Read The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane Online

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Every New Year’s Eve since 1946, Nate Meyer has ventured alone to Times Square to listen for the ghostly church bells he and his long-lost wartime lover vowed to hear together. This year, however, his grandson Blaine is pushing Nate through the Manhattan streets, revealing his secrets to his silent, stroke-stricken grandfather.When Blaine introduces his boyfriend to his beEvery New Year’s Eve since 1946, Nate Meyer has ventured alone to Times Square to listen for the ghostly church bells he and his long-lost wartime lover vowed to hear together. This year, however, his grandson Blaine is pushing Nate through the Manhattan streets, revealing his secrets to his silent, stroke-stricken grandfather.When Blaine introduces his boyfriend to his beloved grandfather, he has no idea that Nate holds a similar secret. As they endure the chilly death of the old year, Nate is drawn back in memory to a much earlier time . . . and to Walter.Long before, in a peace carefully crafted in the heart of wartime tumult, Nate and Walter forged a loving home in the midst of violence and chaos. But nothing in war is permanent, and now all Nate has is memories of a man his family never knew existed. And a hope that he’ll finally hear the church bells that will unite everybody—including the lovers who hid the best and most sacred parts of their hearts....

Title : The Bells of Times Square
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781626491854
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 236 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Bells of Times Square Reviews

  • Rosa, really
    2018-11-04 13:15

    Seriously. Seriously. This is fucking ridiculous.I hope Amy Lane is happy because she gave me a sinus headache. So. Much. Snot.Sometimes a book hits me so hard in the feels I can't judge it for quality--I can't tell you if the writing is excellent, or if the characters are believable or if the plot is too plotty. That wasn't quite my reaction here. Yeah, I spent 30% of the novel almost unable to read due to puffy eyes, but I was still disappointed Nate’s grandson Blaine and his boyfriend Tony didn’t play a larger role. (I thought for sure their happy-happy relationship would balance Nate’s wartime love for Walter—NOPE.) I still noticed two major plot points that went from lots-o’-lovely-angst to oh-come-on-that’s-just-fucking-melodramatic. (No, I’m not going to tell you about them—spoilers, people!) And I still wasn’t quite sure why Nate and Walter were so epically in love. Other than the fact that they’re two “poofs” hiding out together in a house in the woods in Nazi-Occupied France and it's convenient to the plot. Their time together covers a large part of the novel, but it still felt sudden to me when Nate declared his undying love. There just wasn’t enough there for me to think, “Yes! Yes! This is a love that will last a lifetime!”But you know what, people? You know what?That's right, I don't give a fuck. I guess I don't need to be fully convinced of Nate and Walter's epic love to adore every snot-ridden moment I spent crying over them.It's Nate who started off my blubbering. At the beginning of the novel he's an old man, trapped in his body due to a stroke, unable to speak or move at all and his memories are more real than the people around him. Just imagining that, the loneliness and the frustration, is enough to start the waterworks. But by the end of the novel it occurred to me that that situation wasn't new to Nate. His stroke is a physical manifestation of his emotional and mental life. Nate had spent his life trapped in his head, unable or unwilling to share what he loved most with those around him. *cue wailing*And Walter...OMG Walter. He just killed me. He's an 18-year old farm boy who joined up so he could eat on a regular basis. He's seen more death than I'd see if I lived 3 lifetimes. He has no one and knows that he is no one. Just another grunt, a foot solider, cannon fodder. He's one of the millions of boys you and I will never know existed because their stories aren't dramatic enough to make it into a Ken Burns documentary or a Steven Spielberg movie. Boys like Walter exist only in the minds of those who fought with them, those that loved and lost them. *cue caterwauling*At this point you may be saying, hey, all your talk of crying and snot is fascinating, Rosa, but is there an HEA? Well...maybe? Kind of? It depends on your definition. It doesn't quite match mine but at the same time I wasn't completely wrecked by the ending. Read the blurb, make a few realistic guesses as to what may happen to two forbidden lovers or any two people during a war and you'll probably come to the right conclusion. But the experience is worth any upset you may feel. Is this such a wonderful novel that I'll remember it forever? No, probably not. But whenever I do think about it I'll remember Walter and other boys like him and I'll remember Nate at the end of his life...and, you know, that makes The Bells of Time Square a pretty great novel.**Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    2018-10-24 09:36

