The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons

Image result for the bronze horsemanBook: The Bronze Horseman
Author:
 Paulinna Simons
Genre:
Historical Romance
Release Date:  2000
Pages: 637

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads

The 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.

My Thoughts

It is a rare occurrence for me to award a book a 5 star review. And to have two in one month I’m beginning to wonder if something is wrong? Maybe it is just that things are finally looking up and my book selection process has improved drastically!

I know that there are plenty of issues with this book and I know that there are so many people out there who hate this book due to the story and its characters. I’ve read so many negative reviews online and I was seriously in two minds about picking it up but I am so glad that I did. I genuinely think that this might be one my favourite books. Judge me all you want. Honestly, I don’t care. This story has stolen my heart and left me in the worst reading slump ever. (I am probably being over dramatic and I may need to work on this. In the meantime recommendations for my next read are welcome at this time. I need help!)

Getting back on track and discussing the issues with this book a little more. I’ve already said that there are issues, I won’t deny it. Take Tatiana’s attitude and behaviour for example. Throughout the beginning of the book she is extremely irritating. But if I can get over this I’m sure you can too. Especially when you consider she is a 17 year old girl. Who wasn’t an annoying person when they were 17. Everyone goes through that period in their life where they think they know everything. You walk around thinking you’re so grown up. It isn’t until later in life when reality hits and you realise what a little shit you actually were.  I can relate and I’m pretty sure most of you can too.

When you combine the romance, the history and all the events that each character goes though in this story it’s going to stick with you for a while. It is a heat-wrenching tale that I love so much. I can’t put into words the emotions I felt while reading it. I’m pretty sure my fiancée took the flack for it when I went into one of my moods. You know the one right? That huff that you get into when your current read starts pissing you off or even worse when it makes you cry. It is like a roller-coaster that just never stops. The worst of it was when I finally thought that it could only get better I crashed straight back down to rock bottom all over again. 

I really cannot believe that I had not heard of this book before now. I stumbled upon it while watching Youtube videos. Someone was doing a bookshelf tour (I’m not ashamed to say that I spend a lot of my time watching these videos when I have nothing else to do). I saw the book and thought ‘Oh that’s a nice cover. I want it in my life. I might give that book a go.’ Low and behold I ordered myself a copy.

Yes! I just admitted to buying a book due to it’s cover. How beautiful is this cover though? It is a total shame that this is not the cover that turned up.

The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1)

I studied the Second World War in school during my GCSE’s but we did not focus on the Germany and Russia aspect of it so I learnt some new things while reading this book. The imagery that Simons creates is amazing. You can feel what the characters are feeling all the way through the story. The hunger. The cold. The loneliness. The heart-ache. Every little thing that Tatiana and Alexander feel, you feel right along with them.

As a side note which probably has no relevance to you I would just like to mention that the historical aspect of the story also prompted discussions between my Dad and I about history.  My Dad and I have always been interested in different historical topics and eras. I like classic history, the old history (this will be the incorrect term for it – but it works). My Dad has always enjoyed learning about modern history.  So to be able to ask questions and have conversations about topics he is interested in it’s been good. Of course I left out that The Bronze Horseman is primarily a romance book but he was happy to chat away and teach me new things about war around Europe in the early 1940s.

I read (or maybe watched) an interview with Paullina Simons about this book and how she was going to leave it as a standalone novel. Well lets all thank our lucky stars for her husband who persuaded her otherwise. My book buying ban was well and truly forgotten once again after completing this book. As soon as I had put this book down I went in search for the next two instalments of the trilogy. I cannot wait to get tucked into the second book when it arrives.

This book has rekindled my love for historical romance novels and surprisingly it has started me off with a new little obsession. I have not read many books set during this era but I think my Step Mum would be proud of my new interest as they were her favourite. If anyone has any recommendations within this genre I will be happy to take them.

I highly recommend this book. Please do pick it up and give it a chance if you haven’t already. It is so good!

 

Lucy xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WWW Wednesday!

So it is Wednesday and I am really not a fan of this weeks Top 5 Wednesday. Due to this I’m thinking of avoiding it for a while. Hopefully next months will pick up a little and I will be more interested.

Instead of struggling to write I have decided to participate in WWW Wednesday.

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and it was then taken over by Taking on a World of Words.

It is a simple post and anyone can have a go. You just have to answer the three questions  and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at here.

The love is to be shared so once you have completed your post visit the other blogs to see what is going on in there world.

