There were three main characters in this story, Johnny, Frankie, and the setting, the excellence of all three of them making this a must for the historical romance lovers; and in this case, I would like to highlight the “romance” in the historical romance tag, ’cause, on the contrary of other novels, in which the excellent setting steals the scene to the love story between the main characters, in this case both strengths are preserved.
I enjoyed both characterizations of Johnny and Frankie. They were really at the opposite: first, the origins, France and Germany, are geographically near, but totally far from each other in attitude, and Creole-French Frankie is sensual and sexy, and unabashed in his preferences, where Germanic-roots Johnny is reserved, self-flagellating himself for his “perverse” needs. Moreover, Frankie is embracing his heritage, floundering it with its luxurious joy of life and colorful attitude; he is like a rich brocade of a deep burgundy. Johnny is trying to hide it, misguiding people to believe him to be a 100 percent WASP, giving me the idea of a brown cotton cloth.
While the Civil War time was an important element of the story, I have to say that I enjoyed that it wasn’t as predominant as I feared. I’m not really into war novels (too much drama, too often a loss of young lives). More than 1/3 of the story is focused on Frankie and Johnny, before their involvement on different war fronts, so that, when it happens, I had the feeling these men had to find a way to stay together, for how much impossible it could appear.
There was quite the component of sex, so much that, sometimes, especially at first, when the romance between Johnny and Frankie wasn’t already in place, it was almost to a level of erotica. I’m sure this was part of the character of Frankie, and also a way to not only prove how different he was from repressed Johnny, but also how far he will go at the end of the story, thanks to the love he has found.
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 31, 2013)
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