    *3.5 stars* Good, classic angst/pain Amy Lane... but for some reason I didn't cry and this book is MADE to make you cry.It is almost like Amy Lane plotted this book to have maximum devastation effect. When you are reading WWII historicals with a Jewish MC and then you add gay to the mix, you know you are in for a world of hurt. And you are. This book is rip-your-heart-out painful... or at least it would be if I felt a bit more for the MCs. For some reason, I had trouble connecting to the MCs. I don't know if it was some sort of self-preservation thing, where I knew what was going to happen and I disconnected a bit so I wouldn't have to feel everything. Whatever the case, I felt oddly detached from the story. I wasn't a huge fan of the past/present juxtaposition and the story told in flashback. I got it but I thought it was a little heavy handed, with the side story of Blaine and Tony. However, that is a minor complaint. The story is really very heartfelt and moving, even if I wasn't as engaged as I ought to have been. And, as always, Amy Lane did a stellar job with the writing. Careful, erotic, and emotional, this story was another example of what a pro Ms. Lane is. A hard read and not my favorite from this author, but a competent and important story. **Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

  • Arianna✦❋SteamyReadsBlog❋✦
    2018-11-07 14:13

    4.5 STARS“So if we get separated during the war, that is where we will meet, yes?”“Times Square on New Year’s Eve,” We’ll meet at Times Square, whether or not there’s bells, right?”“Of course,” Nate whispered. “That is where we’ll meet. God will call us home.”“The Bells of Times Square” was one of the most beautiful, heart breaking books I’ve read. A World War II historical, this book it’s emotional, angsty, raw, powerful, that will touch your heart and your soul. It’s a book about life, war and true love, a forbidden love in a time when being gay, a “queer” was a sin. It’s a story that certainly will hit you hard in the feels!“If you knew who I am, knew my faith, knew me, before this little house, you would know how very much I have become for you.”The book starts in the present day with Nate a old WWII veteran. He's for some while in a wheelchair after he suffered a stroke, not being able to talk or walk. For nearly 70 years he has a tradition, to walk to Times Square every New Year’s Eve. Even if he is old, he wants to go this year too, to keep his promise, a promise to someone who changed his life forever. Nate’s grandson, Blaine, takes him to Times Square and with them is Blaine’s boyfriend, Tony. Nobody knows Blaine is gay or about Tony’s existence. Blaine wants someone to approve his relationship with another boy, he wants to be sure he will be loved no matter who he loves. He needs someone’s blessing and someone who will love Tony as much as he does. Nate wants for Blaine everything he never had, to be with the one he loves.We are taken back in 1943, when Nate was serving as a OSS officer taking photos for military intelligence. Even if his father thinks that his job is useless, he loves his job. However, he knows it’s very risky to do what he does. “Too shy. Too different. Too Jewish for the goyim, not Jewish enough for the Jews. Too afraid of looking too long at the wrong person.