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review 2014-07-24 00:00
The Summer Garden
The Summer Garden - Paullina Simons This was slightly less awesome for me than the first two. The first 60% was unbelievable and EXACTLY what I wanted. Alexander has to heal after he gets back from a truly gruesome ten years at war and Tatiana is there to help him. It was sweet and perfect and also gritty and raw. I loved.

Once we get away from the war a while-- this book spans right up until the new millennium-- there is the business of being married. The part I loved about this book, nearly 60% of it, centers on Tatiana and Alexander's marriage. After Anthony gets older there is quite a lot to do with the children. While the events that unfold in the last quarter of the book were very interesting, I felt that it lost the essential thread-- mainly the relationship between Tatiana and Alexander. The last action is intense and heart-pounding, but the resolution after that left me confused.

The last pages came full circle and gave a lovely farewell to Tatia and Shura, but Simons probably could have cut the Coda without an issue.

I also desperately wanted a spin-off story for Anthony and his own great love-- (I won't say who it is in order not to spoiler) what a story that would be!
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review 2014-03-30 00:00
The Summer Garden
The Summer Garden - Paullina Simons I cant possibly give it 5 stars, because it rates much much higher than that.

I don't know how I survived this. Nothing has EVER caused me so much agony. I've finally found the torture even I couldn't handle. I was afraid my hair would go gray after this saga... What a turmoil of emotions! At some point my heart was beating so viciously and my hands were shaking so much, I thought I'd faint. Some parts just broke me.

Everything in The Bronze Horseman was so dear to me from the start. Having been born in Soviet Union and immigrated abroad myself, I know what kind of life Paullina Simons describes here. Having grown up with the horror stories from WWII from my grandparents, their real life stories, I was nothing but completely consumed by this saga. I don't think any review could do it justice. It simply is a must read. It is also a 'ruin read' because from now on nothing will quite measure up to it. And so here I am, overwhelmed and changed beyond recognition, feeling as if I aged a few decades myself at the end of these three books. And all I can think is I wish I could forget it all and start the journey again.

I would probably have been much happier and more whole at the end had it not been for one excruciating incident in a book number three that I still can't forget or forgive, but I realize that life is sometimes cruel to the best of us, and so I accept the heartache. But I'm still quite broken and very sad it's over. Can anybody give me a cure, please?
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review 2014-01-17 20:27
Another 10 star book from Paulina Simmons
The Summer Garden: A Love Story - Paullina Simons

This is the second book in The Bronze Horseman Trilogy and continues the story of Tatiana and Shura. I don't know how to explain the feelings and emotions this book evokes in you while reading and afterwards also. You will have to move on to the third book in the trilogy Tatiana and Alexander immediately, even though you will not want their story to end.

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text 2013-12-17 21:18
The Summer Garden Reactions
The Summer Garden: A Novel (Tatiana and Alexander) - Paullina Simons

Thank you, Marlene, for creating this hilarious gif reaction to the third book in the Bronze Horseman trilogy. They are my favorite books.

❤✣❤✣❤Tatiana & Alexander❤✣❤✣❤

Click here.

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review 2013-10-25 00:08
I can't get over how much i LOVE this series...
The Summer Garden - Paullina Simons


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I'm still at a loss of words to describe this series, to describe Tatiana and Alexander! I said it before but I'll say it again, there are love story and then there is Tania and Shura's story!
Each and single book of this series moved me, enthralled me and made me live every single thing with them...and each book is so different in it's own way, each one is unique!

Summer Garden starts where most of the romance novels ends...it starts after the Tatia's and Shura reunion. They're now starting their life together with their little boy Ant. The possibilities seems endless now...they're free to live their life the way they want.
But the thing is they're not really free, they're away from Russia, from Germany but they aren't free of the horrors they suffered...especially Alexander, he have scars on the inside and on the outside that don't let him ever forget.

"Does it hurt when I touch them?" He has to lie. Every kiss she plants on his wounds stirs a sense memory of how he got them. He wanted her to touch him, and this is what he gets. But if he tells her the truth, she will stop.So he lies. No,he says. 

It's hard to meet this "new" Shura, this damaged Shura. He suffers from severe PTSD but he can't talk about it. He tries to move on the best he can, without soiling his wife and son.

Then.Now. Eventually, he sees so much that he becomes dead to everything. He has inured himself, hardened himself so that there's nothing that arouses a flicker of feeling inside Alexander. 

The other side is Tania, trying to figure it out how to reach him...how to take his demons and shadows away. She did the unthinkable and saved from the Gulac but is he really out from there?

So through this first years,they're traveling state to state, trying to find a home for themselves...but still hiding for each other all of what they're feeling.

We will be with them through all the hardships, struggles and victories. Sad, heartbreaking and emotional moments...

“Alexander, you broke my heart. But for carrying me on your back, for pulling my dying sled, for giving me your last bread, for the body you destroyed for me, for the son you have given me, for the twenty-nine days we lived like Red Birds of Paradise, for all our Naples sands and Napa wines, for all the days you have been my first and last breath, for Orbeli- I will forgive you. ” 

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...but also passionate and loving moments.

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“I love you. I'm blind for you, wild for you. Sick with you. I told you that our first night together when I asked you to marry me, I am telling you now. Everything that's happened to us, everything, is because I crossed the street for you. I worship you. You know that through and through...” 

Like I said,this for me the harder book to read of the 3 of them (and that's saying a lot)but I can't separate the books from each other. Reading this series for the first time (I'm sure I'll re-read them several times), was an experience of it's own. It was like reading their memories...not only the memories of several events that change history but the memories of people who lived them. To me they felt real and this story touched my soul. I can't even explain it properly! It's like they're now part of me, if that's make sense.

Now, I read several reviews that didn't liked this book...that Shura and Tania are barely recognizable and so on. And I agree with several of the points made, there were several times that I felt infuriated, sad, disappointed and even disgusted (view spoiler)with some scenes...but i never felt that the "pain" was gratuitous. It was real, it was two young people that lived unbearable and impossible things, trying the best they could to get through it together. To grow together. They make mistakes. They have flaws. They're real.

Many parts seems the negativity prevails in it but it's because a major part of the book is focused in those earlier years. Like it zoomed in the pivotal moments...but also the happy moments, Antman growing up and his brothers and sister.

And in the end it's all worthy...every bump in the road made them stronger. And this kind of one of a lifetime love it's all we can aim for. When two souls recognize each other, and from that moment on, they know their fate is irrevocably changed.

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“Do you see the Field of Mars, where I walked next to my bride in her white wedding dress, with red sandals in her hands, when we were kids?”

“I see it well.”

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

Her hands went on his face. “That’s all any of us ever has, my love,” she said. “And it all flies by.”

“Yes,” he said, looking at her, at the desert, covered coral and yellow with golden eye and globe mallow. “But what a five minutes it’s been.” 

True,and reading it" what five minutes it's been"...:)

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