📘🎥Friday's Film Adaptation🎥📘: Sergeant York: His Own Life Story & War Diary by Tom Skeyhill & Alvin C York
Sunday, November 11, 2018
The Courage of Love by EE Montgomery
Sequel to Between Love and Honor
In 1915, after his beloved Carl died from a vicious beating, David Harrison enlisted in the Army and went to war. He returns home to find a world seemingly unchanged, while he will never be the same. At Mrs. Gill’s boarding house, he meets Bernard Donnelly, a young man suffering the aftereffects of his own war experiences. David finds himself increasingly attracted to Bernard, but that terrifies him. He blames himself for Carl’s horrific death and fears he isn’t strong enough to lose another love to violence.
Bernard needs David to help him face each day and find a way they can be together without stigma—and without putting them in legal and physical danger—but David clings to his idea that the only way to keep a lover safe is not to have one. His fears threaten to destroy everything, unless he learns that sometimes the risk is worth it and finds the courage to love.
Original Review January 2015:
This story is so powerful and emotions are all over the place. I'll admit that the first few shell shock induced nightmare scenes are a little confusing but afterwards, I realized that the mild confusion I felt only added to the severity of what both David and Bernard were dealing with. I've always been a bit of a history buff, so this is not my first story surrounding World War 1 veterans but the author still managed to tug at my heart when dealing with the shell shock. Some people might see the continued nightmares and David's reluctance to open his heart again after losing Carl as repetitious but I see them as showing how far they've actually come and at the same time reminding us that it's not a clear cut scenario that can be bad one day and completely fixed the next, it's ongoing. David and Bernard and even the memory of Carl, David's first love, are the main focus of the story but those around them are so important to story. Mrs. Gill is amazing, she's the mother that David should have had, she's caring but she's also right to the point. As for David's mother? She's not actually in the story much but she certainly leaves a lasting impression and it's not a nice one either. This is the first time I've read E.E. Montgomery but it won't be the last.
New York City, 1919. His career as a concert pianist ended by a war injury, Sutton Albright returns to college, only to be expelled after a scandalous affair with a teacher. Unable to face his family, Sutton heads to Manhattan with no plans and little money in his pocket but with a desire to call his life his own. Jack Bailey lost his parents to influenza and now hopes to save the family novelty shop by advertising on the radio, a medium barely more than a novelty, itself. His nights are spent in a careless and debauched romp through the gayer sections of Manhattan. When these two men cross paths, despite a world of differences separating them, their attraction cannot be denied. Sutton finds himself drawn to the piano, playing for Jack. But can his music heal them both, or will sudden prosperity jeopardize their chance at love?
Original Review January 2015:
I have to admit I had a bit of a hard getting into this one but it was no fault of the author. I just wasn't ready to let go of the characters of the previous book I had finished. But by the time I was finished with chapter 3 or 4 I was hooked. Sutton and Jack may have been from opposites ends of the spectrum as far as their upbringing and background but they were more alike than either of them realized. It's pretty clear that they are both better off together than either was alone. If you're a fan of historical fiction mixed with romance, then this is definitely a book for you. I hadn't read anything by this author but after finishing Whistling, I went on to read three more and will definitely be checking out others as well.
Awfully Glad by Charlie Cochrane
WWI hero Sam Hines is used to wearing a face that isn’t his own. When he’s not in the trenches, he’s the most popular female impersonator on the front, but a mysterious note from an anonymous admirer leaves him worried. Everyone realizes—eventually—that Sam’s not a woman, but has somebody also worked out that he also prefers his lovers to be male?
When Sam meets—and falls for—fellow officer Johnny Browne after the war, he wonders whether he could be the man who wrote the note. If so, is he the answer to Sam’s dreams or just another predatory blackmailer, ready to profit from a love that dare not speak its name?
