Mandi’s New Favorite Book – The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons


“Oh, Alexander,” she said, “what do you want from me….”

“Everything!” he whispered fiercely.

Ever since I met Kate online, I knew The Bronze Horseman was her absolute favorite book so it has been on my radar for sometime. But I also knew it was 900 pages and set in WWII Russia, a time setting that I didn’t think would interest a me. However a few days ago, Jane tweeted that the book was on sale for $1.99 and she also expressed how much she enjoyed this epic love story. And all of a sudden my tweet stream starting filling up with “OMG the best book you will ever read” and “You will cry like you have never cried before.” When my good reading friends Amy and Claudia (and many others) exclaimed their absolute love for this book, I decided to try it. So thank you to everyone who tweeted me because I completely fell in love.

This book starts the amazing love story of Tatiana and Alexander.

“I can’t believe how not meant to be we are”

They both live in Leningrad, Russia. Tatiana is a seventeen year old, care-free girl who lives in a two room apartment with her parents, her grandparents, her twin brother and her older sister. One day she is sitting on a bench eating ice cream when she sees a young officer in the Red Army across the street. Their eyes meet and he crosses the street. They get on a bus together and their fate is set. It truly is love at first sight. But these two have no idea what lies in store for them. The day they meet is the day it is announced Hitler is invading Russia. Tatiana and her family, along with most of the three million people in Leningrad are naïve to what the Germans will actually do to their city. They have faith in the Red Army. They have no idea that in the coming months, the entire city will literally be starving.

Tatiana and Alexander face many challenges in this book (and that is putting it lightly!) Not only does the war invade their lives and pull them apart, but prior to the two of the meeting, Alexander had been dating Dasha, Tatiana’s sister. Tatiana is loyal to her family, and puts her sister first. Tatiana and Alexander’s unstoppable love becomes hidden and secretive. An even greater threat is that Alexander has a secret, and his army friend Dimitri knows of this secret. Dimitri’s only goal is to one day escape the war and sneak to America. He thinks Alexander is the key to his plan, and will do anything, including blackmail to make this happen. In order to keep Tatiana out of his evil clutches, Alexander must have complete indifference to Tatiana so Dimitri gets no hint of their love.

This book is 900 pages long and I could keep going and going but let me make this point before I end this post. This is the most romantic book I have ever read.

He paused. “What? What are you looking at me like that for?” He smiled faintly. “Keep looking,” he whispered.

The first half of the book will torture you because of their forbidden love and the fact that horrible, horrible things happen to Tatiana and her family due to the war. You will be completely emotionally exhausted but also proud of Tatiana as she goes from a naive girl to literally the rock her family leans on during an extreme crisis.

Then you go into the second half of the book thinking, things have to get better for these two, right? And they do for a bit.

He wanted to smile, but he thought any second he was going to fall to his knees and cry. He dropped all his gear, including his rifle. God, he thought, in a second I’m going to feel her. And that’s when he smiled.

There are pages and pages of sensual love scenes and you come to know Alexander for his pure and complete alpha devotion to Tatiana. Hot damn Alexander – hot damn.

“I love you breathlessly, my amazing man.”

And just when you think your heart is safe and these two are going to make it – the last 25% of this book will rip out your heart. Completely. It’s pure torture.

Here it is, Tatiana. Here is my brave and indifferent face.

(I completely sobbed at this point)

I say this is the most romantic book I have ever read not for the very hot physical romance scenes we get in this book, but because Alexander and Tatiana are two of the most selfless characters I have ever read. The sacrifices they make for one another are unparalleled. I really think Tatiana is my most favorite heroine. Her strength and determination and stubbornness to live is so fascinating throughout  this entire book.

This book also ends on a pretty big cliffhanger. I hear these two do get a solid HEA, but I also hear the author continues to torture us through books two and three. I’m 20% through book two right now, and yes I’m still tortured.

This is easily my favorite romance book. For a truly epic love story filled with angst and the most romantic scenes your heart can endure, give this one a try. Just make sure you have a tissue.

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  1. Amy says

    I’m so glad you read it!!! The length is what seems daunting when people look at it but you get so wrapped up in their tragically beautiful story, it reads quickly. My most favorite romance off all time. Their love is epic!

  2. says

    I bought it and I was going to start reading it last night. I got sidetracked…now I am hesitant…do I want my heart ripped out today?! I don’t know if my fragile heart could take it. Are all the books out so I can at least get to the HEA if my heart survives?

  3. Ashley says

    I bought this the other day and I’m hoping to start it in a day or two. I just finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes which left me emotionally drained so I need a little recovery time before I go through that again!

  4. Amanda says

    It sounds so good but the sister boyfriend thing and the level of angst is holding me back. Then again the price is amazing for that amount of pages.

    • Mandi says

      I’m not gonna lie – there is A LOT of angst. I love angst though ;)

      The sister-boyfriend-Dimitri thing does get resolved by end of book, but new problems arise

  5. says

    I cried and cried, and sighed and sighed and for months after I finished TBH I couldn’t read any other book because it scarred me.

    No book before or after will ever compare to TBH.

    God, the lust and passion and all consuming love Alex and Tatiana have for one another sill makes me ache. I wanted time to stand still for both of them near their lake of love.

    The sequel will gut you. GUT YOU! Has one of the best epilogues I ever read.

  6. Bells says

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about this story and now I can’t wait to read it! I can’t wait to discuss it with you!

  7. says

    Your 2013 really started of awesome!! I read this book years ago and fallen under its spell as well. Tatiana and Alexander are truly epic in their love. I still need to read book 2 & 3, you just reminded me I need to get back to these two :)

  8. Angela says

    I’ve had this one sitting on my Kindle for awhile. The length made me hesitant, but if both you and Amy loved it I’ll put it at the top of my to-read list.

  9. Lege Artis says

    Oh, Alexander’s and Tatiana’s story was one emotional rollercoaster for me! I read it maybe a year ago, after great rec in post on H&H. I have all 3 books, but I think I’m not going to reread it soon. The flashbacks kind of bothered me in book #2 and #3, ’cause they were all really long and I read it at once. But it was an awesome read. I would like to read your thoughts after third book…

  10. Vanessa says

    I was a little turned off by the length of the book at first as well. But I kept hearing from friends that the book was really awesome. I’m really glad you liked it!

    I have read the first two books of the trilogy but I was a little overwhelmed by all the pages by the time I made it to the third book. I’m still hoping to go back and finish it.

  11. jannockj says

    I just bought this on the kindle for 99p based on your recommendation.
    Thanks for letting me know about the solid HEA. I can handle the heartache and break if I know its going to be all OK in the end.

  12. Ariana Davis says

    I agree! This book is amazing!! I just finished the second one and will start the third soon.

    I’ve loved both books. I wouldn’t mind reading them again! They broke my heart, they filled my heart…it was amazing.

  13. Janey says

    I read this series three times. I will read it again and again. It will rip your heart out. One of the most emotional series I have ever read. Loved it!!!

  14. Jane says

    Defection was Alexander’s goal too. Dmitri wanted to be included. I think part of the hiding was to keep Tasha’s sister’s spirits up as well.

    But yeah, that’s a book that sticks with you.

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