Series Round-Up: The Bronze Horseman Series by Paullina Simons

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The Bronze Horseman Series by Paullina Simons

Truly the most epic romance series I’ve ever read. After drowning myself in a bevy of new adult novels, I felt that something was missing… I was really itching to get my hands on a novel that will really sweep me off my feet and make me feel so many emotions all at once. Tatiana and Alexander’s story gave me what I asked for AND so much more.

This is just one of those epic romance stories that you know’ll stay in your heart forever. Yes, the historical approach did take some time to get used to but after a while, I even found myself fascinated knowing all those details with what happened during that time in Russia. And now that I’m done with this, I seriously don’t know how I can go back to the world of new adult novels after having a taste of what an epic and timeless romance truyl is.

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The Bronze Horseman (#1)

BOOK BLURB:

A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On that fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young man named Alexander. The family suffers as Hitler’s army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn inexorably to each other, but theirs is a love that could tear Tatiana’s family apart, and at its heart lies a secret that could mean death to anyone who hears it. Confronted on the one hand by Hitler’s vast war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.

MY REVIEW:

Overall Rating: 5/5 — Simply epic. I wished for an epic romance to sweep me away and I got more than what I bargained for.

When Tatiana looked up from her ice cream, she saw a soldier staring at her form across the street…

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I asked for an epic romance and that’s exactly what I got with The Bronze Horseman. It’s been a day since I finished this book and I still can’t get a good grasp on my thoughts and feelings after reading it. Honestly at first, the story did kinda feel a bit bland to me and then it turned kinda pathetic with the whole situation with Dasha but then somehow the story did pick up and it’s like suddenly I was thrust into their world… experiencing what they’re experiencing, feeling what they’re feeling.

I did think that there are quite a lot of moments that could’ve been cut off and some parts that could’ve been shortened but I guess the author really did want a very realistic and detailed feel, especially since this is a historical book to begin with. And boy did I feel everything… especially during the whole starvation period. It felt as though I was there being starved to death just like all of them. The writing was beautiful and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get confused at first because this is definitely not written in a contemporary way. But the writing, pacing, and story development did grow on me and this made the whole experience even more real and raw.

“Shura, how can we have such a closeness? How can we have such a connection? Right from the start.”

“We don’t have a closeness.”

“No?”

“No. We don’t have a connection.”

“No?”

“No. We have communion.”

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The saying “our hearts are magnets” basically sums up the communion between Tatiana and Alexander. I really don’t want to spoil any more further by explaining in detail everything that Tatiana and Alexander went through but man, it’s as if these two just couldn’t catch a break. And when they finally got together, I really wanted to jump for joy and just scream “FINALLY!!!” And believe me, each step they took in finding their way to each other was really worth it. There’s like a special huge chunk of the story devoted to their honeymoon period and it was just beyond beautiful and heart-meltingly sweet. Their connection was just so palpable right off the bat and through every struggle and difficulty, their unconditional love for each other led them back to each other always.

“Tania, when I found you, I felt for that hour or two we were together–before Dimitri, before Dasha–that somehow I was going to right my life. I had a sense of hope and destiny that I can neither explain nor understand.” 

Believe it or not, hot alpha males already existed during that time and it was in the form of one Alexander Belov. Even when he was rather forced by Tatiana to hide their growing feelings for each other, he never failed to show her in his own macho and manly way just how much he cares for her and how much he intends to protect her from any kind of harm. Tatiana Metanova, on the other hand, is your typical meek, shy, and sweet young girl at first but because of all the devastation surrounding her, she grew up almost instantaneously and quickly learned how to be strong in all the ways that mattered in order to survive. And indeed, that’s what they did through and through… both Alexander and Tatiana survived.

But unfortunately, there were just some things that are way beyond their control. Oh dear gods, I still can’t get over that one moment towards the end even though I know things are bound to somehow get better for them in the next two books. With an epic romance, comes epic angst, epic happiness, epic tragedy, epic swoons, epic hurt, epic happy ever after, etc etc etc… and that’s basically how I describe Tatiana and Alexander’s love—EPIC.

