Life Takes Over…Again

It’s always the same. Every time I’m determined to get myself back into writing things happen and I find that I’m too busy to sit with my laptop. If only I could be as organised at home as I can be at work.

I am really hoping to find a way to balance everything better. In the meantime, here are some life updates that cover why I’ve been super distracted:

My house is getting renovated

My fiancé and I bought our first home two years ago and apart from adding a few splashes of paint here and there and getting our kitchen done we kind of left it as it was. Luckily it was decent enough to live in. It had all the essentials,  it was warm and we were happy to save up for the renovations we wanted.

Two years down the line, we are now renovating and decorating our house. No more awful brown carpets and cream walls. No more 1970s brown bathroom. No more badly plastered walls. I cannot wait for it to be finished!

It’s stressful, messy and driving me crazy but we are slowly getting there. Finally, the plastering has been completed. Now we just have to wait for the bathroom to be ripped out and redone, the painting to be completed, the joiner to finish the built in cupboards and shelves in the living room, the cast iron radiators to be moved from the dining room into the correct rooms and then the carpets.

I have another new job

Several weeks ago I learnt that a position was opening up at my work and I went for it.  Surprisingly, they have offered me the job.  The pay is so much better and I’d be daft to turn it down. I know that it is a lot more work than what I am doing now but I’m hoping I’ll be a great fit and it will work out.

Hopefully, it will enable me to organise my life more outside of work as well.

I’ve been struggling with reading lately

I don’t know what is going on. I just don’t seem to be in a mood to read at the moment. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t picked up the right book or if I’m in just in the worst kind of slump. I am hoping that what I have planned over the next few weeks will help.

I think I’m going to try a monthly reading challenge. I’ve seen a couple for October that I’m interested in so I think I’m going to give it a go.  Maybe having a target will get me out of the slump I have found myself in.

If you know of any other things I could do to help me out of this I’d appreciate the help.

 

Lucy xx

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Book Snob Tag

I saw a video on Youtube and I liked the idea. So I stole it! I just looked like fun.

(Thanks Tia and all the Books)

There are a total of  7 questions and I welcome everyone else to take it and share their opinions. I’m not tagging people. (Clearly I’m in an unsociable mood after a long and crappy day at work).

Getting right into it:

 

1. Adaptation Snob: Do you always read the book before you see the movie?

For me this depends on two things.

Firstly, If I have heard a lot of hype about the book before the movie is released and I think I want to give it a go I’ll read the book first. If I just can’t get along with the book after a couple of chapters then I may just watch the film when it’s out of the cinema and easily accessible.

Secondly, if I see a trailer for something that looks amazing and I find out that it is an adaptation, I will read the book first. Obviously, the same as above applies. If it’s not good I’ll probably just leave it and watch the film at a later time.

If it is something that is not on my radar or it’s just something I’m not really into I’ll just watch the film. This tends to go for films that the other half wants to see. I learnt a long time ago to just read the books I know I’m going to enjoy. No point in wasting the time you have on things you do not like!

 

2. Format Snob: You can only choose 1 format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

Physical books!

No doubt about it.

Yes, ebooks are convenient and cheaper but nothing will ever beat a physical book. The feel, the smell, and the emotions that attach themselves to each and every book you own / read mean so much more.  There is just nothing better.

 

3. Ship Snob: Would you date or marry a non-reader?

I am marrying a non-reader.

He’s into stuff I’m not and never will be into.

There is no point in having a relationship where you do EVERYTHING together. That would be extremely boring. He has his things and I have mine. It doesn’t offend me (too much) that he doesn’t read. Just like I don’t have any interest  in playing video games or building computers.

He has his thing and I have mine and it is even better that he does his stuff in his man cave and I have my reading room for my reading and writing. It’s so perfect for when we need space for an hour or two.

 

4. Genre Snob: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

I never read Horror. I have no interest in it. At all. So I’d be very happy to ditch it. There is no way I’d watch a horror film, never mind read one.

 

5. Uber Genre Snob: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

I’m a sucker for Romance and I would probably choose to read this genre for the rest of my life if I had to.