… Alone”On a mission, Nate’s plane crashes in France, his pilot dies, but he is rescued by an American GI, named Walter, who escaped months ago from being a prisoner. Walter lives alone in the woods in an abandoned house. He takes care of Nate, treating his wounds and offering food and a place to stay. Walter is 18 years old. Even if he knows that is no one, he is a proud young man. Nate and Walter become friends and a little later they start a beautiful forbidden relationship who has a tragic end for both of them, just in different ways. I must admit in the beginning I wasn’t so hooked like I was expected to be. But with every chapter I was moved more and more by this tragic, fantastic love story. This story and these characters truly made me feel. I felt so much reading this novel. I felt their fears, their hopes, their love, their passion, I felt their need to be together and to live, to fight for their love in a time when a relationship between two men was seen as a sin. It was hart warming and heart breaking to be part of their journey. My heart broke for both of them, individually and as a couple.Both Nate and Walter were wonderful characters and they were so well developed. They give each other what they need and more. Until Walter, Nate only existed. Walter will teach him to live, to love, to accept himself as he is, to be himself. Being a Jewish, Nate has his own beliefs. He knows from the start to love a man is forbidden, a real sin in his world. He tries to bloke what he feels for Walter, but the need to be honest with himself and to feel for the first time something real is more powerful. “I had never dreamed of being in love. I did not know the mechanics, the nuts and bolts, the quirk of lips, the texture of skin, the dimension of another’s hands upon my body. Forgive me, Father. I did not know you made this thing as vast as the sky, so that we may see the sky and not tremble.”I admired Nate very much. I liked his transformation and how in the end he realize what he truly matters for him in a time when freedom was just a concept. His need to be with the man he loves, to care for him and to love him is what he gaves him strength to accept who he truly is. His characterization is so well done!“I loved him in all the ways there is to love another human being.”I loved Walter. Walter is a lonely man and most of the time he felt to me like a big child. He is strong, but at times he’s sensitive too. He had a hard life and he lost his hope. He believes love is just an illusion and that joy and happiness are not for anyone, not for him. He doesn’t believe Nate loves him. He doesn’t have any hope left, thinking that’s impossible for them to live as a couple. I love how Nate tries to show him there’s always hope when you love and you are loved and how they could make a future together after the war is over. “I want you to see heaven tonight,” Nate interrupted. “I want you to see it with me.”There’s so much tenderness between these two men.From the beginning they felt right to me. Even if I think their relationship progressed a little fast, I loved it. I loved how there are with each other as a friends at the beginning and as a lovers later. The sex scenes are emotional and you can feel their love and their passion every single time.The last chapters present Nate’s life, an empty life. He married, had children and grandchildren, hiding Walter in a little room in his heart for nearly 70 years. Not many knew about the only love in his life, the redhead boy with aquamarine eyes. Not his wife, not his family. He always talked to Walter in his head. He visited Walter at his grave and he never forgot his promise, every New Year’s Eve he went to Times Square to listen the bells.The last scene was emotional, a real HEA for Nate and Walter, the HEA I wished and hoped for them.Overall, a wonderful story that I'm sure will stay with you for a while!“...there should always be a world in which you and I meet.”