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Good-bye, my moon song and my breath, my white nights and golden days, my fresh water and my fire. Good-bye, and may you find a better life, find comfort again and your breathless smile, and when your beloved face lights up once more at the Western sunrise, be sure what I felt for you was not in vain. Good-bye, and have faith, my Tatiana.

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Tatiana and Alexander (#2)

BOOK BLURB:

Tatiana is eighteen years old, pregnant, and widowed when she escapes war-torn Leningrad to find a new life in America. But the ghosts of her past do not rest easily. She becomes consumed by the belief that her husband, Red Army officer Alexander Belov, is still alive and needs her desperately.

Meanwhile, oceans and continents away in the Soviet Union, Alexander barely escapes execution, and is forced to lead a battalion of soldiers considered expendable by the Soviet high command. Yet Alexander is determined to take his men through the ruins of Europe in one last desperate bid to escape Stalin’s death machine and somehow find his way to Tatiana once again.

MY REVIEW:

Overall Rating: 5/5 — Even more epic. So much more emotionally charged than the first and that’s really saying a lot.

In Alexander’s life there was one thread that could not be broken by death, by distance, by time, by war. Could not be broken. As long as I am in the world, she said with her breath and her body, as long as I am, you are permanent, soldier.

And he believed.

And before God they were married.

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“Tatiana, you were my only life force. You have no idea how hard I tried to get to you again. I gave myself up to the enemy, to the Germans for you. I got shot at for you and beaten for you and betrayed for you and convicted for you. All I wanted was to see you again. That you came back to me, it’s everything, Tatia. Don’t you understand? The rest is nothing to me.”

Beautiful. Captivating. Heartbreaking. Enduring.

I honestly don’t even know how to begin this review. One thing’s for sure—this one’s so much more emotionally charged compared to the first book, which was already so emotionally charged to begin with. After that sobfest of an ending in The Bronze Horseman, all I really wanted was for Tatiana and Alexander to quickly find their way back to each other but of course, nothing has ever been easy for them.

I literally found myself tearing up each and every time Tatiana’s or Alexander’s thoughts drifted towards each other. Their grief, longing, and desperation were just so palpable that I can’t help but empathize with them every step of the way.

When Tatiana was patiently waiting and hoping to see Alexander’s face among those who arrive at Ellis Island…

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During that whole detailed narration of their time in Lazarevo…

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Each and every time Tatiana met a dead end in her search for answers and when Alexander desperately yearned to be free of Tatiana to ease his pain of losing her and longing for her…

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When Tatiana finally found Alexander in cell number seven…

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So let’s just say that my feelings were really all over the place as I read this book. I really liked the fact that true to its title ‘Tatiana and Alexander’, this book really focused on them… their back stories, what they’ve been through before they met each other and once they finally met each other, and then of course all their struggles afterwards but above all, their unbreakable and undying love and communion with each other no matter how far apart they were.

There’s still so much to say but I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read this yet because if there’s one thing I’m sure, it’s that this story is meant to be experienced on your own. I’m just really so mesmerized with everything Tatiana and Alexander had to go through before they found each other and even though there were times that they wanted to give up, their hearts remained steadfast and resilient through all the hardships and struggles they faced. Simply put, theirs is a story that’s forever going to be deeply ingrained in my heart and mind. EPIC, JUST EPIC.

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Barrington, Leningrad, Luga, Ladoga, Lazarevo, Ellis Island, the mountains of Holy Cross, their lost families, their lost mothers and fathers, their brothers in arms and brothers are etched on their souls and their fine faces and like the mercurial moon, like Jupiter over Maui, like the Perseus galaxy with its blue, imploding stars they remain, as the stellar wind whispers over the rivers all run red, over the oceans and the seas, murmuring through the moonsilver skies…

Tatiana…

Alexander…

But the bronze horseman is still.

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The Summer Garden (#3)

BOOK BLURB:

The Magnificent Conclusion to the Timeless Epic Saga

Through years of war and devastation, Tatiana and Alexander suffered the worst the twentieth century had to offer. Miraculously reunited in America, they now have a beautiful son, Anthony, the gift of a love strong enough to survive the most terrible upheavals. Though they are still young, the ordeals they endured have changed them–and after living apart in a world laid waste, they must now find a way to live together in postwar America.