 

6. Community Snob: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

Romance for sure. There is no doubt really. The comments you see are awful sometimes. ‘They’re not real books’. ‘They are not creative’. ‘People who read them must not be intelligent’. I could go on. I have nothing to say to people who have snobby  shitty opinions like this. I LOVE a good romance and I have three degrees. The people who write romance create diverse characters and emotive stories that are just as good as any other genre.

 

7. Snobbery Recipient: Have you ever been snubbed for something that you have been reading or for reading in general?

I jumped on the 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon when it first came out. However, once I finished the series I realised just how rubbish it was. Those who bitched at me for reading them had a right to. They were a load of garbage. I hold my hands up, I deserved to be snubbed for reading this series. Along with Twilight they are quite possibly some of the worst books I have read and I’ve read some corkers.

 

Copy and paste this tag? I’m super interested in everyone else answers so send me links / tag me.

 

Lucy

xx

Life Update

So much has changed in my life over the past three weeks and finally I have stated feeling good in myself. With all of the changes I though that I would write a quick post!

Update One

I finally got a new job.

You know those things you do that you hate. You hate so much you have severe anxiety before doing it. Your stress levels are ridiculously high. You cry all the time. You snap at people and take it out on them. Yeah, this was me. This was me for approximately four month when the job I enjoyed turned to utter shit. I won’t go into the details of it. I genuinely think that the company I used to work for treated me and so many other people like shit and I couldn’t take it anymore. Everyone was miserable. The atmosphere was suffocating and no matter how many people said ‘things are going to change’ or ‘things will get better’ enough was enough. I finally got out. I applied for anything and everything for so long to get out as I was desperate. Finally, a great opportunity presented itself and I was offered a fab new job closer to home.

For the past four weeks I have been in training and learning the job. There is no stress. No anxiety on a Sunday afternoon when I realise Monday is literally around the corner. It’s amazing! It’s refreshing.

Update Two

I joined Slimming World.

Over the past 4 years I have piled on the weight. This has not helped my anxiety. I hated going out on nights out with my friends because I felt like the odd one out. I would make excuses not to go out wherever possible which has sadly dented my friendship circles.

I hated having my photos taken. I have untagged myself in so many photos over the past few years because I wanted to pretend they weren’t there.

Even my family were making comments. They brought my wedding into it. I was told ‘you’re not going to be able to wear the style dress you’ve dreamt of if you don’t lose weight’, or ‘Lucy you need to get healthy again, you’re going to be unconformable through your entire wedding if you don’t like having your photo taking’.

Now, I understand that people may think ‘WOW your family sound awful!’ What works for me might not work for you. My family know how my brain works. They know that I need a tough, harsh talking to. I need the truth. If people start tiptoeing around everything I won’t take any notice and I can guarantee we wouldn’t get anywhere. I’m proud of them for being honest about things and what they said was the truth.

I’m super proud of myself for finally doing something for me. I woke up one Saturday morning and decided that things needed to change. I was unfit, unhappy and uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt like complete shit knowing what I used to be like. So, I got up, got ready and joined my local Slimming World group. Two weeks later, I feel confident, healthy, happier and more determined than ever to make the changes to my life I need to. I mean 11.5lb pounds off  in two weeks to me is mind boggling. Something is working.

I am the sort of person who strives off of support from others. Doing it alone can be super hard for me and I know there are so many other people out there who are the same as me. Due to this, I have decide to log my journey and help others. Even if it is just one person I’ve done what I intended to do.

You can find my journey on Instagram: lucymayyy_sw

Even if you just want food ideas I intend to log everything. Follow me!

 

Update Three

I am in the worlds worst reading slump. My daily reading time has been cut significantly as I no longer have a 45 minute commute to work. I literally walk fir 40 minutes or catch a train and walk for 15 minutes. I may be able to do a lot of things but walking in public and reading at the same time is not one of them. No matter how amazing that would be. Maybe this would be the perfect time to try audiobooks?

Any recommendations for audiobook beginners would be amazing.

 

Lucy xx

 

Why is there so much negativity about reading Romance?

