Breaking the Reins (Book #1)
Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
This book took me a while to read, and I mean that in a good way. I didn't want to rush through it. I was completely caught up in Hannah's world. I enjoyed daydreaming about finding my own hottie Brazilian man, because Leo is luscious. I loved all of the horses and felt like I was right there in the middle of all of the action.
Eric is a total jerk. I am sad that such characters have to exist, because they are people just like him in real life. He is kind of scary!
This was a book that I enjoyed over several afternoons, sipping coffee on the back deck. I looked forward to the sequel!
by Juliana Haygert
Genre: NA contemporary romance
Word Count: ~80,000
Release date: June/2014
Cover by: Okay Creations
Summary from Goodreads:
All Beatriz “Bia” Fernandes wants is to prove herself—to her family and friends—though it’s hard to prove anything with an overbearing father and three famous polo-playing older brothers. After her acceptance into college results in a heated family argument, the Brazilian girl leaves everything behind to find her own American dream.
College life away from home is perfect until the people she believes to be her friends turn on her. With lies and rumors threatening to suffocate her, Bia turns to her only freedom. Riding.
But one thing gets in the way of her escape. Garrett Blackwell and his bad cowboy attitude. Working at the ranch is his obligation, bugging Bia is his newfound hobby. His thick skin and easy grin don’t hide what Bia already knows—this misunderstood and lonely cowboy fights his own demons. Brushing horses’ coats and mucking out stalls shouldn’t be this sexy, and it isn’t long before he becomes a part of her distraction.
However, escaping won’t solve her problems, and it’s up to Bia to break down the fences around her and prove her strength—not to her family and friends, but to herself … and for Garrett. Because standing on her own doesn’t have to mean standing alone.
** Companion novel of Breaking the Reins. Can be read out of order.**
I really like Bia. I almost liked her better than Hannah, though I related better to Hannah. Bia is flawed. She is beautiful and headstrong and knows what she wants to do with her life, but society at college is knocking her down. She is still determined and wants to persevere. She goes on quite the rollercoaster ride. Sometimes I wanted to yell at her for her choices and her knee-jerk responses. But at the same time, I couldn't blame her. The men in her life all need to be smacked, at least once. Appropriate ones may be forgiven, though.
I really liked this book, too, and hope there is a third one in the works.
Caution to younger readers: This is a new adult title, which means it gets quite racy! I needed a fan and some ice water!
New adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.
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.
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