Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Breaking the Reins
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on August 18, 2013
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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on 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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on September 2, 2013
Well...I actually have no idea how to start off this review. I have been sitting here thinking and thinking and NOTHING I say is really expressing how much I enjoyed this book. Just know that I absolutely, 100% fell in love with Breaking the Reins.

Breaking the Reins is hands down, the best New Adult novel I have read so far (and I have read a good number of them). This book had me completely enraptured in the story from the very beginning till the very end, and left me on quite the book high. Juliana wrote characters that stole my heart, that made me really feel.

I don't cry during books often, it's something that rarely happens. While reading Breaking the Reins though, there was a part that shattered my heart into a bunch of tiny pieces and really made me get choked up and teary eyed. Juliana wrote her characters so well, that when they were being beaten down. and at a point where I wasn't sure if they would make it out okay, I found myself very upset, and insanely worried for them.

With that said, I think characters was the strongest point with Breaking the Reins, and I honestly cannot see how someone could not find themselves falling in love with this cast. You have Hannah who was stubborn, caring, and strong. People wanted her to sell her late grandmothers ranch, but she would never. She has a horse Argus that she is suppose to save, even though the horse seems impossible, and dangerous she still won't give up on him. You have Leo who has a rough past, but has turned a new leaf. He is caring and patient and wants nothing more than to be with Hannah and make her happy. Then you have Argus, who is the horse that was abused by his past owners, and while the progress is slow, he is very slowly warming up to Leo and Hannah. Those were easily my 3 favorites characters (yes the horse is a character in my book! He is someone readers will find themselves very attached to)

Besides Hannah, Leo and Argus though I did rather enjoy Bia (Leo's sister). I also in the end found myself liking Hillary who is Hannah's sister, I wouldn't mind seeing Hillary get her own story. A story telling how she deals with the aftermath of Breaking the Reins, learning to trust again.

Breaking the Reins, was a little slow paced in the beginning. But even though it was slow paced readers will still find themselves on the edge of their seats during the whole novel. You never know when Eric is going to show up, or what he is going to do, which made the whole reading experience rather stressful, but exciting. Leo would be helping Hannah train Argus, and I would always find myself worrying "omg...what if Eric shows up?!?! WHAT THE HELL WILL THEY DO?!" With Eric being such a roller coaster of a character you never know what to expect from him.

Overall, Breaking the Reins was such a good read. If you are a fan of New Adult contemporary novels, then I highly recommend it. I read this book in one sitting, just a few days ago and am already looking forward to the next time I pick it up to re-read it. If you want an edge of your seat, heart stirring, contemporary romance, then you need to read this.

Quotes

"Say the word and I'm there. Please...say it." ~Leo to Hannah

"You're mine, Hannah, and only mine. Nobody, no other man will lay hands on you. You hear me?" He pressed his mouth to my ear. "You're mine." ~Eric to Hannah
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on March 18, 2014
Hadn't read anything by this author before and wasn't quite sure of this book when I read the preview but wow ppl please don't let this one get away! Little slow to start but after finishing I understand the necessity for it as it helped lay the foundation to a great story. Love the twists and turns and really couldn't put it down. Very much enjoyed the plot and characters and am very excited about a follow up coming out this summer.
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on January 10, 2014
The book and story are fantastic! It really sucks you in and makes you feel as though you are their. The emotional and human interaction parts are 5 star, but the parts about the horse are complete BS. The author clearly knows NOTHING about horses and really says some stupid stuff. I do hope she gets some lessons before attempting this again.
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on February 6, 2014
This book was written for me - it had all my favourite things: Horses, polo, ranches/farms, hot men & foreign languages. I loved it. I loved the way the difficult subject matter was dealt with. I liked the heroine (I haven't really liked one for a while) & who could resist Leo. 5 big fat stars from me :)
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on March 1, 2014
This Is such an amazing story. I love everything about it. Has drama, romance, love, jealousy, hatred and etc...I suggest reading it even if you arnt a horse lover, you will be by the end of this story. You will be shocked about what you find out...plus after reading watch the Britney spears video radar. I was shocked by how it goes with the book! Awesome!!!
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on August 13, 2013
AHHH! GUYS, I got the first chance to read this book AND OMG GOD! LEO HOT, ERIC - CAN I KILL HIM NOW? AND ARGUS - my heart is soo in love and ARGUS is a horse!!!

This story is warm and heart wrenching. It's about trust, betrayal and domestic violence that plagues our society. I encoruge you guys to get a copy of this book when it comes out. It'll have you teary, SWOONY, and wanting to punch ERIC in the FACE.

Juliana, you my dear did an awesome job with this book! Do we get to see stories from the other brothers? CUZ I want it...

<3
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on 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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on August 12, 2013
I found this book in Facebook. Another author had posted the link for it so I thought I would check it out. I'm so glad I did.
I bought the book immediately and couldn't put it down. Such a great book. I would definitely buy this book again and would recommend it to everyone.
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