Comes a Horseman

Echoes Rising - Book 3

by Anne Barwell

Comes a Horseman - Anne Barwell - Echoes Rising
Part of the Echoes Rising series:
Editions:Kindle - Second Edition: $ 4.99
ISBN: 978-0-9951466-4-8
Pages: 298

What if those who stand by you are the ones who betray you?

France, 1944

Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.

Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant Ken Lowe, and Dr Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.

When Standartenführer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.

Author’s note: This is the second edition of Comes a Horseman. The first edition was released by another publishing house.  This story has been re-edited, and uses UK spelling to reflect its setting.

This book is on:
  • 2 To Be Read lists
  • 1 Read list
Published:
Publisher: LaceDragon Publishing
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 2
Romantic Content: 2
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Demisexual, Gay, Straight
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers
Word Count: 79802
Setting: France
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:

“How long is the timer?” Ken asked.

“Long enough.” Nicolas spoke as though he was imparting casual information about a timetable. He turned suddenly and frowned. “Oh, that’s why… Merde! Run!”

Ken didn’t need to be told twice. He turned and ran, Nicolas behind him. They’d barely gotten clear before an explosion behind him lifted him into the air, and he hit the ground with a loud thud. He stood and wiped mud off his clothes. “What the hell?”

“The detonator I thought hadn’t worked, decided to work after all.” Nicolas grinned as he sat up next to Ken. He ran a muddy hand through his hair, then replaced his beret. “Good thing there was something soft to cushion our fall, hmm? We should go. I’m sure that’s attracted attention.”

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“I’m sure it—” Ken automatically ducked at the sound of another loud explosion further down the track. Michel had detonated his explosive and blown up the shed. Hopefully the soldiers would head there first as it was closer. “That’s our distraction. Come on.”

Luckily Nicolas followed Ken without arguing. “The Germans won’t know which way to go first.”

“That’s the idea, so we’re going completely in the opposite direction, and the long way back through the woods. Michel was going to give himself plenty of time, rather than cutting it short like we—you—did.”

Matt would be worried, especially after Sébastien told him what had happened, but better late back than not at all.

“Sometimes these things have a mind of their own. That’s one of the challenges of—” Nicolas froze. “Did you hear that?”

Ken grabbed Nicolas and ducked behind some shrubbery. He drew his gun and motioned for Nicolas to say silent. A few moments later, two soldiers ran past their position. Fortunately they were heading in the opposite direction towards the railway line.

Oh hell. Not good. Not only were there soldiers by the original target, but patrolling the woods nearby.

“They knew we were coming,” Nicolas whispered. It wasn’t a question.

“Yes,” Ken said grimly. They’d have to sit there and wait until they were sure it was clear.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Fiona on OptimuMM wrote:

So, when I first saw this book and read the blurb I was either not paying proper attention, or perhaps I had gone temporarily blind. For some unknown reason, at no point did I notice that this book was the third and final book of a series (yeah, quite an important part of the details to overlook hehehe). As you can imagine, when I opened the book and saw that it was a sequel I had a little bit of a panic moment. When I started reading, the panic turned to slight terror because I was completely lost and had absolutely no idea what was going on in the story. Now, I take complete responsibility for my stupidity, and although this review is going to be a somewhat unorthodox, I’m just working with what I’ve got.

At this point, I would normally describe the plot/storyline/characters of the book, but unlike me (facepalm), the chances are that if you’re planning on reading this book, then you’ve probably already read the first two and know about all of this stuff already. I mean what can I really tell you that the blurb hasn’t already? Well, after the meltdown had subsided and my heart rate had reduced to normal levels, I managed to grasp the basics of the story and characters and just went with the flow, and I have to be honest and say that what I read in this book was nothing short of magnificent.

I’m a huge WW2 history fan, and I’ll generally take an interest in any books, movies or documentaries on the subject, whether it be fact or fiction. This book was so well written, that even though I had no idea of the backstory, I was totally and utterly engrossed. After a couple of chapters, I actually forgot that I had gone into this blind. The confusion was just gone. The amount of detail in the story was phenomenal, and I really need to commend the author for that. From the places they were staying/hiding, the ranks of the German soldiers, the use of the French and German languages, and how the characters were treated by the soldiers and other civilians, it all had a real authentic feel to it, and apart from a couple of little scenes, I could easily have been reading a memoir by an actual WW2 survivor. The story was so intriguing that I just couldn’t put it down.
Although the relationships between the male characters are discussed quite a lot, this book doesn’t really go into any intimate details, and by that, I mean there are no sex scenes. This is all about the feelings and emotions that they share, and their plans for when the war ends if they survive. I think that this was absolutely right for the story and the time period. There were a few twists that I didn’t see coming at all, and they just made me enjoy the book even more than I already was.

Now that I’ve read this, I’m going to make a point of going back to read the first two books because I really want to know so much more about these characters. I want to see how the relationships started and how they got to this point. I loved this book without knowing anything that was happening, so if you have followed this series from the start, then I can guarantee you’ll not be disappointed with how it’s all tied up and finalized. It was truly a joy and pleasure to read this book.


About the Author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with Kaylee: a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her. To date it appears Kaylee may be winning the discussion.

In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.  She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ.

Anne’s books have received honourable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated three times in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—twice for Best Fantasy, once for Best Historical, and once for All-Time Favourite M/M Author.