Author: Anne Barwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: TL BLand
Rating: 4.50 of 5 Stars
Six years after meeting British soldier Aiden Foster during the Christmas Truce of 1914, Jochen Weber still finds himself thinking about Aiden, their shared conversation about literature, and Aiden’s beautiful singing voice. A visit to London gives Jochen the opportunity to search for Aiden, but he’s shocked at what he finds.
The uniform button Jochen gave him is the only thing Aiden has left of the past he’s lost. The war and its aftermath ripped everything away from him, including his family and his music. When Jochen reappears in his life, Aiden enjoys their growing friendship but knows he has nothing to offer. Not anymore.
Can there be a worse point in time to fall in love than the middle of a war? And can there be a worse person to fall for than the enemy soldier you’re supposed to kill?
WWI was a horrible turn of eras, chopping up all of Old Europe’s values and rationality—along with a whole generation of men—with a bloody swathe. And yet, it held magical moments like the 1914 Christmas Truce, where Aidan and Jochen meet. They feel an instant connection, but the War turns their brief encounter into a “ships passing” experience which they still both can’t forget.
Years later, when Jochen tracks Aidan down, Aidan thinks himself too broken to be worthy of even friendship, let alone Jochen’s. But Jochen disagrees. Slowly, gently, and with the help of some unexpected allies, he coaxes Aidan out of his shell.
This was a quiet story that moved at a leisurely pace, telling a somewhat timeless tale of two people falling in love and working up the courage to take the leap of faith with each other . The unhurried, smooth writing matched the plot perfectly. I liked the somewhat modern-sounding narration; there was no attempt to recreate some kind of “period” writing style which can often sound forced or awkward. Instead, the characters’ mindsets, dialogue and actions were used to portray their time, and successfully so, at least for the most part. Particularly the way both were angsting over revealing their true feelings for each other, even though they were already close friends, struck me as very realistic for their time. And in keeping with the story’s overall tone, there was next to no graphic content even though Aidan and Jochen clearly had chemistry.
If I were to describe this novel with one word, I’d call it restful. A story like a quilt—lovingly crafted, warm and cozy. Recommended when you’re in the mood for some calm.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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