The Bronze Horseman – Review

I finally read The Bronze Horseman, people! That’s enough for a celebration in itself since it has been sitting on my Kindle app for almost a year now! Everyone raves about this book and I just knew I was going to love it intensely. You guys know how much I love a good World War II story. There’s a little part of me that is always anxious to read what I know will be an amazing book because I know I will only get to experience it for the first time, well, the first time. It’s incredible to fully live inside the pages of a book that one loves, but the pain of it being over is sometimes so devastating. It’s like having a friend move to the other side of the world to my empathetic brain. I don’t want to say goodbye. Luckily I have two more books to get me through my sorrows…at least until they are over.

The Bronze Horseman was a book that reinforced my love of reading. It made me feel as if I was living the life of my characters. I stopped seeing words on the pages, forgetting about grammar, and only imagined the movie playing in my mind. When the characters were cold, I was cold. When they were starving, my stomach was rumbling. When their bodies were completely devastated, I felt physically drained. I felt the love, the agony, and the anger at Communist Russia and Nazi Germany, I felt as if I was in Leningrad in the 1940s. Only a great story, a great writer, can transport someone to a place they will never have a chance to witness personally and truly take them there with their words. It is pure magic.

While some people find fault with the characters personalities, I didn’t mind feeling annoyed with them, even sometimes angry. When I’m reading about such a heartbreaking time in history, the characters shouldn’t be flawless. I need them to be human for the story to be truly captivating.

The love between Tatiana and Alexander was epic. It compares to that of Claire and Jamie in Outlander. It is a true, soul-wrecking love story. The kind of love people only hope to experience in their lifetime. A love that ruins a person for all other people.

I can’t say enough good things about this novel. I want more, but I want to soak up this story and live in it a little longer before I start the next book. I am fortunate to be reading this novel with some former high school classmates for our book club, and will get to discuss it all over again with them in May. It will do my heart good to talk about Tatiana and Alexander again!

If you’re waiting for the chance to start this book like I was, get started now and fall in love with Tatiana and Alexander. Be transported to the war-torn Russia in 1941-1943.

Happy Reading,
♥Ashley

AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
AMAZON DE

Saving Tatum – Review

Tatum CoverAs I mentioned in my previous review, Tempting Rowan and Saving Tatum are my favorite books in the “Trace + Olivia” series by Micalea Smeltzer. Although completely different regarding the plot, they still have some similarities. As the other books in this series, I read Saving Tatum about 2 years ago but I didn’t know how much I missed both Jude and Tatum until I picked up the book again.
Tatum and Jude have a past – but not the one you’re thinking of. Jude is the reason for Tatum’s sadness and her reservation toward people. He is also the reason her parents don’t care for her anymore. So why would she give him the time of day when he clearly ruined her life? She is determined to stay away from Jude and his advances at all costs. But Jude has other plans. He wants to get to the bottom of her hatred toward him and wants to make her like him and see the real Jude. Continue reading “Saving Tatum – Review”

Finding Olivia – Review

oliviaWhen I picked up Finding Olivia for the very first time in August 2015, I had never heard of that book, that series or even that author before. The blurb, however, sounded interesting enough and why not give another indie author like Micalea Smeltzer a chance? And believe it or not, but this book here made me fall in love with Micalea, her characters and her books. Up until now I have read every single novel she has ever published (apart from her fantasy series, since I’m not really keen on that genre) and I personally think that she gets better with each new release. Some readers may find her stories and characters too lovey-dovey, too silly or too cheesy but I really love them and you might fall in love with her books as well. You might as well start with this novel, which is the first in the “Trace + Olivia” series.
While growing up with a strict preacher father, Olivia  was never able to fully live her life. She hopes to accomplish as many things as possible from her Live List during her four years at college. Unfortunately, she was only able to cross off four things up until now. Then she meets Trace and things begin to change in the best possible way. When Olivia tells him about her list, Trace is more than happy to help her out. Plus, he gets to spend more time with the girl he can’t seem stop thinking about. But neither of them expected what was waiting for them along the way. Continue reading “Finding Olivia – Review”

Background Music – Review

As a huge fan of J.R. Rogue’s poetry, I was eager to get my hands on her upcoming novel Background Music. Her writing has opened my world to a love and enjoyment of poetry I have never experienced before. I trust her ability as an author to make me feel her words, and I was prepared for a full range of emotions with Background Music.

