September 3, 2013

BLOG TOUR REVIEW, PLAYLIST & GIVEAWAY: Breaking the Reins


I'm super thrilled to be one of the stops on the Breaking the Reins blog tour, sponsored by Xpresso Book Tours (check out all the stops on the tour!). This was an incredible book, and OH - the feels!! Read on for my review, then check out Juliana Haygert's Breaking the Reins playlist. Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win one of five awesome prizes, including a signed paperback of Breaking the Reins.

Breaking the Reins, by Juliana Haygert
Published August 14, 2013
Publisher:  Createspace
Format: e-book, provided by Xpresso Book Tours and Juliana Haygert in exchange for an honest review
Genre:  new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating:  4 STARS

(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.


If I had to use one word to describe Breaking the Reins, it would be intense. All the relationships in this book are very heavy on the emotion, and Juliana Haygert haz the skillz, because I was feeling it ALL. 

Hannah is one lonely girl. After a fire kills her grandma and her horse, she is left with her grandma's ranch to run by herself. She's not close with her parents or her sister, and she doesn't really have any close girlfriends. She does, however, have Eric, her boyfriend, but even he has started acting weirdly possessive and crazy lately. It's only when she meets Leonardo, a fantastic polo player who is giving Eric a run for his money, that she realizes what she's really missing - a relationship with someone who gets her and respects her. And, that's when Eric catches on and decides that he's the only guy that Hannah has room for in her life.

Let's talk horses for a minute. I've always loved them. I took riding lessons a few times when I was young, and I absolutely adored it. It's unfortunately an expensive sport, so my lessons were few, but my love of these beautiful animals has always been there. For that reason, I was so excited to read Breaking the Reins. The horses really did take the spotlight in this book, which centers around a riding ranch and a polo club. One of the main characters is Argus, an abused horse Hannah is asked to take care of. Besides Leo, the horses were the best part of this book.

Speaking of Leo, holy hotness, Batman. There is something about a strong, powerful man riding around on a strong, powerful animal that gets my blood boiling, Throw in a sexy as hell accent and a hero complex the size of California, and you have Leo, the guy who has set his sights on Hannah. Lucky girl.

Oh, but she's not as lucky as you might think. Eric is the worst of the worst, and he's exactly like you would picture an abuser. He starts slowly, then as his frustration with Hannah grows, so does the flying of his fists. Hannah made me so mad - why didn't she see what he was trying to do to her? Why didn't she leave him when she had something so much better with Leo? But, I guess that's how it is with most abuse victims. They make crazy excuses for the behavior in order to keep the status quo, and we see that in Hannah. It made me nuts.

Although some portions of the story slowed down at times, for the most part, the pacing was good. Breaking the Reins is told from Hannah's POV, which really worked well since the story surrounds her ability to deal with all the crap she was getting from her family, from Eric, from her ranch and even from Leo at times. The characters are really well developed, although I would've liked to have learned more about Leo's family. I'm hopeful that future books will follow his siblings, which will give me that insight I crave.

Breaking the Reins is an emotional new adult book set among an untapped setting of horses and horse farms. It was raw and real and sexy and sweet. It should definitely be on your TBR list.

Playlist

Check out Juliana Haygert's playlist for Breaking the Reins!

- Radar by Britney Spears
- Stranger by Hilary Duff
- He About To Lose Me by Britney Spears
- Give in to Me by Leighton Meester and Garrett Hedlund
- Truck Yeah by Tim McGraw
- Just Say Yes by Snow Patrol (this one joined the playlist recently, when my editor said it reminded her of Hannah and Leo!)

Then, I had a secondary list with songs by Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks, Ellie Goulding, Faith Hill, Jake Owen, Julie Roberts, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Medina, Shania Twain, and Taylor Swift, and the soundtrack of the “Country Strong” movie.

About the Author
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.

Learn more about Juliana Haygert --> Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads




Giveaway
Open internationally

-Signed paperback of Breaking the Reins
-Ebook of Breaking the Reins
-Signed paperback of Destiny Gift
-Ebook of Destiny Gift
-25$ Amazon/B&N gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 comments:

Gurjit Singh Khehra said...

Great Blog. Thanks for sharing.

Justin Junior said...

Great Blog. Thanks for sharing. Actually i was looking for some helpful blogs for my tution students. I am so glad to find yours. I was hoping that these will be helpful for them to help them in staying focused to study and related work. Placements and Jobs related blogs will be helpful to stay updated about the latest On Campus and Off Campus Placements and Helpful Tips and Guide to study well, score high in placements exams and get their dream job. Getting placed in a better company is becoming difficult day by day.

Justin Junior said...

Great Blog. Thanks for sharing. Actually i was looking for some helpful blogs for my tution students. I am so glad to find yours. I was hoping that these will be helpful for them to help them in staying focused to study and related work. Placements and Jobs related blogs will be helpful to stay updated about the latest On Campus and Off Campus Placements and Helpful Tips and Guide to study well, score high in placements exams and get their dream job. Getting placed in a better company is becoming difficult day by day.

Silvia Fugate said...

I do like horses but can not recall to many books I have read that involve them a lot . I did read Black beauty though and loved that book!

ana-death said...

I LOVE horses! Last book I've read with a horse was one of my all-time favorites: The Scorpio Races! For sure I am gonna read it again soon. So. much. love!

Also, thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win S2

Ashley Montgomery said...

Great review! Glad you really enjoyed it.

Juliana Haygert said...

Yay, so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks :)

LAWonder said...

I love horses. I used to read every horse story I could get my hands on but it has been several years.

Ashleigh Swerdfeger said...

I like horses. When I was kid I was afraid of heights and riding on horses lol. I have read a few different ones. They are a lot of fun. I especially liked reading one that I shared a name with the protagonist.