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Rio Star

Patty O’Donnell, pregnant wife of an Irish jockey and a trainer in her own right, finds both her career and her baby’s life in jeopardy when she’s abducted and forced by a pair of con men to help in a racing scam in Argentina. Patty wants nothing to do with it—until she understands the reason for it, and the quest becomes her own.

At stake is a million dollar bet and long-delayed revenge. The con men’s target is a dangerous man who has killed in the past and wouldn’t hesitate to kill again. A man from whom no one is safe, either in the crowded city of Buenos Aires or on the vast sweep of the Argentine pampas.

Book 2 of the Patty O'Donnell series

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Pepper Smith

Pepper Smith began writing mystery/suspense stories with a school friend at age 9. She is the author of Blood Money, Rio Star, and Reef Runner, the first three books in the Patty O'Donnell Suspense series, as well as several short stories. She also volunteers as an instructor at the Muse Online Writers Conference, teaching suspense writing.

Pepper lives in Arkansas with her husband, son, and three cats.


Rio Star is an engaging story with irresistible characters that pull you into their lives. It is the second installment in Patty's life and continues from the first book, Blood Money. All throughout the story the believable characters weave an intriguing plot and resplendent representation of the whole landscape around them. This fabulous read grabs the reader's attention in such a way that it is hard taking a pause for anything. Patty is a determined heroine in all her actions with decent morals. Yet when she comes up against a labored obstacle that questions her morals, she has tough choices to make. Once again, Pepper Smith has created all the elements in this masterpiece that jumps right out at the reader. Rio Star is crafted brilliantly with intrigue, mendacity, retribution and murder. It is a fast-paced, thrilling story that often sweeps you into anger, makes you stand up and clap, and then brings tears of joy to your eyes. Ms. Smith creates a remarkable read that…often takes the breath away. If you have yet to read her extraordinary novels, you are in for a rare treat. She delivers in every story she pens.

Linda L -- Fallen Angel Reviews

Welcome to author Pepper Smith and her heroine Patty O'Donnell. Hang on; you're in for a world-win ride.

I've chosen to review all three Patty O'Donnell stories together because they make a thrilling epic. I could not stop between RIO STAR and REEF RUNNER. Separate, they are exceptional stand-alone adventures.

Pepper Smith's Patty O'Donnell Suspense series is high quality writing and emotionally charged. I'm guilty of breaking my long-standing rule - never read the last page no matter what.

Christine Speakman -- FMAM Reviewer

RIO STAR is a fascinating tale with captivating characters, gripping plot and vivid imagery. Pepper Smith pens a tale that captures the reader from the very first page. I could not put this intriguing book to rest until I finished the last page. Patty is a woman who believes very strongly in right and wrong, but when she learns the reasons for this scheme her beliefs waver. RIO STAR is laced with murder, mystery, revenge and deception. I laughed at the bantering, cried at the injustices and cheered at the end. Bravo Ms. Smith for penning another captivating tale that took my breath away. I look forward to reading more of your work. RIO STAR is definitely an award winning tale in my library of books.

Billie Jo -- Romance Junkies Reviewer

RIO STAR is the second installment to the Patty O'Donnell trilogy. The suspense keeps you glued to the book wondering how one person can overcome so much danger in her life. The horseracing adds to the excitement of the book. You will feel like you are at the racetrack cheering for your favorite horse. And you keep your fingers crossed for the exciting climax of Micheal and Patty finding each other again.

Sherry -- Coffee Time Romance

Pepper Smith's writing has reached a new level with Rio Star. She's developing into a name to watch in the world of mystery and suspense. Her characterizations and settings are once again crisp and clear, and the plot moves forward at a run. Pepper Smith has brought home a winner. I give this book a Muse Review Mark of Great Read for its fast-paced plot, emotion and unique settings.

Mary Schneider -- Muse Book Reviews
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