  • Lisa *-* GiViNg It To YoU * LoCk StOcK & TwO SmOkiNg BaRrELs
    2018-10-25 10:38

    6 StUnNiNg StArSUnashamedly one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read.This story touched me to my very soul, a love story in times of war, a love so HEART-WARMING and  CONSUMING, that it transcends the pages it is written on and etches itself into polarised images that I will keep locked in my mind forever.Corporal Walter PhillipsI was lonely" Walter slurred. “And God sent me you.”This beautiful story starts off with Blaine taking he's beloved grandfather Nate Meyer to Times Square on New Year's Eve (present day).This is a trip that Nate Meyer has done alone every News Year's Eve since 1946 to listen for the church bells.And like the click of a finger, we're transported back in timeIt's now 1943Whilst on a risky mission heading towards Stuttgart, Ariel photographer Captain Nate Meyer's plane is taken down by enemy fire.Rescued by Corporal Walter Phillips of the 185th. This story tells of their time together. I couldn't possibly convey the sweet agony of this ACHINGLY beautiful story. You'll just have to take my word for it, that it is not to be missed.....and read it through Nates eyes.I Simply Loved ItThe Bells of Times Square is due for release on 15th Dec'14I would like to thank Netgalley and Riptide for the privilege of reading this ARC.

  • Barbara
    2018-10-28 07:37

    **ARC courtesy of Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** 5 NEVER BE AFRAID TO LOVE STARSI’ve been hesitant to write this review because I just don’t know how to put into words what I went through while reading this book.This book is so meaningfully beautiful! It is written with such brilliance, that I was going to say this book destroyed me but though it may have brought me to my knees quite often and made me cry but was wondrous tears, nevertheless in the end I survived and was left with a feeling of hope and happiness … Amy Lane did it again… wrote this story so so beautifully. I felt everything. Everything ... It reached into the very marrow of my bones. I want to say this book was amazing but that’s not good enough. I can think of only one word. – PERFECTIONReally can't recommend this one enough. Do yourself a favour and read this one.Some quotes and pics only a few because If I will be putting all that I love it would spoil everything: DIn 1943 during the World War II in a Cabin on Moselle - France, Captain Nate Meyer and Corporal Walter Phillips forged a loving home in the midst of violence and chaos."Ahava, the love of passion. I would love Walter above anywoman as Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. There is no storythat says that is wrong. I would love him as a partner and friend,raya, as my passion and lover, ahava, and bound to him in bothloves, I would find dod. The mishkav zakhar we can keep toourselves. And even that was lovely, ferocious and beautiful, themerging of bodies and hearts."“I loved him in all the ways there is to love another human being.”“If you knew who I am, knew my faith, knew me, before thislittle house, you would know how very much I have becomefor you.”“I like it,” Walter murmured. “I like who you are. Who youare with me. Stay like this. Stay like this, and I’ll stay.”

  • Adam
    2018-11-01 08:33

    This is the saddest holiday story I've ever read.And it was so flippin' good!“Times Square on New Year’s Eve,” Walter murmured, and Nate could feel the smile against his lips. “We’ll meet at Times Square, whether or not there’s bells, right?”“Of course,” Nate whispered. “That is where we’ll meet. God will call us home.”Amy Lane's angst-heavy books are addictive. I love reading them. I also curse myself the entire time. 'The Bells of Times Square' was no different.In this book, we meet Nate Meyer, an infirm Jewish USAAF veteran from World War II. Due to old age and health complications, Nate is unable to walk or talk. But he has a tradition which he's fulfilled every year since the end of WW2, which is to go to Times Square on New Year's Eve and listen for church bells. This year, his grandson, Blaine, takes him to Time's Square. Nate suspects that Blaine has a secret, in particular a boy named Tony.Unbeknownst to Nate's family, Nate has his own secret, one which he has kept for over sixty years. That secret is Walter Phillips. Nate and Walter met in the midst of WW2, in very dangerous circumstances. Throwing away the expectations of society, religion, and the responsibilities of war, they were able to create something special for a brief time. By loving Walter, Nate learned for the first time what it truly meant to live. However, unfortunately, Walter has seen too much, has lost too much, to believe in a happy future. But even so, the two struggle for their present. They build a home, first of friendship, then desire, and then love. They also build hope. And this hope is what sustains Nate and Walter through the decades, until they finally get their happily-ever-after.Yes, folks, there is a HEA. If you've read the blurb, you'll know what to expect. There will be angst. There will be heartbreak. There will also be anger at the senselessness of it all. But it is worth it! Because in the end, Nate and Walter finally get to hear their church bells. I'd also add that much of the sadness was simply 'life,' it was the realities that so many live through every day.Overall, I really enjoyed 'The Bells of Times Square.' If you don't mind a lot of angst before you get your happy ending, I'd definitely recommend this for you!_____________________________________My pre-read gloating is under the spoiler. I regret nothing. =P(view spoiler)[Do I have an ARC of this? Why yes, yes I do.Am I ready to have my heart ripped out? Why yes, yes I am.Allow me to feast upon your envy.If I ever grew long hair, it would be just so that I could do the hair-flipping thing. (hide spoiler)]*Copy provided through NetGalley.*["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • T.A. Webb
    2018-11-13 08:23

