(Note: I'm sorry about the white stuff around certain parts of this. It drives me nuts. At least the links are there. Sorry).
Breaking the Reins
by Juliana Haygert
Release Date: 08/19/13
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 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.
**New Adult Contemporary Romance Novel**
Praise for Breaking the Reins:
“Breaking The Reins by Juliana Haygert is a real treasure. It’s a sexy, heartbreaking and romantic ride you won’t want to miss.” —Sawyer Bennett, USA Today Bestselling author of Off Side, Off Limits, Off the Record, and Off Course.
“A breath of fresh air in the New Adult market. Juliana Haygert’s new contemporary novel is one not to be missed!” —Magan Vernon, international bestselling author of The Only Exception
“A swoonworthy love interest and a fantastic backdrop make Breaking the Reins a New Adult read you don’t want to miss!” —Alyssa Rose Ivy, bestselling author of The Crescent Chronicles, Clayton Falls Series, and The Hazards of Skinny Dipping.
I got ready and returned to the exercise. I pulled Argus forward first, on a speedy walk, and he came with me. I stopped, he stopped. I went forward again, walking normally, and he kept up with me.
Without halting first, I started walking backward. Argus instantly stopped.
“Come on, boy, you can do it.” I gently tugged on the reins.
He made a loud noise like a sigh and then, slowly, he moved backward.
I had to lock my body not to jump up and down, and held on to my hand before it stroked his white coat.
Calm, Hannah. He feels what you feel. Stay calm.
Argus and I played that game for over forty minutes, until he didn’t hesitate stopping or retreating when I did.
“Good job, boy,” I said, pulling the reins over his neck, so he could trot around the round pen without having them hanging and bothering him.
Whirling on my feet, I walked to where Leo was leaning against the fence, and noticed Argus was coming with me. Leo raised one eyebrow at me, and I smiled.
I took two more steps before stopping. Argus stopped too.
I put a hand over my mouth to help me suppress the happy laughter trying to come out. Oh damn, the horse was following me without any reins or ropes!
I walked in a circle, and Argus followed my every step. I sped up, and he caught up with me. I stopped again, and he did too. I retreated and he did too.
With a big grin, I strolled to Leo with Argus in tow.
“Impressive,” he said, his face alight.
“I’m impressed too,” I whispered, afraid of scaring Argus. I turned to the horse again. “You can go exercise, boy.” Instead of trotting away, he advanced one step. “What is it, boy?” I extended my arms to my sides, wary of moving too much, too sudden. Argus took another step toward me and nudged my forearm with his muzzle. I froze.
Slowly, Leo stood behind me, closer than necessary, clasped his hand around my elbow, and guided my hand to Argus’s neck.
I held my breath.
Until my cell phone started ringing. Argus neighed and trotted away, and Leo closed his arms around me and pulled me back, probably trying to get me out of the way, in case Argus advanced on me.
“No, no, no.” I cursed with some really nasty words in my mind as I reached for my phone in my pocket. Eric’s name flashed on the screen, and I only pressed the end button.
Leo offered me a knowing look. “Have you accepted any of his calls lately?”
Juliana Haygert is a 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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