Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Breaking the Reins Review

Book Review 
October 14. 2013
Breaking the Reins
by:Juliana Haygert
4 Stars

Blurb ~ 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.


My Review 

Much thanks to the author for allowing me to read an ARC copy of this book. I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this book. I’m not a big fan of country clubs or even the sport of polo, but don’t be fooled, that’s not all this story is about.

Hannah thinks she’s happy. In fact she is, until her boyfriend, Eric, starts changing in front of her eyes. Power and winning become his main goals and he won’t let anything or anyone stand in his way. When a newcomer from South America starts being friendly with Hannah, Eric starts to show his true colors and they aren’t pretty.

Hannah has always been in love with horses. In fact her grandmother owns a ranch that Hannah practically grew up on. When her grandmother is mysteriously killed, all Hannah wants to do is continue on her legacy. Training and helping horses, only her father and Eric don’t think grunt work (as they view it) is the right choice for Hannah. Little do they know, Hannah is determined to make a difference and make her grandmother proud. When an untrainable horse is brought to the ranch, Hannah has more than a difficult time even getting near him. Enter Leonardo, Eric’s South American polo competition and a horse whisperer.

Leonardo begins to come by the ranch more and more to help Hannah train and rehabilitate the horse. Only Eric is none too happy with the relationship growing between Hannah and Leo. Eric becomes overbearing and verbally abusive. Over time even the verbal abuse turns violent and Hannah is scared of what he will do next.

When Leo and his brothers continue to do well in polo, knocking Eric down a few pegs, Eric loses control. Hannah has no one to turn to but Leo. Even her father is trying to run her life and agrees with Eric on how that should be done. With Leo by her side the two have many hurdles to overcome including giving Eric the old heave-ho without bodily harm. When the truth about her grandmother’s death comes to light, Hannah is more determined than ever to show everyone she can not only run the ranch but make a life for herself as well.

Overall this was a very great story. Considering this was my first novel by Juliana Haygert I can easily say I will be reading more from her in the future. Even with a setting that wasn’t something I would have dreamed of, I was kept interested and involved with the story. I felt fear when Eric began to change and hope when Leo began to talk some sense into Hannah. There was no insta-love or cheating but there was a HEA so if that tickles your fancy I highly recommend reading this.


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