Thursday, June 26, 2014
MY THOUGHTS: Breaking the Reins by Juliana Haygert
New Adult Contemporary Romance
The Breaking Series, #1
August 11, 2013
Contains scenes of Domestic Violence/Abuse
Summary 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 bringers 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 mus find a way to break free from abusive Eric before he breaks every bone in her body.
***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.
Juliana Haygert is co-founder and contributor of NA Alley
Stay connected with Juliana Haygert
Note: This review contains no spoilers
As I sit hear thinking about what to say about this book, my mind keeps replaying the book over and over in head. It was that GOOD! I got so caught up with Hannah's life...all the good and all the bad. The summary already says a lot of what to expect in this story, but I don't think it prepared me for what was gut wrenching and heartbreaking story of one girl's life turned upside down with all that has happened in her past and present. Yes, it did touch on the subject of domestic violence which, in reality, is a problem that a good number of women and children face every day. And, Juliana Haygert did an absolutely amazing job in writing this into the storyline with great care...with great compassion.
I learned a bit about it in my college days when I took Psychology...I even had to do a group presentation on this subject. All the research in the world could not make all this suffering any less painful and horrifying. With Juliana's adept ability for creating these well developed characters, my emotions were also pulled in to Hannah's struggle with dealing with such abuse. After each turn of the page, I recognized many forms of domestic abuse that abusers do to "break" down their wives and/or girlfriends....even animals. I was gasping through it all. I seriously felt like I wanted to "jump" into the story to help Hannah! That's how riled with fear and frustration I got as I kept reading. I'm not saying that I'm an expert, but from what I did learn and remember, this is a subject that had to be handled with compassion and respect for those that do escape and survive such situations. And, Juliana Haygert accomplished that in this book.
Being told in Hannah's point of view made the story and the horrifying abuse even more appalling as if it was me going through it. That feeling of helplessness and being broken by Hannah just gripped my heart. But with the help of Leo coming into her life, this helped her open her eyes to what she didn't see before.
I was also fascinated with the incorporation of a foreign language, particularly Portuguese, since several characters originated from Brazil in which Portuguese is the official language. Plus, this amazing author is originally from Brazil. These words and phrases added an elegance and authenticity to these Brazilian characters. It took me a while since I had to go back to the beginning of the book to remember the meanings of these words and phrases, but pretty soon, I was able to keep up with it.
When I think about it, especially my heart is still racing after finishing this book, I am totally blown away at Juliana Haygert's ability to write such a beautiful and heart wrenching story of courage, survival, compassion, love, and healing. This is definitely a must read book...it's not a typical contemporary romance. Not everything is always what it seems.