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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horses, Hot Brazilians, and Horrifying Secrets
The story seems simple, a young girl wanting to break free from her wealthy family to find her own place in the world. But it's so much more than that. Hannah has many stories to share. On the surface she seems so put together and determined, but the truth is she's broken. I honestly don't know who I rooted for more in this book, Hannah or the battered horse, Argus. My...
Published 17 months ago by Meredith

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So close to a really good read . . .
I wanted to love this book, as it had all of my favorite elements in fiction: horses, hot foreign guys, romance, and the polo setting was a nice bonus! The book was pretty well written for the young adult genre, heroine was a little whiny, but she had legitimate problems. Dialogue was a little cheesy at first, most noticeable between the the heroine and her family, and...
Published 17 months ago by Lys


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So close to a really good read . . ., August 18, 2013
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I wanted to love this book, as it had all of my favorite elements in fiction: horses, hot foreign guys, romance, and the polo setting was a nice bonus! The book was pretty well written for the young adult genre, heroine was a little whiny, but she had legitimate problems. Dialogue was a little cheesy at first, most noticeable between the the heroine and her family, and it was a total love at first sight typical of YA romance, but I can get past that.

What I found to be the biggest problem, and I admit that this might not be a problem at all for most young adult readers, is the horse interactions. Honestly, the horse Argus (I kept reading Angus haha) behaved like a beaten dog, and not at all how an abused horse would act. No horse insecure in his surroundings would ever curl up and lay down; it is against their very nature (horses only lay down when they are totally comfortable and can trust that everything around them is not a threat) much less for days at a time, it would kill them. Also, every time he had a problem, he'd fall down and "whine" and "whimper." Not horse sounds. They kept waiting for him to faint from not eating, which I thought was a funny joke at first, since I know some narcoleptic type horses- but no, the people in the book were ready for him to swoon at any moment. Last, the author has apparently never never handled a horse whip, since anything and everything hit by one in this novel seemed ready to bleed to death. Really, the worst that can happen is a small welt, unless this barn had some old slave driver's whip hanging around, haha.

**Spoiler**

The abused horse saves the day protecting his master trope was a little hard to take too (and over done- second book I've read this week that had this happen!), since this horse was barely letting the chick touch him. Plus, I think a horse on it's last chance with animal control attacking and nearly killing someone isn't really going to put him in good graces with said animal control. . .

So, overall, very readable, and it obviously stuck with me enough to write a review, I just wish the author had had a horsey beta reader or editor clean up some of the scenes and horse actions, since it was very distracting and somewhat eye-roll inducing to anyone familiar with horses.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horses, Hot Brazilians, and Horrifying Secrets, August 17, 2013
The story seems simple, a young girl wanting to break free from her wealthy family to find her own place in the world. But it's so much more than that. Hannah has many stories to share. On the surface she seems so put together and determined, but the truth is she's broken. I honestly don't know who I rooted for more in this book, Hannah or the battered horse, Argus. My heart broke for Hannah. She's strong and independents, yet trapped in an existence she desperately needs to break free from. Just like Argus-beaten and malnourished, he is timid and afraid. Argus is broken too.

When we first meet Hannah we get a glimpse into her wonderful life. She's from a wealthy family, her boyfriend is a gorgeous Polo player, and she has a close relationship with her grandmother she adores. But a fire that claims the lives of her grandmother and her horse uncover what really lies beneath the surface.

Hannah can't seem to please her rigid father and her boyfriend is extremely possessive. She inherits her grandmother's ranch, but both of the men in her life want her to sell it. They don't understand her emotional attachment to it. The more she tries to convince them that the ranch is her future, the more they fight her about it. The more she fights with her boyfriend, Eric, the more she notices changes in him.

Enter Leonardo Fernandes. A polo star from Brazil who moves with his family to a nearby ranch. When he finds Hannah on the side of the road, trying to catch a runaway Argus, he's mesmerized by her. Their share loved of horses and how to care for them brings them closer together. Leo doesn't hide his feelings for Hannah which enrages Eric, releasing a dark and sinister side he's hidden. When Leo tries to claim his girlfriend and his number rank in the polo world, Eric snaps.

