1) A strong book set at a time that to me is still more the dominion of history lessons and horror and those childhood stories that my grandparents never, ever tell. So not exactly a time that lends itself to romance, and I admit I was sceptical when I first picked this book up. Happily my scepticism was misguided. Instead of the wartime romance I was half-dreading, this book is the story of two men struggling to stay human in an increasingly inhuman world; remembering that the enemy soldier is a human being, too, is just one part of it. Very well done. But then, everything about this book is well done: The plot is solid and gripping and although it jumps ahead in time twice, it doesn’t seem episodic; the characters are all complex and layered, even the secondary characters – even the obligatory super-Nazi was interesting from a meta perspective! – and the protagonists have a depth that is sometimes more hinted at than revealed fully; the setting was evocative and done right – at least, this German reader was very pleased to come across genuine German names as well as properly spelled and grammatically correct German sentences; the writing, finally, flowed smoothly, at a good pace, and managed to keep me up way past my bedtime because I simply could. Not. Stop. Reading. Last but not least, I quite enjoyed seeing the Germans from the American character’s perspective, all those little comments and observations on manners and language, and I couldn’t help grinning at the bit where Mark wonders at Armin’s mood because from his tone of voice he can’t tell whether Armin is annoyed or not, what with German sounding the same all the damn time. :-)
2) Writing as you wish it do be when you look for this kind of reading; well-developed characters; perfect research; and some very little flaws are covered by a gripping story, although dark, mesmerizing.
3) One of the most touching, heartbreaking beautiful story I ever read. Set in a German POW camp at the end of WWII, it is not a easy reading, the covered topics certainly leave its marks on the reader. But you won’t be able to put it down, you need to know how the main characters get to their well deserved happy ending. Be ready to cry, a lot, be ready to get angry, to feel relieved. The authors managed to engage the readers describing the environment and every action with such powerful attention to detail that you can almost see yourself there. There must have been a lot of reserch behind it, a very good job. A book to read at least once in a lifetime.
4) This book wasn’t at all what I was expecting. The setting is about as dramatic as it gets, but the story itself, the development of the romance and the tightly-written scenes between Armin and Mark are surprisingly easy to read. It was so engaging I couldn't put it down.
5) Full marks from me on this excellent story of two men who meet at the 1936 Olympics, have one night of passion and eight years later are reunited during World War II. Armin is the POW camp Commandant where Mark, an American airman is brought when his plane crashes. The men at first are wary of one another, but as time passes the attraction they felt eight years earlier is rekindled and their purpose becomes to save each other's lives, as the Allies close in on a defeated Germany. Couldn't put this down until I had read and savored every word. Without a doubt my favorite book of this year.
Broken Blades by Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 312 pages
Publication Date: February 15, 2016
Amazon: Broken Blades
Amazon Kindle: Broken Blades
They only had one night together—a stolen interlude at the 1936 Olympics. After Mark Driscoll challenged Armin Truchsess von Kardenberg to a good-natured fencing match, there was no resisting each other. Though from different worlds—an Iowa farm boy and a German aristocrat—they were immediately drawn together, and it was an encounter neither has ever forgotten. Now it’s 1944, and a plane crash in hostile territory throws them back together, but on opposite sides of a seemingly endless war. Facing each other as opponents is one thing. As enemies, another thing entirely. And to make matters worse, Mark is a POW, held in a cold, remote castle in Germany… in a camp run by Armin. They aren’t the young athletes they were back then. The war has taken wives, limbs, friends, leaving both men gray beyond their years, shell-shocked, and battered. The connection they had back then is still alive and well, though, and from the moment Mark arrives, they’re fencing again—advancing, retreating, testing defenses. Have they been given a second chance? Or have time and a brutal war broken both men beyond repair?
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