    Oh Jesus. Where to start?I can't really review this one. It hit a little too close to home with the holidays and what's going on in my life.But...Nate Meyer is drafted into the Air Force in WWII as a photographer, accompanying British fighter pilots in identifying potential bombing targets. Nate's Jewish, and in the closet. During a mission, the worst happens and as a result, he meets Walter, the sole survivor of a battalion sent to fight. He's been hiding to avoid capture, and rescues Nate.Jump to present day, where Nate lives with his daughter and grandson, a stroke survivor who lives to go to Times Square to hear the bells of a nearby church, which supposedly rang them during the war years to call the soldiers home. Blaine, Nate's grandson, takes his balls in one hand and his heart in the other and introduces his Zayde to his lover.To find out what happens between the time Nate meets Walter until he sits in his wheelchair, silently contemplating Blaine and his boyfriend, read this book. It's...heartbreaking, breathtaking, and just f'ing brilliant.I left a bit of my heart and soul on the pages as I read it, and full out did the ugly cry at the end.Amy Lane can lull you into a lovely spell then stomp on your heart with steel toed boots and make you beg for more better than any author out there. Bless her black little hear, I wouldn't have it any other way.I loved this book. It's like...that sweet sadness you hear in the best love songs that make you remember that romance that almost broke you.Read it. See if you don't agree.Tom

  • Nick Pageant
    2018-10-26 08:23

    Tri-Country BR with Alona and Mark!Amy Lane is one of my favorite m/m authors along with Eli Easton and Jordan L. Hawk. These three never, ever, fail to hit it out of the park. The odd thing is, though, that I've actually DNF'ed Amy Lane more times than I can count. It's not that she ever writes a bad book, because she doesn't. It's because her angsty books are like emotional quicksand; they're so incredibly sad that I'm left in a funk for days afterward. I love a good, snotty cry, but there needs to be some happy in there too.This book tells the story of Nate, an elderly man who is trapped in his own body by a debilitating stroke. Each year on New Year's Eve, Nate travels to Times Square in the hopes of hearing the church bells that will signal his reunion with the only person he's ever loved. Now that he can't get there on his own, he's taken to Times square by his gay grandson, Blaine.The story jumps back to WWII and Nate's service as a flight photographer. Nate's plane is shot down and he is rescued by another soldier, Walter. Together, the two men hide out in the woods of France for a few months. They fall in love and plan to meet each other in Times Square after the war is over.The character of Walter is a wonderful creation. He's a nobody and he knows it... but he's a proud, resourceful nobody. His courage and ingenuity are what get both he and Nate through until they can be rescued.The character of Nate is a bit of a conundrum. I didn't connect with him until the later sections of the book. I think that the magic of that is the fact that Nate wasn't really connecting with himself, but when he finally does it's a beautiful thing.The final sections of the book deal with Nate's embracing, if not his faith, then his people's traditions. He uses these traditions until he can hear the church bells and be with Walter again. I really loved this section of the book. It was truly beautifully written and I know I'll be reading it again.This was a swoony, exciting, tragic, romantic sob-fest. Amy Lane is an evil genius.

  • Alona
    2018-10-27 10:27

    BR with Nick and Mark.*mild spoilers ahead!*This book killed me!I cant belive miss Lane did this to me! I trusted her to mend my heart after breaking it... Some may think she did in some way, I didn't!This was, though, the beautiful story, of two American soldiers, during WW2.Walter:The "simple", yet sweet, 18 (!) year old soldier, who saves Nate, after his plane crashes in the French woods, where Walter was hiding in a remote cabin.Walter takes care of Nate, and after saving his life, the two forms a quiet friendship, that leads to a sweet, "forbiden" love.Nate:The more "sophisticated", city boy, from a religious, Jewish family, knew he was gay, but never intended to do anything about it,(because acording to his religion, a man that is attracted to men, can't really do anything about his "shameful thoughts", but he should never act on it).That all changes when ho meats Walter. They are both changed for good.I loved this book so much, but it left me aching, because I really expected and needed a HEA.I still get teary eyes when thinking about the short amount of time this two boys had together, and how their time together ended so sudden.If you are OK with a story that has not a "traditional" HEA, go for it, please, its beautiful and touching. but if you need a perfect ending, pick up another Amy Lane, she is brilliant!

