared to check. What if they were horrible? I kept telling myself that if they were really that bad, my teachers would have sat me down for a talk. Thankfully, I had nothing but time to study now, since the Canterwood show was over.

I stopped mid-step as my eye caught on two very familiar girls standing on the Amherst porch with Molly Fu, our resident advisor.

“Abby?” Vivi asked, looking back at me with a raised eyebrow. “What’s wrong?” She followed my gaze to the porch. “Do you know them?”

“Yeah,” I said. “That’s Ava and Olivia. From Canterwood.”

“Oh my god,” Vivi whispered. “They’re moving into our house!”

I swallowed. “Looks like it.”

Ava Cavendish and Olivia Woolsworth were two riders who were my age and rode for Canterwood Crest Academy. Well, used to ride for the other boarding school. But they’d met up with me and my teammates at the last show and told us they were transferring to Saddlehill and Foxbury, which was kind of wild.

“They still never told you why they’re transferring in the middle of the year?” Vivi asked.

“Nope.” I shook my head. “I haven’t heard from them since we left Canterwood.”

Ava and Olivia seemed cool, but I didn’t know them. Plus, it was incredibly… odd? That they were leaving their beloved boarding school to come here. I couldn’t imagine ever leaving Saddlehill for any other school. And ditching Foxbury for another stable sounded even more impossible!

“Abby!”

Olivia waved at me from the porch and flashed a perfect smile. She looked put together, as always, in dark jeans and a chunky knit sweater.

Ava caught my eye and smiled too, waving at me and Vivi. Her long, dark blond hair was in loose waves around her shoulders.

Together, Vivi and I trudged up the sidewalk and onto the porch.

“Great timing, girls!” Molly said, smiling at us. “Say hi to your new housemates—Ava and Olivia! Abby, you know them from riding, huh?”

I nodded. “We met at Canterwood.” I tipped my head toward Vivi. “This is Vivi Mills, one of my best friends.”

The new girls smiled at Vivi, and she gave them a polite nod back.

“Well, I have a Zoom with a parent in a few,” Molly said, eyeing me and Vivi. “Would you two help our newest residents get settled in? Their stuff is already in their room, but help Ava and Olivia unpack, okay?”

“If you have time,” Ava said quickly. “If not, no worries.”

I froze a little, thinking about all the catching up on homework and studying I had to do.

But you have all weekend to study, I reminded myself. It’ll be fine!

“Of course we have time,” I said. “Welcome to Saddlehill!”

“Yay, thanks!” Ava said.

Olivia nodded. “You’re the best!”

With a grateful smile at me and Vivi, Molly headed off to her meeting. The four of us stepped inside Amherst, and I kicked off my shoes and toed them out of the way. The living room smelled like apple pie thanks to the wax warmer on the side table, and the warmth was welcome after that chilly walk across campus.

“I love your braid crown,” Vivi said to Olivia.

Olivia’s face lit up. “Thank you! I feel like a princess whenever my hair is up like this.”

Vivi and I followed Ava and Olivia to their double room on the first floor, which was cluttered with boxes.

“Okay, tell me where to start,” Vivi said, surveying the room with her hands planted on her hips. “We’ll get you unpacked in no time.”

Ava pointed us toward a box of her books that we could unpack and get set up on her bookshelf while she and Olivia started hanging up their clothes.

We fell into easy chatter, and the pit I’d felt in my stomach earlier started to evaporate. I wasn’t that far behind on schoolwork, and it wasn’t like I didn’t have time before midterms to study. Plus, there wasn’t another horse show this month, so I had lots of extra time.

Ava offered us bottled water, and I took an appreciative sip from mine.

“So, what made you want to come to Saddlehill?” Vivi asked.

My ears perked up. I’d been dying to hear the answer to this since Ava and Olivia had been so cagey about it when we’d talked that night in the park.

Ava shrugged one shoulder, scrunching her freckled nose. “We were ready for a change.”

“It’s a pretty big one,” Vivi said. “And in the middle of the year? Wow. That has to feel like a lot!”

Vivi’s tone was light, but her question was serious. There had to be a reason why they came here.

A look passed between Ava and Olivia, and I knew there was something they weren’t telling us.

Olivia waved one of her hands in the air. “Like Ava said, we needed a change.” She paused and took a breath. “Honestly? I love Canterwood, but… I don’t think Ava and I were being treated fairly all the time on the riding team.”

Oh. That was so not what I’d been expecting. I’d liked Eric Rodriguez, one of the Canterwood instructors, from the little time I’d interacted with him at the Canterwood show. But I didn’t know the other two instructors at all. It made me mad to think about someone not being treated well.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. I stacked a couple more books—English fairy-tale collections—on Ava’s bookshelf.

Olivia sniffled and rubbed her nose. “It’s painful to even think about.”

“You don’t have to,” I blurted out. Even though I was dying from curiosity, I didn’t want to make them sad or upset.

“Thanks, Abby,” Olivia said. Her eyes were a little pink. “Today’s a good day, so I want to focus on that.”

Olivia’s honesty made me like her more. Before, she’d come across as supercool and untouchable, like nothing ever bothered her. I wasn’t sure if I fully trusted her and Ava yet, but I was looking forward to getting to know them better.

“Rebecca’s a great instructor,” I said. “You have nothing to worry about here.”

Olivia gave me a small smile. “Good. That makes me feel better.”

“Nothing to worry about except competition,” Vivi said lightly. “Abby and the other riders are really good. But it sounds like you already know that.”

“Oh, we know,” Ava said, grinning. “Challenge accepted.”

We went back to unpacking, and I couldn’t help but feel like a jerk for judging them earlier and thinking they were hiding some kind of juicy secret.

“We’re excited to be here,” Olivia said, “and we can’t wait to work with Rebecca.”

I grabbed my bottle of water and raised it. “To becoming new friends?”

The other girls picked up their water bottles and held them up.

“To becoming new friends!” Vivi, Ava, and Olivia echoed.

Smiling, we tapped our bottles together, and I crossed my fingers that we were manifesting it.

About The Author

No photo credit

Jessica Burkhart (a.k.a. Jessica Ashley) is the author of the Unicorn Magic, Saddlehill Academy, and Canterwood Crest series, which you can learn more about at CanterwoodCrest.com. She is a former equestrian who writes from her apartment in Tennessee. (It’s not the size of Crystal Castle, but Jess tries to decorate like a princess!) Jess’s aura would be hot pink and she loves glittery things. If she had a unicorn, it would be named Sparkle. Visit Jess at JessicaBurkhart.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (June 4, 2024)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665913027
  • Grades: 4 - 8
  • Ages: 9 - 13

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