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Posted May 15, 2014
After she loses her grandmother and her horse in a fire, Hannah’s whole life changes. Her once simple life as a college student is complicated when she’s left to take care of the ranch, and when new guy in town Leo appears, her relationship with her successful boyfriend hits the rocks in the worst way. Eric’s jealous streak is anything but harmless, and the closer Hannah gets to Leo, the worse things get. But getting away from an abusive boyfriend is no easy feat.
I’m not sure I’m convinced about Eric. While I can certainly see jealousy bringing out someone’s dark side, his transition was a bit too drastic, and I wasn’t sold on Hannah staying with him. Abusers often seek out people who are already vulnerable, or they spend time grooming them to accept the awful behavior as normal, and I didn’t really feel like this was the case with these two. Hannah may have been young and therefore a bit naive, but nothing about her or their relationship prepared me for her to stay with Eric when he turned into a nightmare of a boyfriend. Granted, there is no standard for abusive relationships or the victims of them, but this is fiction, so I expected to be convinced more than I was.
There also seemed to be a lot of inaccuracy when it came to the horse aspect, and while it doesn’t ruin the story, it will probably drive the horse people crazy. There were some odd terms used when discussing tack, things that everyone from a stable hand to a regular rider would know better than to use, not to mention some big contradictions in the horse training methods. I know not everyone grows up on ranches these days, and even the best research will yield a few inaccuracies, but if a subject is to be such a large part of a story, better research is warranted.
My distance from Hannah’s reasoning aside, it’s a great book. The characters are multi-dimensional, Hannah’s college/ranch/relationship situation is interestingly complex and written in a fresh voice, and Leo is absolutely swoon-worthy.
Hannah may have been privileged, but I wouldn’t call her spoiled. She’s smart and capable and has a big heart. Her love of horses added to her character without turning her into a caricature, and she has a big heart. Leo… damn. He was conflicted and considerate and patient, and I’m pretty sure I fell in love with him right alongside Hannah.
I’m not usually one to read books about characters who are being abused — it shadows the romance aspect too much, and I prefer a bigger helping of fluff & escape, but Breaking the Reins was a pleasant surprise. It’s a story about love and friendship and healing and growing up, and while it has it’s darker moments, the ending is well worth the read.
Posted October 7, 2013
<b> ** 2.5 stars ** </b>
I was drawn to Breaking the Reins because it seemed a little different from a lot of current New Adult books. Well, maybe not so much different at the base, but I couldn't remember reading a book set in the world of polo and horse-rearing and rehabilitation. I mean, the only thing I know about polo is that Prince Harry looks mighty good while playing. And the only thing I can say about horses in general is that your best friend putting you on a horse in the middle of a rocky field, then telling you the horse isn't really suited for riding as it takes off in a dead run will scar you for life.
So as far as Breaking the Reins goes....I'm at a bit of a loss here. I don't know if I just completely lacking a heart right now (my husband would say that, yes, this is the case), but I just didn't connect with the characters or the story. That's not to say that I didn't have moments in which I enjoyed the story, or sympathized with Hannah, because I did, very sporadically. But as far as being swept away by passion and emotions? Nope.
Breaking the Reins does deal with some heavy issues. There's the animal cruelty and rehabilitation aspect, which I appreciated. There is also the fact that Hannah is in an abusive relationship, and struggles with breaking free. To see a character who knows she's in a bad place, wants to get away, but continually second guesses herself and puts it off was both frustrating and what I imagine to be realistic portrayal of many abusive relationships. Hannah's boyfriend, though, is more than an abuser. He is a completely deranged psychopath who was scary and intense, but I feel so much crazy was thrown into this character that he became a caricature.
And though Hannah is initially torn between boyfriend Eric and new guy Leo, I would not label this as a love triangle, because as I've established, Eric is a psycho and psychos are not viable love interests. Hannah was a conflicted character, continually torn between what's expected and what she wants. Leo, the new guy, was incredibly charming and good to Hannah. I liked these two and liked them together, but I couldn't truly feel their emotions.
While I lacked a true connection to Breaking the Reins, it is a story that I liked at certain points and could appreciate the themes.
Posted August 30, 2013
Free copy courtesy of the author
I looooooooved this. I love how the story progresses. The storyline is great. The plot is strong.
There was a lot of action going on. The relationship between Hannah(central character) and everyone else(including the horses) is easy to understand.
Obviously Eric is a piece of sh*t and Leo is an angel.
Seeing how events(big and small) affected Hannah's relationship with everyone, especially Leo and Argus.
I'm not going to put any spoilers. You should definitely read this book. Even if you aren't a fan of horse books. (I never liked horse books after reading Black Beauty. it was soon boring. maybe because I was seven or eight when I read it).
I totally enjoyed this book.
and I want to read more about Leo's family and Hillary (Hannah's sister). I hope the author continues this one as a series
Contains scenes of domestic violence
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Posted August 24, 2013
New Adult or NA, the newest genre to make it’s way in the market and is currently the hottest thing in the Indie sector of publishing and book blogging. I haven’t read many of NA books yet and this book marks the 3rd book I’ve read in the genre.
I’ve learned to not expect much from books since I always gave bad reviews to the books I expected way too much from. So, I read this book with zero expectations and I have to say. I loved it!
The beginning was a bit hard for me to get into, the writing seemed a bit off and I found it hard for me to click with the main character and there seemed way too much predictability but once things started picking up I went through the book really quickly. If I didn’t have 2 Jobs, I would have finished the book right before the Aug 16th.
Haygert put in domestic abuse, violence, polo (the sport) and saving animals into the story and that gave the whole book its depth and page-turning element. Though the book was based around the cliché romance, it was very unique and original in it’s own way. I even cried a few times as the main character tries to save an abused horse from itself and the heartbreaking moments between her and the man she is too scared to want.
All together, the book was a wonderful summer read. It was heart wrenching, beautiful and all together swoon-worthy. Haygert just needs to keep writing to improve the inner monologue of the main characters. So I’m confident after her fourth or fifth book, she will nail it!
Posted August 22, 2013
A book perfectly written to capture the audience from page 1. Taken on a journey thru the struggles of the female lead character and a witness to a love worth fighting for. Couldn't put it downWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2013
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Posted May 28, 2014
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