I recently read an article about how romance books have such a bad reputation. It’s not the most recent article I will admit but I still feel like there is so much stigma with the romance genre. People seem to believe that it is some lower, nonintellectual genre and I’m not going to lie it pisses me off.

So, I’m going to rant!

The article I read (which is one of many with the same views) touched on how people who read romance are seen as less intelligent than those who read other genres. Now, at this point of the article my blood was boiling. How can you judge someones intelligence by their choice of book or genre? I do love a good romance and I can tell you right now I worked as hard as everyone else who does not read romance and I’ve got my three degrees from University to prove it. I can assure you that I graduated with the same grades as those who don’t read the romance genre. I can also guarantee that I am not the only person to do this either! In today’s society where equality and acceptance is such an important part of life why are people being made to feel less due to the choice of genre they read? 

There are a lot of individuals out their who think that romance depicts unrealistic views of relationships and life. I’m not going to deny this. It happens and it happens a lot. However, if we were to attach these theories to the fantasy genre for example, doesn’t this genre also portray an unrealistic view of life too? Who in real life is going to get kidnapped by a cursed fairy or go to war with the rulers of the county because of their new magical abilities. Fictional literature isn’t always supposed to be a representation of real life! That is what non-fiction is for. Fiction is supposed to depict unrealistic views of life regardless of the genre.

I have found that it is not just a persons intelligence that is picked on either. A person who reads romance must be obsessed with sex or BDSM or controlling alpha-males. (Honestly, this list could continue but I think three examples is enough and you get the idea). Once again I am going to apply this to another genre. Does this mean that people who read thrillers about criminals are obsessed with criminals and criminal behaviour? I didn’t think so! Just because people like romance doesn’t make them sex addicts just like people who read books about criminals aren’t criminals themselves. If people who read thrillers aren’t judged like this though, why should people who read romance be scrutinised?

Romance has a target audience just like all literature does and not everyone is going to enjoy it. I understand that. It’s the judgemental opinions that really wind me up. Romance is going to have its target audience just like all other genres. Yes! Men are less likely to pick up a romance book just like an adult is less likely to pick up a children’s book. But if they do pick up a book that falls into a different category or genre that isn’t necessarily for them, they should not be given hassle for doing so. Surely, as a reader you should appreciate and respect that people are reading regardless of the topic. As big as the reading community is there are so many people out there who don’t read and won’t even consider giving it a try. Why would they bother when they see news articles on genres being slated? As an English teacher I have faced so many battles when trying to get students to read. It is so hard to do. If someone finally picks up a book and enjoys it enough to continue right until the end and then wants to read another book only to be criticised due to there genre choices it is very disheartening. 

Just like in young adult fiction a woman can be strong and independent. They can have hopes and dreams and they can fight for what they want. Just like in horror the female character can overcome their demons. Just like in children’s literature the main protagonist can go on adventures and learn life lessons. The only difference is in romance people fall in love along the way!

I just think that people should stop judging others for their reading choices. Just because you might not enjoy the genre a stranger across from you is reading  doesn’t mean you can berate them for it.  If you hear someone say they love romance or they’ve just read an amazing romance book you could ask them about it with no judgement. You never know it might surprise you.

For now. My rant is over.

Lucy xx

March 2019 Wrap Up

March has been a hectic month for me.

I’ve had assessments and an interview for my new job which relied quite a bit on  preparation and I’ve visited home for nine days to see my family so a lot (and I mean A LOT) of my reading time has disappeared this month.

However, considering all of the real life occurrences (The perks of adulting) I don’t think it has been such a bad month. It has been so much worse for me in the past. I have read a total ten books this month and two of those books were approximately 700 pages each.

These are the books I have read this month:

Bound by Love (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles, #6) By Cora Reilly
My Rating: 4 Stars

25478526

Nobody expected them to fall in love.
When Aria was given to Luca in marriage, people were sure he’d break her.
Aria feared the worst from a man like him.
A man without mercy.
But somehow she gained his love.
Love – a weakness a Capo like Luca shouldn’t risk.
When Aria betrays Luca by going behind his back for her family, she realizes too late that she might have lost what she’s fought so hard to get in the first place: Luca’s trust.
The trust of a man who never allowed himself to trust someone unconditionally before.
Can their love survive in a world of betrayal and deat

Goodreads

 

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang
My Rating: 5 Stars
36199084
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic..