As Eric's violent tendencies escalate, Hannah finds herself trapped in his grasp. She wants to break free from him, but she doesn't have the courage, strength, or help she needs to do so. Or does she? In Leo and Argus she discovers that what can be broken can also be fixed. Healing Argus means healing her own wounds and the bond that forms between these two battered beings is so breath-taking. They give each other the strength and support they both so desperately need.

Breaking the Reins reminded me how much I love stories that involve relationships other than just romance. I loved Leo and Hannah's story; how they interacted together and worked together to help Argus. But I also really loved Hannah's relationship with Argus. She was reluctant to take him in, unsure of her ability to help heal his wounds. The love they find reminded me of my childhood favorites Black Beauty and The Black Stallion. Watching them both learn to trust each other is heart warming.

Juliana Haygert's writing is filled with a grace and elegance that sweeps you off your feet. Her characters are complex and watching those complexities unravel is fascinating and surprising. I was stunned by the rage and evil that consumes Eric, and the lengths he will go to to get everything he wants. When the truth comes out you will be horrified and shocked. But the courage and love from Hannah, Leo, and Argus is inspiring. I laughed, I cried, I swooned and then I did it all again. I couldn't put this book down. The ending was real, providing both the emotional high and the hidden scars the characters will have to learn to live with. I can't wait to read more from this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly wonderful story!, August 15, 2013
By 
Jennifer (Charlotte, NC, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
***I received and ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review***

This book was wonderful! I really enjoyed the story and it pulled me in from the beginning. Hannah and Leo's story was amazing. I have to say, Juliana did a great job describing the emotions and feelings behind some domestic violence situations. This book was not easy to read in these scenes and those who have been victims such assaults may have difficulty reading these parts, but Hannah was strong and overcame her demons! What an incredible journey that these two overcame and I truly enjoyed Argus. He made for an incredible storyline and I am absolutely a fan!

**On a side note- who doesn't love learning how to swear in Portuguese! 😉
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved this book!!, August 13, 2013
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book when I started it. I had tried Haygert's DESTINY'S GIFT and realized it just wasn't for me. And I have read her short story, HER HEART'S SECRET WISH, and adored it. So I knew, even though one book didn't, click this one would. I was so right. BREAKING THE REINS is a whole other genre and I think that helped. Maybe I am getting burnt out on paranormal/fantasy reads. And I will tell you this...this book hit the spot! I really enjoyed this Contemporary Romance so much. And it wasn't what I was expecting at all. Let me explain...

I really enjoyed Hannah's character and enjoyed seeing her differ from her rich, uptight family. I am glad that she was finding herself breaking away from what they wanted out of her and her life. Even though it was hard to do (and at times she felt as if she was talking to a brick wall) Hannah was able to reclaim parts of her life back that she didn't realize had slipped out of her control. For instance, she moves out to her grandmother's ranch to help continue to run it. That is something her family was absolutely against.

But there are still some things that Hannah has no control over. Like her boyfriend Eric. After 2 years of being together as a couple you'd think you would know someone. Not true. When a Brazilian Polo opponent wiggles his way into her life, Eric soon becomes someone Hannah no longer recognizes. And it scares Hannah. But the truth is she should be scared. And this story is beyond what I thought it would be. This is where it gets going. And boy did it get going. Some parts are not for the faint of heart. It will be grueling to read at times and I am sure it will trigger emotions some readers may not be ready for. I think my heart may have stopped a few times.

I cannot get over this book though. Here I am hours after finishing it and still thinking on it. I was thrown off guard and I found I liked that very much. You see things building but then you realize you had no idea the quality of crazy you are dealing with until it is right on top of you. Bam! It strikes out of nowhere and you are left stunned and amazed that there are really people out there just like him. (Unless of course you have dealt with crazy, then you will understand.) I was scared for her and actually got to thinking that I might have acted just like her when certain situations were presented to Hannah. People will do anything to protect their loved ones, and even with the riff in her family, Hannah is do different. She wants to protect them at all cost...even sacrificing herself, her safety, and her happiness in the meantime.

