Book Review: Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane

Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie CochraneTitle: Promises Made Under Fire
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Genre: Historical Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: February 25, 2013 by Carina Press

France, 1915
Lieutenant Tom Donald envies everything about fellow officer Frank Foden—his confidence, his easy manner with the men in the trenches, the affectionate letters from his wife. Frank shares these letters happily, drawing Tom into a vicarious friendship with a woman he's never met. Although the bonds of friendship forged under fire are strong, Tom can't be so open with Frank—he's attracted to men and could never confess that to anyone.

When Frank is killed in no-man's-land, he leaves behind a mysterious request for Tom: to deliver a sealed letter to a man named Palmer. Tom undertakes the commission while on leave—and discovers that almost everything he thought he knew about Frank is a lie.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Unique MM historical which tells an emotional, though not erotic, romance.

The Set Up: Tom Donald serves in World War I with Frank Foden. Frank shares letters from his doctor wife with Tom and the two share a friendship, though Tom won’t share that he’s attracted to men. When Frank is killed, he leaves a letter for Tom to delivery to a man named Palmer and this will cause Tom to question everything he knew about Frank.

Why I Read this Book: I love historical MM and read them whenever I can.

What I Liked: This is a unique romance in that Frank is just as much a character in the romance as Tom and Palmer are. This offers a more realistic romance, in my opinion, and develops three strong characters. Yes, it progresses exactly the way the synopsis hints but it does so with emotional honesty and integrity that struck me. For instance, when Tom is trying to reconcile Frank’s actual life from what he shared, readers share in his confusion, hope, and ultimate understanding of why Frank did what he did. Too often in books, readers are told a story but here readers are shown a story of hopeful romance.

I also really enjoyed the letters in the novella. Since the characters are at war, it provides a way for them to build emotional intimacy and I really liked this component of the story.

What I Didn’t Like: This is absolutely a PG romance. I like an open bedroom door policy in my romance and this book didn’t offer that. Still, the emotional intimacy of the novella was so well done that I didn’t mind the fade-to-black bedroom scenes, especially since I got to return for the all-important post-coital pillow conversations.

IMO: This is a classic war romance with a great MM twist that I enjoyed and think other readers will too.


J9’s Rating:
3 1/2 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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