Saturday, August 24, 2013

Breaking the Reins Review and Giveaway!!

Title: Breaking the Reins
Author: Julia Haygert

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.

**New Adult Contemporary Romance Novel**
**Contains scenes of domestic violence**

We exited the stable, and I worked up the nerve to invite him to stay longer, to have dinner with me and talk a little.
I opened my mouth, but he spoke first.
“I should get going,” he said, his tone low.
My heart sank. “Oh. Okay.”
He turned to the path leading to the parking lot, and I caught up with him.
He showed me a lopsided grin. “Are you doing the guy thing? Walking me to my car?”
I shrugged. “It’s my house. I can do whatever I want.”
His smile was gone, and his eyes were serious. “And you want to walk me to my car?”
I returned the stare. “I want to,” I said, not sure where this bold feeling was coming from.
As we approached his car, butterflies assaulted my stomach. What was I doing? I was encouraging him. Perhaps I should stay behind and say goodbye from the path.
I couldn't make up my mind, and then we were standing by his SUV’s door.
Every nerve in my body came alive when he turned around and stepped too close to me, his body hovering inches from mine, his intense eyes on mine. His gaze flicked down to my mouth, and I inhaled a sharp breath.
Groaning, Leo put his hands on my waist, whirled us around, pushed his hard body on mine, and pressed me against his car.
“You said you wouldn’t try anything.”
“I tried to resist,” he said, his voice breathless. “I told you. It’s hard. Especially when I notice you don’t want me to resist. I cannot resist it.”
I put my hands on his chest with every intention of pushing him away, but the muscles of his pecs under my palms caught my breath, and I melted. I was melting, and there was nothing I could do.
“You have no idea how much I want to kiss you right now,” he said, his breath brushing against my lips, and I shivered.
“I think I do,” I whispered.
“Please, morena, tell me I can kiss you.” His hand clasped around my nape. “I need to kiss you.”

Intoxicated, I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him down to me. I kissed him. Without wasting one millisecond, Leo kissed me back. I felt him relaxing in my arms, as if he had finally won a fight and now could celebrate the victory. He moaned when I entangled my tongue with his. His hand on my neck slid up, his finger entwining in my hair, and his other hand slipped under my tank top and clutched my waist. He took control and changed the rhythm of the kiss, his soft lips slowing down against mine, but his tongue going deeper. It was erotic, and my body was on fire, screaming for his.

This was a great read, one that totally enveloped me until the last word. Here are five reasons why I liked this book:

1. It was a total surprise. When I read the synopsis, I was pretty hesitant.. I don't like reading about spoiled rich girls, and then add horses, abuse, and Polo on the top of that, I was just unsure. But after the first chapter, I knew my preconceived notions about this was wrong. The story isn't just a romance, it's a story about healing, finding strength, and surviving. 

2. Hannah was a great character. She wasn't really spoiled. There were no moments where I found myself ready to throttle her. She was smart and cared with her whole heart. Just an all around good person. I also liked that despite her relationship status with Eric and the heat she felt for Leo, she didn't cheat on him.

I also really LOVED Leo. I loved his character, family, and patience. I like how he seemed human. He was also not your typical book boyfriend. His family was from South America. He had the right amount of swagger and confidence!

3. Haygert is a great writer. She managed to take quite a few topics I wouldn't normally want to read about and put them in a story. She made it interesting, exciting, swoony, and sad all at once. There weren't too much background explanations, everything just seemed to evolve naturally.

4. I am an animal person, and I love the bond that we develop with Argus as the reader. It is truly touching! If I had more time/space/money I'd want to rehabilitate horses too!

5. The NA genre is full of books that are more Erotica than actual NA. I read all genres, but you have to think of your audience, this bridges the gap between YA and Adult.. should there be steam/sex scenes? YES! Should every chapter have sex in it? NO! There are going to be young adults that pick these books up too.. (that's not to say that they aren't participating in those types of activities), I think the author needs to hold that in account. My point in saying this is.. Juliana did a wonderful job of balancing the sexual part of the book with the actual content (plot) of the book!

So overall, my only complaint would be this.. Leo's foreign and often incorporates that when he's speaking English. There's a glossary in the front of the book to explain what the words mean. Which is cool. BUT when you have to refer to the front of the book for every conversation then it gets a little frustrating. I just gave up and made some meaning up in my head; 5-7 new terms are fine, but not much more than that. Other than that, I would highly encourage everyone to give this book a chance!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.


Juliana Haygert said...

Thank you!! <3

Unknown said...

I love horses, but I have not read many books featuring horses. Horse are a very beautiful animal.

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