Book Reviews

Lovers in Arms by Osiris Brackhaus at Fantastic Fiction Publishing

Genre Gay / Historical / 20th Century / Warriors/Soldiers / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 05-June-2016

Book Blurb

US Army Captain Frank Hawthorne returns to Germany, against orders, to testify at the Nuremberg trials. He’s attempting to save the life of Johann von Biehn, a former Nazi Officer. No one at the trials knows that three years ago, at the height of the war, Frank had been sent to kill the very man he is now defending—and that Johann is the love of his life. Frank must not reveal what happened between them during the war, but that leaves Frank with hardly any evidence to counter Johann's notorious career as a Nazi.

Book Review

To find a US Army captain defending an alleged Nazi German war criminal at the Nuremberg trials in 1946 is pretty extraordinary. But Frank Hawthorne has good reason to speak up as a witness for the defense, even though he can’t give any details since they are all classified. Of course a lot of the events in this book are fictional, as are the main characters, but when I checked I found enough basis in fact for this story to be possible. With three of the twenty-four defendants of the Trial of Major War Criminals in 1946 found not guilty, I had reason to hope that Johann von Biehn, the second main character in ‘Lovers in Arms’, might be one of them. It certainly didn’t look like it for the longest time, and the author made me bite my nails and sweat proverbial bullets as the story progressed, but I was hopeful.

The story is told by Frank, an American Army captain who has returned to Germany as a witness in the trial – against orders and risking punishment himself if things get out of hand. His hands are pretty much tied as to what he can say, but he has to try to save the life of the man he fell in love with. And while the story takes place at the trial in 1946, there are flashbacks to 1943 as Frank remembers meeting Johann for the first time and falling in love. The gradual reveal of what happened between the two men and the truth about Johann was masterfully done and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Frank is under enormous pressure – he can’t tell the truth about why he abandoned his original mission of assassinating Johann and any other Nazi officials he could find at the time. All I knew for the longest time was that it must have been one heck of a reason for his superiors to have approved his actions. And when the truth did emerge, I was impressed with the genius of the author’s explanation. Things don’t look good for Johann, and given the prosecutor’s evidence, Frank is getting ready to attempt freeing Johann from jail and going on the run. Yes, he is that determined and that desperate. Talk about true love!

The final unraveling of events, Frank’s plan, and other parts of the trial made for an excellent thriller. Fictional or not – it sounded real, was very plausible, and turned out to be a great love story on top of everything else. It wasn’t just the political and judicial part that left me happy, the emotional ending was about as good as can be expected in a time where the love between two men was considered sodomy and illegal. In fact, the ending was even better than I expected, and I loved that.

If you like historical novels, if you believe that love can overcome any obstacle, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful, full of mystery and revelations, has great characters, and very romantic, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s an impressive combination of fiction and fact and such a great story!





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 167 pages/53000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-August-2013
Price $5.99
Buy Link