Without further ado here is my WWW for Wednesday 6th March 2019. (As if it is March already!!)

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

Rebirth (RAW Family, #3)

Raw: Rebirth by Bell Aurora

It had been six years since my world was turned upside down.
He exposed me to the darker side of life and I could never go back to the person I was.

I had been through more things the average person couldn’t even relate to.

If I had the chance to go back and do things differently though?
Not a chance.

I’d pick him a thousand times. A million times. For eternity.

I guess not much has changed.

My name is Alexa Ballentine, and I am still in love with my stalker.

Goodreads

 

What did you recently finish reading?

Raw (RAW Family, #1)

Raw by Belle Aurora

Growing up the way I did, you’d think I’d be more screwed up than what I actually am.

Soon as I turned sixteen, I left that bump in the road I called home and took my chances on the street.

Best decision I ever made.

Now, at the age of twenty six, I’m educated, employed and damn good at my job.

My friends have become my family. Like me, they know what it’s like to grow up unloved.

But the saying is true.

The world makes way for those who know where they are going.

That’s me.

I know where I’m going and I’ll get there eventually. On my own terms and at my own pace.

But then there’s him.

I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me.

He makes me feel.

It’s unconventional.

But it’s real.

I’m sure you’re wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker.

So am I.

This isn’t a story.

This is my life.

Goodreads

 

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (My Review)

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

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1)

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

The 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

 

Your turn…

 

Lucy xx

The Kiss Quotient

Image result for the kiss quotient

Book: The Kiss Quotient
Author:
 Helen Hoang
Genre:
Romance
Release Date:  30 May 2018
Pages: 314

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

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…

My Thoughts

Before picking this book up I had heard nothing but goods things about it. Whether this was online via twitter and Booktube or down in the salon where I get my nails done. Quite a few people have read, loved and recommended this book. To be honest I had no intention of reading this book but I have to admit I am so glad that I did. I was pleasantly surprised by the story and I definitely enjoyed in more than I anticipated.

I loved the story and the characters from the very beginning which can be rare thing for me as I to tend to look for the faults in both of these areas. Helen Hoang should be really proud of the diverse story and characters she introduced to the world. Yes, I am aware that other people may find faults in the book but due to the pure enjoyment I got when reading it I am willing to overlook them.

To start with I don’t think I was expecting the story to be quite as smutty as it was. I don’t know why this was a shock to me. Maybe this was due to the cartoony style book cover that is all over the internet and the fact that I avoided all detailed conversations regarding the synopsis. I just don’t think I was expecting it to be as sexy as it was. I can assure you though, this is not a bad thing!

Both Michael and Stella are lovable characters from the very beginning. They both have their own things going on and Hoang does an excellent job in telling you what is going on in both of their minds alternatively throughout the entire book. This keeps you in the loop with both the characters thoughts and feelings so you’re not left behind at any point.

Hoang’s representation of diversity is very well done from Stella’s Asperger’s to Michael’s Vietnamese and Swedish descent. For someone like me who doesn’t know much both living with Asperger’s or the Vietnamese culture I found it really interesting to read. It was embedded within the story very well and I did learn a few things along the way.

I was hooked to this story from the get go. The first sentence made me smile and I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this book as soon as I had stated it.  The Kiss Quotient is charming, funny, emotional and super hot.  I seriously cannot recommend it enough.

Yes! I know it has been out for a while as it’s been stuck on my TBR shelf for so long and I seriously had no intention to pick it anytime soon but this is my first 5 star read of 2019.

Lucy xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 2019

So 2018 ended in the shittest way possible and I’m not going to lie I generally could not be bothered to read and write.  To be honest, I didn’t really have the time to read and write between work and travelling between home and Sheffield. I’ve had minimal me time over the past 6 months or so.

The start of 2019 was definitely tough. However, a little time has now passed and I’m starting to feel myself again. I’m determined to change a lot of things in my life as I have so much to look forward to. Therefore, I am back.

Now, my opinion of TBR lists has once again changed and I think I have a new way to keep myself on track. Especially with my reading. Hopefully, this will eradicate all stress out of my life and help me complete my monthly tasks with ease.

With regards to my TBR, I intend to pick two maybe three books a month that I have to read and then all of the other books I pick up will be selected due to my mood at the time.

The books I will pre-select will be from my TBR shelf as the pile is ever growing and I would really like to make a dent into it before I start buying more books. I’m not strict enough to put myself on a book buying ban. That is just setting myself up for failure straight away but I do intend to spend less money each month though. I have a wedding to save up for!