  • Isabel
    2018-10-31 14:22

    This is not an easy book to review... I have conflicted feelings toward it... There is one thing that I really love in a book, I don't want to say mandatory, but it's crucial and that is a "happy ever after"! If you read the blurb of this book you will think that probably there isn't HEA, but you don't know for sure. But after reading the first chapter, you will know! And for me, that was very discouraging to continue. But it's an Amy Lane's, so I didn't give up. And I am glad I didn't, because Nate and Walter story is really beautiful. Their time together was one month during WWII, but was a month rich in friendship, love, tenderness and promises... but also very, very sad! In the end my feelings were of true sorrow for these men, mostly for Walter! He was so young and he deserved a better ending. I also couldn't feel very connected with Nate... I think that he made very poor decisions, denying what he was, and choosing a path, that in my humble opinion, betrayed Walter's memory. I know that those times were really difficult to gay men, but as he realized with two of his best friends, it was possible to be happy.The Bells of Times Square rang in the end, but for me it was a little to late...So, that month and the absolutely brilliant writing, worth my four stars!Thank you Netgalley and Riptide for the privilege of reading this ARC!

  • Alex
    2018-11-17 11:16

    Dear Amy,Would you like my heart on a platter?With love,Alex

  • Kaje Harper
    2018-11-19 10:34

    I finished 2014 with an Amy Lane story, knowing that her way with words would round off my reading year without disappointment. And I was right - a sweet-with-a-hint-of-bitter ending to my year. This one is a frame story, that begins in the present and jumps to the WWII past, and then back. The present is poignant, and short, bookending the heart of the story. Nate Meyer is an interesting hero, a man with a religious but not fanatic Jewish family, who was a WWII hero, not for charging enemy fire but for his quiet and unheralded actions as a photographer and photo analyst. The action he saw was well-depicted in this story, and unfamiliar enough to be fascinating. And his love story, an oddly slow idyll in the heart of occupied France, is a sweet, tentative and mismatched coming of age for both men. I loved watching Nate discover Walter, and Walter discover his own worth. Perhaps because the present-day frame necessarily bleeds off some of the past tension, I didn't have my heart shredded by this story. There were also a lot of decades to cover, and things we readers wanted to know about what happened next, which had to be simply told. That meant parts of the story were more softly contemplative than emotionally immediate.I liked Nate, and I adored Walter. The ending was right and I finished with a little lump in my throat, and an appreciation for how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go. I did wish we'd followed Nate after the moment of crisis for a bit longer, rather than seeing its reflection only decades later in retrospective. I think the pain I wanted to feel with him was mellowed and diluted by time. But perhaps that was a deliberate choice, to not be too manipulative in wringing our hearts.If you like WWII settings that are not generic battle scenes, if you like first times between young men, if you enjoy watching someone let go and surrender to the imperatives of love, however difficult it may make their life, then you'll probably enjoy this one. This book is neither on this authors lighter end, nor one that tore emotion from me. But it earns a solid place among stories that I enjoyed in 2014.

