Author: Aleksandr Voinov & LA Witt
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Lori Witt
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 02/15/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Historical, M/M Romance
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?
Broken Blades by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt is a wonderful bittersweet romance that shows the enduring power of love.
Mark and Armin had just one night together during the 1936 Olympics, and even as they parted the next day to follow their own paths neither man forgot the other. The last place they ever expected to meet again is on opposite sides in a Prisoner of War camp. Armin is the German Camp Kommandant and Mark a prisoner having been captured along with his crew when their B17 crashed during a mission.
Neither man is the same as they were, both have seen too much horror and death, known too much anguish and loss, plus Armin lost an arm on the Russian Front. Both men are wary, jaded and disillusioned, and neither expect to find themselves alive at the end of the war. The pull between them however is as strong as it was all those years before but neither man knows how to breach the chasm that’s come between them, nor even if they could. The castle of Ahlensteig a prison for them both, Armin is as chained to it by duty as Mark is held within its walls.
The romance unfolds between them slowly, one layer at a time. The atmosphere between prisoners and their captors is foreboding and hostile. The rippling undercurrents of tension between prisoners and guards permeate every page, none more so than between Mark and Armin as they dance around each other. Both men are scared of opening up a dialogue, of reigniting a flame that would struggle be extinguished even if it took them both down as it died.
I found the war setting well defined, I could feel the oppressive and dangerous atmosphere within the castle between the pages. The attention to detail was good and one thing that really showed this was how I could account and identify all of Mark’s B17 crew, even though only a few ended up in the castle along with Mark.
As the story unfolded I could sense the desperation of both the Germans and the prisoners as the allies drew closer to the castle gates, and the arrival of the SS Obersturmbannführer and the way he narrowed in on Armin and Mark’s unusual friendship added a realistic level of tension, despair and hopelessness to the story.
I said at the beginning that this was a bittersweet story, but that is more its atmosphere and setting. The connection between Mark and Amin is what makes the story for me. Both men have changed so much Armin more so than Mark and that is reflected in their interaction throughout. The ending is not bittersweet at all but very hopeful and satisfying.
Broken Blades delivered everything I could have wanted and expected from a wartime story, angst, conflict, despair and hope, and I loved every minute of it.
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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