REVIEW: Winter Duet – Anne Barwell

Winter Duel - Anne Barwell

Genre: Historical, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Who do you trust when no one is who they seem? 

Germany 1944

Fleeing German physicist Dr Kristopher Lehrer and his lover, Resistance fighter Michel, are caught up in an Allied bombing campaign. Separated from Michel after discovering an injured RAF pilot in the Black Forest, and pursued by the SS for the information he carries, Kristopher is frantic to reunite, unaware that Michel has been recruited by the Allies for a rescue mission. 

Time is running out. The Gestapo is closing in. How can they decide who to trust, when the dagger pointed at Kristopher’s back could be wielded by a friend?  

Author’s note: This is the third edition of Winter Duet. The first and second editions were released by another publishing house. This story has been re-edited, and uses UK spelling to reflect its setting.

The Review

War torn Germany 1944.

“Winter Duet” is the sequel to “Shadowboxing” the first novel in the “Echoes Rising” series.  This revised edition of “Winter Duet” continues the WW II drama loaded with suspense and thrilling action.

Dr. Kristopher Lehrer and Resistance operative Michel Faber are still trying to escape to Switzerland.  They both have to disguise themselves as German soldiers and pretend they are trying to rejoin their unit.  

At a safe house in another part of Germany: Capt. Matt Bryant, Sgt. Ken Lowe and Dr. Zhou Liang are also in the guise of German soldiers. They have made it to one of the various safe houses and still are searching for Kristopher and the secret that he’s keeping.  

As an RAF plane goes down in the Black Forest, Matt, Ken and Zhou head in that direction to search for any survivors. Kristopher and Michel have also seen the plane go down, and go in search of survivors. All the brave Resistance operatives have once again put their lives on the line and become separated. Lovers are lost to each other, never knowing if they will see each other again.

They all have the same goals: get to the next safe house, protect each other, and hopefully reunite with the ones they love.  

Besides the bombing raids, all of them face the danger and evil of Herr SS Standartenfuhrer Karl Holm, SS Obersturmfuhrer Reiniger and SS Unterscharfuhrer Muller. They and the German soldiers are also in pursuit of the downed plane.

The tension is overwhelming as this heroic group face danger, suffer grave torture at the hands of the Gestapo, and escape. Barwell is outstanding, bringing her characters alive with vivid descriptions of their heartfelt feelings during their dangerous journey to freedom.   

The relationship between Kristopher and Michel grows and blossoms at a time of great devastation. I found Kristopher’s love and expertise in music such a beautiful thing, and loved how it factored in to how to contact Michel if they ever have a chance to reunite

The author also gives us some great secondary characters that come to the aid of the Resistance operatives – Dr. Conrad  Osterhagen, Fraulein Isa Beckert, Fritz, and the most heroic of all. RAF pilot Leonard “Leo” Dawson.  

“Winter Duet” was even more exciting to read the second time around. Barwell is such an outstanding and fantastic historical writer.

I highly, highly recommend reading “Shadowboxing” first, as it introduces all of the brave women and men of the Resistance. And “Comes A Horseman” is book three, coming soon!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

 

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