  • ☆ Todd
    2018-10-20 06:15

    ** This is not a big, happy, sparkly review, so just warning you up front... **I kept wishing that I would get completely immersed in this story more than I actually did. Because, duh, *that* is the magic of the vast majority of Amy Lane's books. They grab you by the short hairs (via your heart) and twist. Hard. And you love it. A little too much.Yes, for me Nate and Walter were both amazing characters and I fell completely and totally for them both. And I would have dearly, dearly loved to see them grow old together. But I just knew that wasn't meant to be, and I was 100% dead on.I think for me, once it was no longer possible for Nate and Walter to grow through the years together, the sentiment behind the phrase, “I'd rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong reasons” is what my heart kept dwelling on. (Nod to John Hughes' movie 'Some Kind of Wonderful' for the quote.)So when (the very *gay*) Nate returned from the war and married Carmen, I felt that self-betrayal wasn't living up to the hero that he'd previously proven himself to be.[ I say that as a gay man who grew up closeted in a homophobic, redneck town of 500 God-fearin' Christian folk, so I feel that my frame of reference for the pressure that Nate must have been feeling is relevant here.But in spite of my own fears, I refused to date girls or conform to what "normal" people expected. And I'm definitely no hero, so, yes, Nate marrying Carmen lessened my view of him a bit. *sigh* ]Up until the point where the resistance plane arrived to spirit them away from their perfect little bubble of happiness in the woods and take them out of France, the story was perfect to me. Very much what I've come to love about Amy Lane's stories.But after the departure from France, the book just felt more for me that Nate was waiting to die, so that he could be happy again. No plot points of strokes or gay grandsons could really keep me fully engaged after that point. : ([ This is one reason why I avoid historical books like the plague. It was a different, much less accepting time, where people just smiled and ate their own unhappiness and plodded along, without making waves or fighting for more than simply surviving. It makes me NUTS. Every. Single. Time. ]The book was still a solid 3.5 stars for me, but did it give me what I wanted? And was I completely enthralled, dreading for it to end, as I normally am with her books? Sadly, no. : (

  • Wart Hill
    2018-10-28 10:29

    You can read this and other reviews at Things I Find While ShelvingI received a free ARC via NetGalleyOuch. This book hurts.Well, I mean, it’s a WWII novel with a gay Jewish main character so the chances of not hurting were very slim, and the amount that it hurts is just a testament to how well Amy Lane has crafted this beautiful, moving story.We begin with modern times. Our main character, Nate, has had a stroke and can no longer talk and is wheelchair bound. But he still insists on going to Times Square every New Years, listening for bells he knows will never ring, as he has been doing since the end of WWII, listening for the bells that will connect him and the love he lost.This year, his grandson takes him. And his grandson’s boyfriend comes to, and it begins with a sweet, heart wrenching coming out scene as Nate thinks of his own first love and struggles to speak to his grandson, to give him the words he’s hoping to hear.And then we get Nate’s flashback. We go through everything he went through, from a crashed plane to a lost midwesterner nursing him back to health. Walter has been holed up in a house in the German countryside for quite awhile after escaping a POW camp. Now he brings Nate into his sanctuary, his safe haven, and they slowly develop a friendship and, deep down, Nate longs for something more. He won’t admit it at first, between a lack of cultural acceptance and a religious background that generally frowns upon such things, Nate has been denying his attraction to men for a long time.But he’s falling for Walter. It isn’t just physical attraction, he is truly falling in love with Walther. And though it takes a lot for him to admit it - living in a world that insists it isn’t possible for people like them - Walter falls for Nate.And then they have a chance to get out, to get back to relative safety. And they have resistance members who will help them - partly because one of them is the reason that they can’t just hide any more.But…well.I won’t tell you any more. Because this book. It is quite the story, very well written, well crafted, and heart wrenching. And beautiful. Very beautiful.

  • Bitchie
    2018-11-18 07:27

    This one got the ugly cry. Just wonderful!

  • Bev
    2018-10-26 09:37

    Short but not sweet I’m afraid, and yes, judging by the other reviews, it’s obviously another one of those ‘it’s just me’ reads, BUT I couldn’t connect with the characters. I can’t say that I didn’t like them; I just didn’t feel any empathy with them. The story itself was nice enough and well written as Amy’s stories usually are.Anyone looking at my Amy Lane bookshelf will see that, for me, most of her stories are 4 or 5 stars, or even more if I could. I LOVED ‘Beneath the Stain’, which came out a couple of months ago; I connected with Mackey and the boys straight away, and was completely immersed in them, but this story...sighs. Sorry. 3 stars from me. Thank you to Riptide via Netgalley for the ARC