Goodreads

 

The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman #1) by Paullina Simons
My Rating: 5 Stars

41014505The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

Goodreads

 

Only Ever You by Siobhan Davis
My Rating: 2 Stars

43041159RYDER

My entire life is a lie, propelled by one wrong decision that altered my fate.

If fans knew the truth, they’d run away screaming. But all they see is Ryder Stone, moody guitarist and lead singer of Torment, and a potential notch on their bedpost.

Only two people know who I really am. My manager has a vested interest in keeping my secret, and the girl I was forced to leave behind doesn’t even know the true extent of my shame.

Losing Zeta is both my biggest regret and my proudest moment. But she was the glue keeping me together, and I’m struggling to survive without her. Especially when demons from my past continue to haunt me and the threat of disclosure is ever present.

When she reappears in my life, this time, I’m too weak to push her away.

Her love has the power to save me.

Mine has the power to destroy her.

ZETA

I’ve worked hard to forget my past. To rise above my messed-up childhood and make something of myself; however, there’s no forgetting him.

Ryder’s gorgeous face and drool-worthy body are plastered over tabloids and TV screens, reminding me I’m still in love with the boy who captured my heart in juvie.

When he failed me, I thought I’d never again experience such heart-crushing pain. But watching him fall out of clubs with a succession of different girls renews the agony, resurrecting countless unanswered questions.

Now my boss has sent me to interview him. It’s a massive scoop for the magazine, and turning it down would kill my career. So, I delude myself into thinking I can handle this.

Perhaps this is the closure I need to finally move on.

Except I’m terrified nothing has changed and one look into those soulful eyes will suck me in again.

Ryder almost destroyed me last time. This time, he could ruin me forever.

Goodreads

 

Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman #2) by Paulina Simons 
My Rating: 4 Stars

My review is due shortly.

83143Tatiana 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.

Goodreads

 

Slashes in the Snow (Baum Squad #1) by M. Never
My Review: 1 Star

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𝐊𝐲

Three years ago my father walked away. Away from our MC, all his responsibilities, and me. We haven’t spoken since the day he handed me the keys to the kingdom.

Shoved them down my throat was more like it.

I hate him, and the new family he’s playing house with. He left his entire life behind for a woman he barely knows. But I’m strong, resilient, and don’t need a damn soul to survive.

At least, that’s what I thought…until she walked into my bar.

𝐊𝐢𝐫𝐚

Someone is watching me. I can feel it. I wake up in the middle of the night freaked out of my mind, paranoid a stranger is there. My skin prickles every time I leave my house, because I know someone is following me.

I’m afraid. Alone. And there’s only one person left to turn to.

The stepbrother I never met. The man my stepfather speaks so highly about, but never sees. He’s the president of a notorious motorcycle club, and exactly the kind of person I need to protect me.

Little did I know, Ky Parish, freakin’ hates my guts.

Goodreads

 

On a Tuesday (One Week #1) By Whitney G
My Rating: 1 Star 

23286982We met on a Tuesday.
Became best friends, then lovers, on a Tuesday.
And everything fell apart on a Tuesday…

Charlotte Taylor has three automatic strikes in my book: 1) She hates me. She also claims that I’m a “domineering jerk with a huge, overbearing ego.” (I do have something huge. It’s not my ego, though.) 2) She takes our mandatory tutoring sessions way too seriously. 3) She’s sexy as hell…And a virgin.

At least, those were her strikes before our study sessions started lasting longer than they were supposed to. Until one innocent kiss became a hundred dirty ones, and until she became the first woman I ever fell hard for.

Our future together after graduation was supposed to be set:
Professional football for me. Law school for her.

But she left me at the end of the semester with no explanation, and then she completely disappeared from my life.

Until tonight.