When I think of books that would be worthy of being a Lifetime movie...this is definitely one of them. With each scene and every printed word, I imagined the story playing in my head as if it was. Great story build up and wonderful characters...BREAKING THE REINS is a great story I recommend to anyone looking for a romance that is a little on the forbidden side. Although I am not a huge fan of cheating, I will say that the author handled this carefully and wonderfully. Once you read it you will understand. So pick it up as soon as it releases.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking and absolutely beautifully written!, August 20, 2014
I've be grudging to do this review for so long because there's so much amazingness in just 382 pages and I don't want to spoil any of it! Yet I don't know how to express my feelings for it or didn't know if I could do it justice and help paint a picture for you by just saying "Oh my god! Oh my god! You must read this freaking fantastic book!" haha. So here I am writing it and I'm doing a pretty good job at it. So here you go.....

Breaking the Reins is breathtaking and absolutely beautifully written. Just, wow! It's so human and real, one of the best New Adult Contemporaries I have read! It surely stands out in a crowd!

When I requested this as a research project for one of my own writings I was so excited that Juliana said yes! I knew this would be an intense read as it involves an abusive relationship but I had no idea that this was going to be a powerful and strong read that Mrs. Haygert has crated for us. I was truly swept away! I got lost in the words as she pulled at my heart strings. This was a crazy emotional ride and throughout I was rooting for Hannah and Leo.

Hannah is such a tough chick and throughout the book too. Though I loved her and her strength when everyone was against her and her dreams, I wanted to slap her when things were getting bad and she needed help. Like most abuse victims they deny it and that just bugged me she did! But that's real, this book is so real and I can't believe how much Juliana has me wrapped around her finger! haha

When I started this read I did not think I would get so attached and once I finished the last page, I felt like I lost all my friends. I wanted so badly to go back to this world! To get lost and feel the love that Leo and Hannah had for each other, reminds me of me and my Marine fiancé. The ending especially haha. They were so cute and their blooming relationship felt so natural! I couldn't put down this book! It's one you would have to pry from my dead hands. I couldn't get enough! I devoured it and though I wanted to savor it, I just couldn't stop!

Leo, oh Leo. You're my new book boyfriend! You're so charming and handsome, but you bring strength to Hannah too. An added strength to her tough exterior and that's exactly what everybody needs. You had me swept off my feet throughout the book and it seriously killed me when you weren't in every single page and chapter. I missed you as much as Hannah missed you. Again, Juliana, you had me so hooked that it felt like I fell down the rabbit hole and wasn't in my world anymore. I loved it!

