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Winter Duet

Echoes Rising - Book 2

by Anne Barwell

Winter Duel - Anne Barwell
Part of the Echoes Rising series:
Editions:Kindle - Third Edition: $ 4.99
ISBN: 978-0-9951466-1-7
Pages: 274
Paperback - Third Edition: $ 12.99
ISBN: 978-0-9951466-2-4
Pages: 288

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.

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
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Class Differences, Cultural Differences, Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort
Word Count: 73994
Setting: Germany
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:

Michel parted the bushes cautiously and peered through. One glance at who had provoked the response from the soldiers and he closed his peek hole quickly and stayed as still as he could.

“Heil Hitler!” Reiniger returned the greeting. “Stay attentive!” he snapped at them. “Now is not the time for idle conversation. Anyone caught doing so will be disciplined accordingly. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, Herr Obersturmführer,” both men chorused.

If Reiniger had heard any of their discussion, they were lucky to get off with a warning. Someone in their unit at the institute had been caught shirking his duties. Michel shuddered, not wanting to dwell on the details. The man’s punishment had been harsh, without mercy, and far in excess of what was required for his so-called crime.

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“Our enemy is close by. We’ve already caught one, and I suspect his companions will not readily abandon him.” Reiniger snorted. “That weakness can be used to our advantage, so it is important we are prepared. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, Herr Obersturmführer.”

Caught one?

Michel took a sharp breath. Surely Reiniger hadn’t found Kit? Kit was with Leo. If two men had been discovered, Reiniger would have said so. Wouldn’t he? Unless Kit had left Leo and been caught a distance from him.

No. Kit wouldn’t… Michel mentally groaned. Of course he would, if he thought it necessary, and especially if he’d decided Michel might be walking into some kind of trap. He’d try to warn him and to hell with the consequences.

Reiniger turned, his eyes narrowing as he glanced in Michel’s direction. Michel held his breath, praying, hoping his hiding place hadn’t been compromised. “What are you standing here for?” Reiniger snapped at the two soldiers. “They’re somewhere close, and I want them found.” He gestured in the direction from which Michel had come. “Get on with it.”

“Yes, Herr Obersturmführer.”

The soldiers saluted and moved off. Reiniger stood for a moment, as though thinking, his face creasing into a frown, and then he headed in the opposite direction. He muttered something under his breath, but Michel couldn’t make out the words.

He heard breathing behind him. Close behind him.

Merde! He reached for his weapon, but before he could draw it, he felt the barrel of a gun pressed against his back.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Maryann on The Novel Approach Reviews wrote:

Still hiding out from the Nazis most dangerous officers, Holmes, Reiniger and Mueller, resistance fighters Dr. Kristopher “Kit” Leher and Mjchel (Gabriel), decide to leave the safety of the convent to flee Germany. After barely escaping their arch enemy, Reiniger, they’ve made their way to a safe house where they see a plane crash in the forest. They make it a point to find the crash site to see if there are any survivors.

Little do they know the allies, Sgt. Ken Lowe, Capt. Matt Bryant and Dr. Zhou Liang, are in the area and Matt had seen the plane crash also. They head to the site to try and find survivors. Ken, Matt and Liang split up when they go to investigate the site, and it becomes a dangerous situation as the Gestapo are also swarming the area.

Kit and Michel find the RAF pilot, Leonard “Leo” Dawson, who has been badly injured in the crash. When Michel hears suspicious noises, he leaves Kit and Leo to investigate. He doesn’t want to take the chance of running into the enemy, and he becomes separated from Kit and Leo.

Matt is now on his own and finds Kit and Leo. Michel runs across Ken. and when they return to where Michel left Kit, they are no longer there. Lovers are lost to each other, never knowing if they will see each other again. Both teams are on the run and have the same goals: get to the safe house, keep each other safe, and reunite with the ones they love. But every move they make is dangerous and could bring them face to face with the gestapo.

Winter Duet is the sequel to Shadowboxing. The Echoes Rising series is a WW II drama loaded with suspense and action. The tension is overwhelming as characters are caught by the Gestapo and suffer grave torture. Ms. Barwell also covers the danger of being gay in the 1940s. These characters have had to keep their relationships hidden, even from those they trust. This series also explores alliance, that no matter your ethnicity, who or what you are, there are people who stand together to fight evil. When I started Winter Duet, I thought this would be the last book, but there’s so much more to this story to be revealed—an in-depth plot, in-depth characterizations, and just a riveting story that’s not over yet. I’m certainly looking forward to the next book in the series.


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.