I am also tempted to bring my book jar into play again as there are quite a few books that have been on these shelves for far too long that I don’t seem to be picking up.

So March TBR:

The two books that I will be reading this month are:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang 

Image result for the kiss quotient

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

 

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood series) by J R Ward

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3)

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

Goodreads

Both of these books have been on my TBR shelf for a long time and I’ve decided now is the time to read them. Two completely different genres but I’ve heard nothing but goods things about them both!

All of the other books will be selected randomly depending on my mood. By doing it this way in the past I’ve had pretty good reading months so my fingers are crossed.

If you do have any recommendations let me know. Or if you have read either of the above two books tell me what your thoughts are I’m eager to know.

Lucy xx

 

 

 

 

October TBR

 

This is yet another late post and I don’t know whether to blame having so little free time or the fact that I have a new bullet journal that I’m obsessing over. When I do eventually have some time to myself I’m doing that.

I have another eventful month coming up with a trip home for a week and my engagement party / huge family get together. Due to this I fear that a weeks worth of reading time is probably going to be taken from me. This does depend on the plans my family make around my visit. I am selfishly hoping that there will be a couple of days where I can veg on my mum’s sofa with the dog and do nothing but read. I’m not going to lie, my mum’s dog is like a tornado and being alone in the house to read with the terror will inevitably result in no reading time. It’s most likely going to leave me with a half eaten book.

Due to the visit home I have purposely made my TBR small this month. This just means that if I do get some extra reading time in throughout October I can pick a few books out of my TBR jar.

So the three books I will read this month are:

Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness.

Image result for shadow of night

I started this book at the end of September and I mean the end. I think I managed to pick it up on the last day of the month. I intend to get this finished at some point this week.

The Book of Life – Deborah Harkness

Image result for the book of life book
The third book in the All Souls series is the second book I intend to complete this month.

 

His True Queen – Jodi Ellen Malpas

Image result for his true queen

I read the first instalment of this duology last month and I do intend to complete the series as soon as possible.

As I said it’s a short list this month.

It just feels so empty.

There is a fourth book by Debora Harkness called Times Covert which I have avoided looking into in case there are spoilers of the series around. As far as I am aware it is a follow on from the All Souls series. Depending on how the series turns out and if I am still in the mood for the story this may also be added into my October TBR.

Additionally, as I stated above my ever-growing TBR jar really does need some attention. Once I have completed the books above I will be selecting my next reads at random. Hopefully, if I start using the TBR jar to chose my next reads I will have more space on my TBR shelves by Christmas.

What is on your TBR this month?

Lucy xx

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September Wrap-Up

September Wrap-Up

So this post is super late and it’s going to be brief for so many reasons but without boring you here is my September wrap-up.

With trips home at the beginning of the month and awful things thrown in in between I’ve been a little preoccupied. Sadly, not much reading took place over September.

I have managed a total of four and a half books this month which is awful.

 

Image result for controversial princess

The Controversial Princess – Jodi Ellen Malpas

On a busy Friday rush hour train choosing something to read that requires my sole attention is probably the worst decision I could make. I get distracted too easily when I’m on trains. I will start up a conversation with the person at the side of me and my concentration disappears. A clear example of this is when I was heading down to Sheffield at the beginning of the month. A lecturer from The University of Sheffield sat down at the side of me and we chatted most of the way home about EVERYTHING. Our studies, our favourite classics, why we moved away from home and never moved back. The list goes on. With easy reads I can dip in and out of them without losing my place and forgetting things. Jodie Ellen Malpas’ writing is so easy to ready and follow so it is great for these moments.

 

Image result for throne of glass

Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

At the beginning of the month I decided to re-read Maas’ Throne of Glass so I could continue with the series. This backfired. As soon as I had completed the book and I was ready to move onto Crown of Midnight I found a copy of A Discovery of Witches. I’d heard that the show was coming out and all of the reviews online had hinted that it needed to be read so obviously I had to buy it.  The Throne of Glass series has been forgotten for the time being. I’ll get to it eventually I just hope this is sooner rather than later.

 

Image result for a discovery of witches book

A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

I am so glad a picked this book up when I did. I LOVE IT! It’s my favourite read this year so far. My review was uploaded a little while ago if you want to check it out. After reading the first instalment I needed Shadow of Night in my life. As usual when there is a huge hype about a book Amazon run out of their copies and there was a pre-order system going on. After stewing over the wait time for a while I decided to order elsewhere. (I am happy to announce my new books have arrived and I own the complete series)

 

I have only just noticed how specific my selection of books was during September. It seems I was in a Deborah Harkness and Sarah J Maas mood.