BLURB

“You’re more than background music for someone else’s life.”


It’s the message that will change everything.

The message Kat Roberts receives from a man she’s never met.

The message no one else is supposed to see but her.

The message that leads to the greatest violence

against her body she will ever know.

 

Prologue

Kat

I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE BACKGROUND MUSIC that played downstairs that night. Those notes will forever haunt me. They played softly as midnight struck, as our friends and family raised glasses and kissed lips. So softly, so delicately, as my husband raped me in our upstairs bedroom. As he pinned my arms behind my back. As he told me not to cry out. As he convinced me it was what I deserved.

After reading the prologue, I couldn’t wait to discover more of Kat’s story. I don’t mind dark subject matter, as it usually leads to the most emotionally riveting stories.  I also remembered Kat as Sera’s best friend from Rogue’s first novel, Burning Muses. While this book is a standalone, it is always fun to make connections with an author’s previous novels.

I believe J.R. Rogue was able to really hone her storytelling with this book. I was impressed with the plot, plot twist near the end, and the character development in Rogue’s second novel. This makes for a more memorable story and more of a connection with the characters. While I was prepared for a darker story, I was pleasantly surprised with Rogue’s delicate handling of the rough subject matter. If the prologue makes readers nervous, be comforted in knowing there are no graphic descriptions or details on the subject of rape. It simply adds a deeper aspect to Kat’s past and leads readers to understand her more fully in the present.
My favorite facet of the story was reading from Andrew’s perspective. He was a witty, light-hearted, and refreshing voice. I was rooting for him to get the girl and to become the man he was longing to be.

“Do any of us look at ourselves with the same lens everyone else is using?”

“I’d wager a guess you don’t see yourself the way I see you right now.”

Continue reading “Background Music – Review”

November Recap

Happy December!
What? December? How is that even possible? Wasn’t it the beginning of the summer just yesterday? Yeah, we know, we can’t believe it, either!
Speaking of December: Have you been Christmas shopping yet? If all of that gets too stressful, grab a cup of tea or coffee or soy latte or whatever your bookish heart desires, a good book and relax for a little while. If you are in search for a new book, our following reviews may help you with that.

Reviews:

Cover Reveals:

Book Releases:

To all the busy moms out there. Have you read our post about Reading to Children, yet? If not, here‘s your chance.

The Christmas holidays are coming up and we hope to get some reading and reviewing done for you guys. Our Decemeber TBR is not set in stone but here are a few titles on our list: Beauty in the Ashes by Micalea Smeltzer, From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon, The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred, The Boy Who Sneeks in My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Mosely, Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris, A Heart of Time by Shari J. Ryan, Born To Run by Christopher McDougall, Tyed by L. J. Shen and The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons.

Stay warm out there,
♥Ashley & Sabrina♥

P.S. Have you checked out our Instagram account yet? We post daily and would love for you to stop by and say ‘hi’! ♥

Nerve

img_3250The book Nerve is a young adult fiction book by Jeanne Ryan.

Are you a player or watcher?
NERVE is an online “Truth or Dare”-game – without the truth part, though. People can sign up as players or watchers. As a player you have to complete different dares that are assigned to you by the people behind NERVE. For each completed dare, you can win money or other prizes. In order to win, the dare must be filmed and livestreamed on the NERVE website. And here come the watchers into the game. When signed up as a watcher, you film and livestream the players’ dares – only to win prizes yourself. The tricky part is that not only do the prizes get bigger with each completed dare, the dares get more difficult and more dangerous, too! In the finals, a group of players have to complete one last big dare to win the grand prize. Continue reading “Nerve”

Introvert Power

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After reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking  by Susan Cain earlier this year, I have been on a mission to accept my introversion and help other introverts learn about this quality in themselves.  I was worried this book may be redundant and would not be able to teach me more about the subject matter.  I was wrong.  Where Quiet describes introversion in a matter-of-fact way, I felt Introvert Power taught me how to proudly be introverted.  I found myself within the pages of this book.  I felt that deep connection when someone says something you feel down in your bones, a connection that speaks directly to the soul. Laurie Helgoe acknowledged feelings and thoughts I had hidden inside for years and labeled as wrong, weird, or disgraceful, by turning them into powerful pieces of the true “me”.   Continue reading “Introvert Power”