Overall if you're looking for a refreshing New Adult Contemporary Romance then pick this one up! It will take a hold of you and once you're done, you'll still be thinking about it weeks later. Most definitely left a foot print in my book worm heart! I just.....so many emotions! The feels people! Leo had me laughing out loud, had me falling for him when he showed affection towards Hannah, and he had me weak at the knees when he showed her his passion. Oh my god, their first kiss was so hot! So much passion! Again, so many feels! And don't get me started on her abusive boyfriend.....ooh, if I was there I would have shot his ass if I got a chance.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 perfeita stars. Breaking the Reins is the most beautiful, intense, and well written book I have read, July 18, 2014
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I simply adore this book. This is the second time I read it and boy the magic is the same.
Hanna is a college girl, a little naive maybe, she’s in love with her boyfriend, loves ride her horse, shares with her grandma, and works in the family ranch. The only issue in this wonderful picture is her relationship with her parents, they don’t connect with each other, and have different opinions about life, business, and more.
Her grandma is another story. They share an unique bonding, I totally understand this because I adore mine. When she begins spend more time in the ranch with her grandmother and her horse, the tragedy starts. In a mysterious fire both of them die.
Eight months later, Hanna is running the ranch because she inherited it, but she is doing that just for respect her grandma’s wishes. She doesn’t want to ride a horse anymore.
When Argus comes in to her ranch, she resists him, but he’s a broken horse because his former owner is a cruel man. Some people think she could help him like her grandma would do it.
Thanks to Argus Leonardo runs into the story (I Black heart (cards) u little horse)
Leonardo Fernandes, Meu Deus, this man is perfect and all mine. I love him, a bad boy trying to be good?
Leo is the new guy on the town, when he meets Hanna, the attraction is immediate, he likes her in a deeply sense. He’s so intrigued because she is running an immense farm alone and trying to heal a broken horse. But the most important? He supports her, he wants to help her with Argus, with her farm, and everything.
As the attraction between Hanna and Leo consolidates, Argus’ recovery starts to progress. But not everything is good, Eric doesn’t want lose his perfect world and that includes Hanna. The tension and anguish is present all the way.
A very good factor for me is Hanna’s attitude, she isn’t unfaithful or cheater. She respects her relationship and that’s a lady.
Sensual and intense moments between Hanna & Leo kept me stuck at my paperback and kindle, scary and anguish scenes rose my heartbeat many times.
The supporting characters are faultless. The Fernandes is such a beautiful family, in spite of the bad moments, they love each other. I always wanted more about them, and Breaking Fences, the companion novel of this book, is just the beginning. Between Gui, Ricardo, Pedro and Hillary (Hanna’s sister) I’m expecting three more books and a novella about Hanna & Leo in their wedding #FanRequest

My real rate is 10 perfeita stars. But… you know the rating system. I have never rated a book with 10 stars, and maybe I won’t do it again, but for me Breaking the Reins is the most beautiful, intense, and well written book I have read. Thanks God I learned to read in English, because I needed to read this book, seriously.

Breaking the Reins by Juliana Haygert is the epitome of beautiful and irresistible characters, intense storyline, heartbreaking scenes, and a happy ending. All of this with the Brazilian sexy accent printed by Juliana, an authentic Brazilian girl.

Tchau :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romance & Horses!!, September 13, 2013
This review is from: Breaking the Reins (Paperback)
Breaking the Reins by Julia Haygert gave me the kind of story I haven't read in a long time. I used to read horse stories all the time growing up. There aren't enough horse stories out there that are focused on an older crowd rather than children. So, I'm glad we finally have one. I really enjoyed this story. Breaking the Reins by Juliana Haygert was provided to me by the Xpresso Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 12, 2014
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Good book loved the ending, the story line made both sad and happy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read., July 4, 2014
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Love this book-rather awful in place with not pleasant subject matter but well resolved for a happy-ever-after. Love reading about the horse. The book held my attention. Will read the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thoughts on breaking the reins, June 27, 2014
Eric is a jerk. A huge jerk. Leo amazeballs. He has a past but it isn't as bad as Hannah makes it out to be.

This is a book about love and acceptance. The ability to be who you are and have the support of those you love. Hannah finds this with Leo and even eventually gets her dad to there as well. Hannah is trying to find her way. She loves the ranch and wants to run her dads business but also be loved. Her family doesn't feel this is the way they want her to just run the business.Her boyfriend Eric the psychopath wants her to be a trophy. Than she meets Leo. Leo is amazing. Kind and gentle and helps Hannah see what she wants.

Leo and Hannah have attraction but she is with Eric. Eric who is horrible to her behind closed doors. He blackmails her as well and this keeps her away from Leo. He even goes so far as to hurt Leo. Leo who loves Hannah. Hannah who loves Leo but won't go there.

The love that just can't be forgotten. The love that won't go away. Hannah's dad is injured and all this comes to blows. When it does Eric is in the center and Leo is the hero. Their love is so evident and deserves to be acknowledged.

A beautiful book about trust and love. Support and friendship. A beautiful book that encompasses all this is a nicely wrapped package.
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Breaking the Reins
Breaking the Reins by Juliana Haygert (Paperback - August 20, 2013)
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