 

Image result for a court of frost and starlight

A Court of Frost and Starlight – Sarah J Mass

This is by far my worst read of September. I hated it. This is a new experience for me with Maas’ writing. I don’t think she has ever disappointed me before. I just can’t get over how poor this book was. Yes, I know it was a novella and it was released to fill the gap between Feyre’s story and the upcoming new release but the writing was dreadful and the way the characters were portrayed just didn’t work for me.

 

Image result for shadow of night

Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness

I am still reading this book and was debating whether to add it to my wrap-up but I don’t think I could have finished the month with a total of 4 books. It would just make a shitty month even worse. This book has been stated and will be finished shortly.

 

Lucy
xx

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Review – A Discovery of Witches

 

Image result for a discovery of witches book coverBook: A Discovery of Witches
Author:
 Deborah Harkness
Genre:
Historical Fantasy
Release Date:  8 February 2011
Pages: 688

My Rating:  5 Stars 

Goodreads

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Review 

A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy. A fantasy series that has everything you would want from a fantasy novel that focus’ on vampires, witches and daemons.  This topic is nothing new. We’ve all read books within this genre before, it is just really hard to find a book that has been done well. I mean don’t get me started on Twilight and The Vampire Diaries.

I read many reviews on this book before deciding to pick it up and it’s clear to see that has divided the people. I find myself getting upset from the opinions of those who did not enjoy it as much as I did. Yes, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion I just love it so much and it’s upsetting knowing others do not.

The story follows Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch who is descended from one of the most prestigious witch families leading back to the Salem witch trails and her forbidden relationship with a vampire Matthew Clairmont. From the very beginning I was enthralled in the story. Don’t get me wrong, their relationship is not everything this story ha to offer but it is an essential part of time.

It is a slow-paced story so it you’re expecting a fast-paced romance then you’re not going to get it. Usually if a book is slow-paced I find that I get bored easily which tends to disrupt my reading pattern and I’ll stop reading the book altogether. However, the pace of the book suits the story really well. I honestly think that if the book went at a quicker pace it would have a completely different feel to it. Although it is a slow-paced book I can assure you it is an easy read and you will devour the pages quickly. At this point I will mention that the book is just under 700 pages long, so it is on the lengthy side but due to the writing style you will consume it.  It took me just under a week to read it in between work and the everyday jobs that needed completing.

The characters are depicted brilliantly. Diana is so likeable. You watch her develop and grow throughout the book and it makes the story even more enjoyable. I genuinely think that Matthew is book boyfriend material. He is full of tales that need to be shared. I propose a book that solely focus’ on his past. That would be amazing. Furthermore, there are so many interesting characters introduced throughout the story. With long books characters can be introduced and forgotten about easily but all of the characters created for this book bring something to the story, even if it is brief appearance from time to time. You love all the characters you’re supposed to love, and you hate the characters you’re expected to hate.

I’m a complete history nut and Harkness entwines history throughout the story extremely well. Her expertise is demonstrated throughout the novel. After completing the first book and finally having a plot to the series I’m excited to see what the second book has in store. (I’m still all for a Matthew Clairmont spin off!)

I’m not going to lie there are cheesy moments scattered within the book but that is the same with the majority of novels. In my opinion these moments did not disrupt the story in any way. The story continued and my love for the characters and the story grew.

I have heard a few people refer to the book as an adult version of Twilight. I am not a fan of the twilight series, so I withhold my opinion on this concept. However, I feel that if it was to be compared to something it would completely diminish the story. Honestly, it doesn’t need to be compared to anything else.

It has been a long time since I enjoyed a book as much as I have this one. I loved everything about it. It’s so rare that I give out 5 star reviews and it was one of the easiest 5 star reviews I have ever given.  From the first chapter I was hooked on this tale of romance, magic and other worldly creatures. I cannot wait to start the second instalment of the series.

I am super excited to start watching the adaptation of A Discovery of Witches that has recently started on Sky One. Now I have finished the book I’m able to watch it without anything being ruined. I’m so thankful for my Sky box right now.

Have you ever read A Discovery of Witches? What are your opinions?
If you haven’t – why? Go and pick it up!

Lucy
xx