We met on a Tuesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Tuesday.
And now it’s seven years later, on a Tuesday…

Goodreads

 

Fighting to Breathe (Shooting Stars #1) by Aurora Rose Reynolds
My Rating: 3 Stars

25815089Lea Lamb and Austin Wolf were young when they fell in love. They never imagined the future could hold anything other than together-forever. When Lea’s father dies in a tragic fishing accident, she’s crushed under the weight of her grief and catches a glimpse of another type of future, one she knows she’s not strong enough to face.

Austin is angry. For the past fifteen years, he’s believed the woman he loved with every ounce of his soul left him without so much as a backwards glance. When Lea unexpectedly returns to their hometown, all the years of heartache inside Austin bubbles to the surface and presents itself as blinding rage.

Faced with the truth about the past, a newly discovered secret, these former lovers will learn that if they want to have any chance at the future they’d given up on all those years ago, they will have to rescue one another from drowning in pain so debilitating it will leave them both fighting to breathe. Contains mature themes.

Goodreads

 

Into the Deep (Into the Deep #1) by Samantha Young
My Rating: 3.5 stars

17970255Charley Redford was just an ordinary girl until Jake Caplin moved to her small town in Indiana and convinced her she was extraordinary. Almost from day one Jake pulled Charley into the deep and promised he was right there with her. But when a tragic incident darkened Jake’s life he waded out into the shallows and left Charley behind.

Almost four years later Charley thinks she’s moved on. That is until she takes a study year abroad in Edinburgh and bumps into none other than Jake Caplin at a party with his new girlfriend. The bad-boy-turned-good attempts to convince Charley to forgive him, and as her best friend starts spending time with Jake’s, Charley calls a truce, only to find herself tumbling back into a friendship with him.

As they grow closer, the spark between them flares and begins playing havoc with their lives and relationships. When jealousy and longing rear their destructive heads, Charley and Jake struggle to come to grips with what they mean to one another.

And even if they work it out, there is no guarantee Charley will ever trust Jake to lead her back into the deep…

Goodreads

 

Sweet Mercy (Dirty Empire #1) by Nina West
My Rating: 3.5 Stars 

43696013One visit to my father in prison—convicted for a murder he didn’t commit—and I’ve attracted the attention of the last man I’d ever want knowing that I exist.
Gabriel Easton.
Son of an infamous crime boss. Pretentious liar. Merciless womanizer. A scoundrel to the core.
Worse, he has figured out how desperate I am to protect my father from brutality behind bars. He has the power to grant that protection and he has offered it … for a price.
Me.
I am to become a prisoner in his playhouse mansion, to live with him until he tires of having me around.
I’ll do anything for my father, including agree to Gabriel’s cruel game. But I won’t comply with his every whim and wish.
Not when he taunts me with that ruthless spark in his cold blue eyes.
Not when he requires that I share his bedroom at night.
Unfortunately for me, I think my loathing for him is what he’s enjoying most.
That’s fine. By the time I’m through with him, he’ll be crying my name.
Mercy

Goodreads

 

Here is to hoping that April is an even better reading month. What has been your favourite book this month?

 

Lucy xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you pick what books to read?

How do you choose what books you want to read? Strangely, this is not a question I have asked myself before. However, with a recent book ban in place and a TBR bookcase that is way too full at the moment it’s something that’s popped into my mind. How did I pick all of these books to read? What drew me to them?

There are so many reasons to pick up a book and here are a few of the reasons how I choose the books I want to read.


Recommendations

I love a good recommendation. Whether this is from fellow bloggers or my family and friends. There is something about talking to others about their most recent reads especially when they are highly rated. I love when people are passionate about a book and they want to share it with others.

I do read a lot of recommendations from people who know and/or enjoy the same writing styles and genres as me.

The best thing about recommendations is that you don’t just have to wait for people to recommend books to you. You can recommend your favourite reads to others.  And it’s not just books that you love. Just because you have not enjoyed it doesn’t mean you don’t know someone who will. Why keep it to yourself when someone you know may love it ten times more than you?

 

Beautiful covers

I can be guilty of this every so often.

It is so much worse when I am in a bookstore compared to when I am online as when I buy books from the internet I tend to know which book(s) I am after. I can’t lie though. I do love a beautiful book cover. Sometimes there is nothing better than something new that looks amazing on my bookcases.

