Review: Breaking the Reins by Juliana Haygert

Breaking The Reins 
(The Breaking Series #1)
Author: Juliana Haygert
Release Date: August 14, 2013
Publisher: Juliana Haygert
Source:YA Bound Book Tours and  Juliana Haygert
Review by: Nahomi

Horses, mansions, tea parties, and lies are twenty-year-old Hannah Taylor’s life. To others, her family and her relationship with Eric is perfect. But she knows the truth. She lives it.
After a fire takes her grandma's life and kills her horse, Hannah's immaculate life spirals out of control. Her father disapproves of her decision to run her grandma’s ranch instead of focusing solely on learning the family business; Animal Control brings her Argus, a mistreated horse that she can't turn away even though she's not ready for another horse; and her boyfriend, Eric Bennett, a world famous polo player, becomes possessive and authoritarian. Despite her best efforts to disguise it, Hannah grows wary of him.

Then, Leonardo Fernandes struts onto the polo scene. A cocky rookie with a messy life of his own, he’s drawn to Hannah and isn’t afraid of showing it, even when Eric makes it clear she is his and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep it that way. Hannah suffers for Eric’s jealousy. The abuse only gets worse when Leo steals the title of best polo player in the world from Eric.

But the title isn’t enough for Leo. He wants Hannah too, and she can’t deny her attraction to him either. Somehow, she must find a way to break free from abusive Eric before he breaks every bone in her body.

**Contains scenes of domestic violence**
*I received an eARC of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars out 5 stars

      I took a chance when I picked this book. I don't normally like to read these kinds of stories, but I am so glad I did! This book completely took me by surprise, in a good way! Breaking the Reins is a story that deals with a lot of very interesting and real issues such as: self-esteem, depression, domestic abuse, and substance abuse.

Breaking the Reins is fast paced and full of mystery. Beginning with the mysterious fire that killed Hannah’s grandmother and horse Hercules, bad things just seem to keep happening to Hannah’s family. There are several plot twists that had me open-mouthed and in shock. At certain times through out the novel I was holding my breath, because holy cannoli I didn’t know if Hannah was going to survive.

Ms, Haygert does a great job of creating characters that are three-dimensional. I felt that all of the characters in this novel showed personal growth by the end of the story, and I grew really attached to some of them. Hannah has an independent spirit but as the story progresses Eric little by little take her independence away. When Eric first became abusive to her I was really upset at Hannah because she kept rationalizing his aggressive behavior. By the time she finally wakes up and realizes what’s going on her situation seems impossible to get out of.

Leo plays the role of the love interest although in the beginning he is the "other guy". He is sweet, patient, kind, and a bad boy gone good. Leo is Brazilian, has a smoking hot body as well as a really sexy accent. From the beginning I found myself rooting for Leo and Hannah to get together. Although I admire Hannah’s determination to respect her relationship, man I don’t know how she held out for so long. Together Leo and Hannah are like fire and ice. The chemistry between them is crazy.

I could go on and on about how much I liked this book, but I would rather you take a chance and check it out for yourself. I didn’t rate it higher because there were times when I felt really frustrated with Hannah and her decisions. Other than that, I really enjoyed Hannah’s journey and I am so happy Ms. Haygert decided to add an epilogue. It was the perfect ending for this story.


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