Published on: August 22nd 2016
Published by: Self Published
Series: Breaking #3
Genre: NA Romance
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(summary from Goodreads)
From the outside, Hilary Taylor has it all—beauty, money, a caring family, good friends—but inside she’s struggling, full of fears. Events from the past forever changed her, and though years of therapy have helped, she still has a long way to go…. No matter how much progress she’s made, Hil isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to trust men again. Especially one who sees her as nothing more than a pretty face. But Hil knows it’s time to face her fears, and the best way to do that is to start small.
To Guilherme Fernandes life is about three things: polo, parties and pretty girls—only one of which he takes seriously. Gui is too focused on his polo career to waste time on relationships, however he can’t help but be intrigued by the beautiful yet troubled Hil. So when she decides she’d like to learn more about horses, Gui is happy to find himself in the right place at the right time. But what was supposed to be a one time thing, soon turns into a weekly date.
As Gui helps her discover a new found love for horses, Hil’s guard begins to crumble. The more support Gui offers, the more she wants to accept…and the more the lines of friendship blur. Despite knowing better, Hil can’t help it as Gui slowly breaks through the walls she’s built. Now she has to decide if she’ll stop him there, or if she’ll finally let her fear go and allow Gui to reach for her heart.
I absolutely loved the first two books in this series and I am ashamed to say that I totally forgot about it until the author emailed me about an ARC and remembering how much I loved the previous books I jumped at the chance!
Firstly, I would advise that you read at least book 1 before reading this book. A lot of Hilary’s issues and fears come from an event that happened in the first book so if you want the full explanation then I would definitely suggest it. Book 2 isn’t as important to read prior to this book, but it’s so good that you really should!
“His eyes…his impossibly blue eyes were killing me I could read so much in them – his worry, his concern, his caring. But was it enough? Was it as much as I wanted it to be?”
I really loved Hilary in this book. When I first met her in Breaking Free (book 1) I wasn’t too sure of her, but from page 1 in this book I loved her. My heart really went out to her and all the fears she is now dealing with. She struggles with the smallest of things, like going to a bar with friends, and my heart felt for her every time she tried to confront a fear but was unable to.
The whole situation with Hilary and her reaction to the trauma she had faced in Breaking Free was totally realistic and at no point did anything feel dramatised. Also at no point did it feel like Hilary had just “healed” and was fine now. We get to see her grow as a person and gain back her confidence and independence as she beats each one of her fears.
“He had already bothered too much with me, more than he should have. I didn’t want to become a problem in his life. He was so much better off without me.”
Gui was the perfect mix of strong and sensitive. He was also an incredibly patient guy and even though you could see how much is frustrated him at times that Hilary wasn’t able to confront her fears and let herself be with him, he never pushed her and was always there waiting for her when she would need him.
I loved the romance in this book and yes at times, just like Gui, I found it frustrating when Hilary wouldn’t take that step towards being with him but it was totally worth it when it finally happened. I really liked that they had been friends first and able to build a strong foundation from that, and also the fact that their interest in each other wasn’t a new thing so it didn’t feel insta-love like at all. I really liked that although Gui helped her through a lot of her fears this wasn’t a “healed by love” type story. He was there to remind her how strong she was and support her as she overcame her fears all by herself.
“I had come to make sure she was okay, to see with my own eyes, because what I felt for her didn’t go away, wouldn’t go away, even after she told me to leave her alone, to forget her, to go on and live my life without her.“
I have loved the setting of this entire series and even though I know nothing about horses, ranches or polo I find myself totally immersed in the story and the action as it unfolds. It was quite refreshing in this book that Hilary wasn’t involved with horses in anyway, unlike the couples in the previous two books, and instead was really into fashion. I always like reading about characters who have skills that I wish I did!
I was so so happy to get to see all of my favourite characters from the previous books again. We gets tons more swoony couple moments from Leo and Hannah, Bia and Garrett as well as some great moments from the entire group of friends together. I loved that even though they were the background characters in this book we still get to see their stories develop as part of Hilary and Gui’s.
“If only you gave me a chance, I would take care of you.”
That was all I needed to hear.
I am a massive fan of this series and could quite easily read a hundred books with these characters! There are some secondary characters who have got great potential for future books so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the next book!
I would recommend this book to fans of: stories featuring healing, stories set in the countryside/on a ranch, stories with horses, healing romance