Not much more I can say about Awfully Glad that I didn't say when I originally read it back 2015. Watching Sam and Johnny navigate the whole "is he or isn't he" debate is just as fulfilling as it was over three years ago. Like I said before, if they just communicated more clearly so many answers would have been discovered but then not only would that make this little gem way too short but not very accurate either. Nobody wants their nose broken if they got the assumptions wrong and it was also illegal to be in a homosexual relationship so its no wonder they were edging around the question. Once again Charlie Cochrane has proven her respect for the era as well as her respect for her readers with her storytelling in this little gem.
Original Review February 2015:
A nice little tale of war, post war, romance, and a bit of "what's he after?" thrown in for good measure. Sam is such an interesting character but as himself and as Madeline, who brought such joy to the men during the war. Now that the war is over and he's put Madeline behind him, he is reunited with one of the men he met after one of his Madeline's shows. I just love watching Sam trying to figure Johnny out and what he's after. Of course, there's a bit of "if they just communicated" but then the story would be even shorter and where's the fun in that? Definitely a great addition to my library and once again, I was not let down by the writings of Charlie Cochrane.
Paris, 1919. World War One is over, and wounded hero James Clarynton is struggling to face life without one leg, one eye, and the devilish good looks he had before the conflict. Now he must pay for affection, and it leaves him bitter. He’s filling the time by writing a book—but it’s the young man who comes to type it who really intrigues him.
Edmund Vaughan can’t turn down the chance to be secretary to the wealthy James Clarynton. He’s been out of work since the armistice, and his mother and brother depend on him. But he has secrets to hide, and the last thing he wants is an employer who keeps asking questions.
As they work together, their respect for each other grows, along with something deeper. But tragedy threatens, and shadows from the past confront them at every turn. They must open their hearts and trust each other if they are to break down the barriers that separate them.
A heartwarming romance with some dark moments along the way.
Original Review August 2018:
In Paris 1919, the war is over and for James Clarynton he faces not only adjusting to civilian life again but he must do it minus a leg and an eye. Without his devilish good looks he finds himself paying for affection but it leaves him feeling empty so when a friend suggests writing a book he dives in but needs a secretary. Edmund Vaughan needs work that has been lacking since the end of the war as his mother and brother depend on him so when the need for a secretary becomes available he jumps at the position. Trust and respect between James and Edmund begins to grow into more but when trust is challenged will the pair find peace together?
This is my first Megan Reddaway read and as always a new author can be scary for some but for me its exhilerating. Not only do I have the anticipation factor of each new page but I had the added thrill of will this be an author to watch for or a one-time-wonder? Well, Megan Reddaway is definitely not a one-time-wonder for me, she has definitely found a place on my authors-to-watch list. It probably helped that the first time I read her it is a post-WW1 era story, in my honest opinion there is just not enough of that time period in M/M romance genre so I tend to grab all I come across. A Position in Paris was well worth the grabbing.
Let's take a look at our duo. You can't help but fall in love with both characters, James because he is dealing with a whole new level to living and Edmund because he is caring for his family the best way he can. They both have amazing characteristics that certainly make them adorable, loveable, and just plain likeable but they also both need to be honest with each other. Course, if they were honest with each other about everything then this would have been a very short and not too exciting story so I can forgive the not-so-honesty elements😉😉. Plus, I have no idea what its like to be a gay man in post-WW1 Europe but I imagine that added a separate level of secrecy to their lives as well.
I really won't say too much more for risk of spoilers but I will say that I found it to be refreshing that the book James is writing and Edmund is helping him with is not fiction so it is not a catalyst for their attraction. Yes, their working together helps fan the flames but the content they are writing does not, anywho I just found that to be a pleasant idea. As for the historical element, it is clear that the author has a healthy respect for the era with her attention to detail and that only heightened the reading experience for me. From beginning to end, A Position i Paris is a lovely read with just the right amount of drama, attraction, historical, and romance that kept me completely entertained.
Calon Lân by Elin Gregory
As war rages in France, battles are also being fought on the Home Front.