I can’t be the only person out there who has bought a book just because of the cover.

Thinking about it I did do this a lot more when I was younger but every so often it is a nice surprise opening a book and knowing nothing about it because you’ve bought it just for the cover.

 

Booktube

This is currently the most common way I find books that I want to read. I am subscribed to quite a few Booktubers on Youtube and it is such a great way to find what books you want to read next.

Recommendations for Booktubers to follow are always welcome.

From book hauls to unhauls and book reviews to monthly wrap-ups I think it a great way to pick books that you want to read. It’s such a simple way to keep your ‘to be read’ list up to date too with both new and old releases. I have found some of my favourite books by watching Booktube channels. You Can find some proper hidden gems this way.

Blog Posts

Before I go to sleep I do tend to read though the days blog posts of those that I follow. Similar to Booktube channels I use blogs to see what book(s) I want to read. Book reviews are super great to help you pick. I do prefer posts that don’t go into too much detail about books as this stops the story from being ruined before it has been picked up. Why do people have to explain in detail what happens all the way through the book? There is literally no point in reading the book after reading a review like this. I’ve been guilty of this in the past and I have learnt my lesson. I’m getting a little of topic though.

Goodreads

I do not do this as much as I used to but every so often I fall down the Goodreads rabbit hole. When this occurs I read synopsis’ for books and see which ones I am interested in and which once I don’t fancy reading. I used to add them onto the Goodreads to read shelf. However, this was getting ridiculously long so I now add them into my bullet journal where I break them into categories. I know this may seem a little sad but I love nothing more that a journal and list. Maybe I will do a post about this another time.

What’s popular

I am a little bit embarrassed to say that I have picked up books just because they were popular in the blogging and Booktube community. By doing this I have DNFed so many books. Honestly, it is ridiculous. I don’t do this anymore because of it. Why should I have to pick up a book  just because everyone else has? Especially if I know I am not going to enjoy it. Things have completely changed with this now and I will not pick up a popular and hyped book if I have no interest in it. This has not only saves so much money but it has also saved my time and dedicated my reading time to books I know I will enjoy.

 

There are the many ways I select which books I want to read. How do you pick the books you want to read? Do you do anything different to me?

 

Lucy xx

Tatiana and Alexander – Paullina Simons

Image result for tatiana and Alexander release dateBook: Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman #2) 
Author:
 Paulinna Simons
Genre:
Historical Romance
Release Date:  2003
Pages: 559

My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads

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 Thoughts:

After I finished reading the first book in this trilogy I don’t think I could have gone without reading the second instalment straight away. I mean with an ending like that how could anyone want to have a break between the two books?

Now, don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed this book but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as The Bronze Horseman. Something was lacking and I can’t quite put my finger on what it was exactly. I did feel like there was a little section at in the middle of the book that dragged out for a long while and I felt my mind drifting every so often. This was the same for the flashback elements from when Alexander was growing up. I just wanted to focus on the present. I feel like this book is a very slow burner and I mean VERY slow.

Regardless of the parts that I didn’t quite like, there were still things I loved, especially the intense relationship and fierce love between Tatiana and Alexander.

Moreover, I was so happy to see that there was a lot of character development in the book. In particular with Tatiana. I am so happy that Simons helped character mature.

Tatiana and Alexander is just as emotional as The Bronze Horseman. There are times when you’re on such a high because things look like they are going to get better and then suddenly things start to go all wrong again and you’re at rock bottom. When you read Paullina Simons’ writing you cannot help but be invested in the characters and their journey.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning the imagery throughout this book. It is just as enticing as you’d expect after reading The Bronze Horseman. You feel like you are in the middle of their story right along with them. You get all the feels. When they hurt you hurt. When they are sad you are sad. Paullina’s writing style is just extremely beautiful and not many authors can do what she does so successfully.

This book is a heartbreaking tale full of hope and love and it is worth every second of your time.

I genuinely can’t see where Tatiana and Alexander’s story is going to go in the third instalment (The Summer Garden) but I am eager to give it a go and my fingers are crossed that it is just as addictive.

 

Lucy xx