With the Cold War rising, dark forces at work in their adopted country threaten their lives, their family, and their hard-won peace. To regain the happiness they once knew, to wash away the lingering pain of the past, two lovers grown distant must somehow forge a new life . . .or watch the ghosts of their yesterdays destroy their firstborn son.

The Summer Garden . . . their odyssey is just beginning.

MY REVIEW:

Overall Rating: 5/5 — The single most epic conclusion to a beautiful and timeless series. 

We thought the hard part was over—but we were wrong. Living is the hardest part. Figuring out how to live your life when you’re all busted up inside and out—there is nothing harder.

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BRA-fucking-VO, PAULINA SIMMONS!!! That’s how you write a grand finale to a timeless classic that is the story of Tatiana and Alexander. I’m still tearing up as I write this review just remembering everything that transpired since I started reading The Bronze Horseman. This series is truly one of those stories that’ll always have a special place in my heart. I wished for an epic romance and that is exactly what I got with Tatiana and Alexander as I lived their lives with them through these books.

“You know that, don’t you? I love you. I’m blind for you, wild for you. I’m sick with you. I told you that our first night together when I asked you to marry me, I’m telling you now. Everything that’s happened to us, everything, is because I crossed the street for you. I worship you.”

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“The power you have over someone who loves you is greater than any other power you’ll ever have.” 

This is the story AFTER the “happy ever after”. And sometimes, it’s really not as happy as it’s played out in fairy tales because there’s still so much trials and difficulties that will rock the foundation of a relationship and boy did these problems rock Tania and Shura’s foundation. Alexander may be back in the arms of Tania but he’s not the same man he was when they last saw each other. His brokenness and wounds that go far deeper than the physical posed a huge problem as they try to live a “normal” life as a family. Even during the early parts of this book made me tear up occasionally because I wanted so bad for them to just live happily just as they deserved.

“Understand this one thing and then everything else will become easier. You and I have only one life. There is no other choice. A long time we went to war together, went into one trench together. Lived through Leningrad together. Remind yourself of all we have been through…

…there is no separate life for you and me. There is no other bunker, no packed bags, there is no leaving, there are no other wives. There is nothing else ever, but you and me.”

God, then there were these painfully hardcore moments that really felt as though my heart was being stabbed by a dull knife and being held in a vise grip. Yes, it was that raw and painful. But alas, this was their reality and these difficulties were the ultimate testing grounds to see just how solid Tatiana and Alexander’s love is. Thank goodness that they did manage to overcome through everything more solid than ever.

Another beautiful aspect of their story is the fact that we get to see their family expand, from seeing Anthony grow into a fine young man to Tatiana bearing more children for Alexander. And just when I thought things were going smoothly at the Barrington household, they were rocked by what could possibly be the most stressful and intense tragedy of all. I remember reading that chapter and holding my breath as long as I could because I was so worried and scared of what would happen next. But of course, even amidst all the tragedies and trials they’ve encountered, fate still has a better plan for them in the end and I couldn’t help but cry happy tears as the story came to a close because I myself reminisced alongside Tania and Shura of everything they’ve been through together (and even apart) through all their years together. The fact that they were blessed to grow old together and spend the rest of their lives together even after all their loved ones died before them in Leningrad was just so amazingly breathtaking.

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“We spent all of our days afraid it was too good to be true, Tatiana. We were always afraid all we had was a borrowed five minutes from now.

“That’s all any of us ever have, my love. And it all flies by.”

“Yes, but what a five minutes it’s been.”

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Now THAT is a true happy ever after. One word that basically sums up the entirety of my feelings about this series is HEART . Through everything, from the moment Alexander crossed the street to be near Tatiana to when they had to be separated for years, and to finally starting their new life in America and growing old together with their children… dear Tania and Shura lived through it with their steadfast love and passion for each other. They were held captive by each other’s hearts and it was the only thing that led them to their real happy ever after.

Now excuse me as I cry a bucketload of happy tears.

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One comment

  1. I have nominated you on my blog for the Versatile Blogger Award 🙂 http://abigailrobynbrown.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/versatile-blogger-awards/

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