Bethan Harrhy, farmer's wife, does her best to keep her family happy as prices rise and the weather worsens. Nye, her husband, is angry and worried. Alwyn, her brother, is injured and shaken by his experiences in the trenches. Her baby is teething and there's another on the way. Surely having her brother's best friend to stay, another face, another voice, another pair of hands, can only be a good thing? But when Joe arrives, Bethan is forced to confront ideas she had never even guessed at and makes a terrible mistake.
With conflict at home and abroad, can there be a happy ending for any of them?
Having come home from the war early due to injuries, Alwyn sets out to help his sister and her husband on the farm but more hands are needed. When Alwyn's friend and fellow soldier answers the call, nothing will ever be the same for any of them. Will the four of them find peace and be able to work together and maybe even find some happiness?
I wish there were more World War One era stories in the M/M genre so when I find one I tend to just gobble it up so I am not sure how this one slipped my sites for a whole year. Having finally read Calon Lân I can honestly say it is amazing. As it is a short story/novella I won't go into too much but I do want to say that Alwyn and Joe are wonderfully written and Bethan definitely has her hands full keeping the peace in her home. As for the author, I think its pretty clear that Elin Gregory respects the past and does a wonderful job balancing reality and fiction to bring the reader a healthy glimpse of a time gone by.
As for Alwyn and Joe, well of course you want to see them get their HEA but whether they do or not is something you have to read for yourself. Don't even get me started on Bethan's husband, Nye. I understand and respect his frustrations but I also wanted to bang his head against the wall more than once or at least make sure he ran into a door frame or two . . . or six😉.
Would I have liked for Calon Lân to be longer? Of course, that's a no-brainer but at the same time some stories and authors only need a novella to tell their characters' journeys and that's what Elin Gregory brings us: a wonderful story of discovery. Another element I loved about this gem is that it isn't just about Alwyn and Joe finding happiness but its about all four living in that house, Alwyn, Joe, Bethan, and Nye, discovering what love really means. I may not re-read this every Veteran's Day but it isn't the last I've seen of this family either.
The Courage to Love by EE Montgomery
Whistling in the Dark by Tamara AllenAMAZON US / AMAZON UK
B&N / KOBO / iTUNES AUDIO
AUDIBLE / SMASHWORDS
iTUNES / GOODREADS TBR
A Position in Paris by Megan Reddaway
Calon Lân by Elin Gregory
Title: The Signal Box
Author: Lazlo Thorn
Genre: M/M Romance, Historical, BDSM
Release Date: April 5, 2018
Cover Design: Lex Valentine
Publisher: MLR BooksSummary:
Autumn, 1913. Wiltshire, England. Davy Buckland, a boiler cleaner in the engine shed at the local railway station, was nineteen when he took a shine to the signalman at nearby Oakwood Junction. He didn’t know much about Nathaniel, but he recognised a man who could show him the ropes and how the isolated signal box in the Edwardian countryside where he worked, could provide the perfect hideaway for their clandestine games. By the time the Great War had started and these two ordinary men had become lovers, it wasn’t only the trains that were greased up and running on a good head of steam. But just how long could they keep this affair a secret? And what would the consequences be, if their unusual sexual liaison was ever discovered?
“When you tie me like that, when I’m sure I can’t get free, well it’s like everything becomes still. I’m still. Everything is calm.”
Lazlo Thorn published his first novel (The Signal Box) in 2018. In his work he explores themes about life, death, love and sexuality, set against the social mores and prevailing attitudes to gay sex at different times and in different places.
His forthcoming novel (Pain and Promise), due for release shortly, takes the reader to a small town on the Adriatic coast of Italy where two love stories, separated by almost forty years, become linked in an unexpected way.
He has nursed an ambition to be a writer for a number of years, but has only recently been able to make sufficient space in his life to begin committing some of his ideas to paper. The author has lived and worked in various countries and travelled widely in Europe and beyond.
Today, he lives in England with his husband, in a quiet seaside town on the south coast.
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