  • Mark
    2018-10-25 06:27

    I should have known! I really should have known! Pick up a title with Amy Lane written underneath and for me personally I know at some stage I’m going to be reaching for the tissues, red wine, chocolate, comfort blanket, basically anything that I can cry into. I had only read the first chapter of this book and knew I was going to be in deep trouble sooner or later.This book takes on a journey, a journey of memories, some beautiful and some not so beautiful, but all the same knowing however extreme the circumstances are, wanting to be loved and being loved by someone is the most basic human need there is.Present day - Nathaniel is a WWII veteran, now an invalid after suffering a severe stroke and wheelchair bound. We learn that he has an unusual custom of taking a walk by himself every New Year’s Eve to Times Square and he has done this all his married life, family and all. Always New Year’s Eve and on his own. Now his grandson Blaine takes him to Times Square and this year Blaine’s boyfriend, Tony, is with him. Blaine has not told his parents and he talks to his Grandfather as he feels safe and comfortable doing so as his grandfather can’t respond. But his grandfather understands him more than he would ever know or could ever tell.“And because Nate couldn’t talk, couldn’t condemn, Blaine also talked about Tony. Nate lived for Blaine’s monologues about Tony”Although we know that Nate can’t respond we read his thoughts, his anguish at not being able to talk to his grandson and tell him what he would like to. To tell him about the fact it is OK, at least with him. So in chapter one we already have a scene that is tugging at my heart strings, just thinking about this loving young man taking his grandfather out to Times Square wrapped up in a blanket in his wheelchair as until now he has always gone by himself. Blaine knows how important this is to his granddad so has the chance to talk freely about and show him his boyfriend Tony for the first time. There is just so much good family love happening in that scenario alone it got me all weepy, let alone what was to come. So why the New Year’s Eve visits to Times Square and why always alone?We are taken back to WWII where Nate was serving as an OSS officer taking photographs for military intelligence. On a mission his plane crashes, but he survives and is rescued by an American GI who had escaped from being a POW and is hiding out in an abandoned house in the middle of the woods. Walter has been in hiding ever since his escape and now nurses Nate back to health. Then you start to get an inkling that there just maybe something more behind all this caring. Walter puts up this front that he is just so happy to have company after all this time, but deep down we know, we feel there is more to this and so does Nate. Being Jewish Nate has been brought up with very strict beliefs that men loving men is a mortal sin. So rather than put himself into such a conflict he decided he would never have a lover. My how all that changed once he meets Walter. At the beginning you could just feel the sexual tension in the air with neither one of these guys giving an inch on admitting the attraction permeating the very air, but bit by bit that ever present wall comes tumbling down and denying such a strong attraction is totally futile. When they do eventually fall into each others arms, it just feels so right despite the period and historical background. This is what I so loved about this pair and I felt Amy gets it just right; the combination between sexual attraction, emotions and the internal conflict of attitudes all struggling with each other in a less enlightened time.This was such a beautiful thing between these two guys and could now understand where Walter was coming from. I fell in love with Walter myself. This house, in the middle of the woods, was almost like a sanctuary to him where he could make believe that he and Nate could live together and be happy in a time when no one would really understand their relationship. This was so heart wrenching in itself. The house also has a story to tell which we learn about or at least why it was probably deserted by its family fleeing quickly with the threat of invasion from Nazi Germany. Here they were in this deserted, desolated house and as threatening as the situation was you almost got the feeling these two could really be happy there if left undisturbed.I loved the balance in character. Nate the least experienced sexually but the stronger when dealing with emotions and real life. Walter, dear Walter, I so lost my heart to him and could totally understand what Nate saw in him. Although a lot more sexually experienced and for all his self-sufficiency, at heart he was just like a lost child, trying to live a dream in a broken world, a world gone mad and ravaged by war. Nevertheless, Walter still sees it for what it really is, nothing but a beautiful dream. Something like this would never work and he has a hard job in believing Nate when he tries to make him see that he really does love him with all his heart and soul. Nate’s attempts and pleas to persuade, make Walter try and see that they could make a future together even after the war is over takes a lot of convincing from Nate, but he does manage it in the end. Walter didn’t have a happy childhood or upbringing and knows the reality is very different to his dream. I got such goose bumps with these two, I felt they had loved as much in that house in the space of a few weeks than some people do in a lifetime. But alas as is the nature of war they couldn’t stay there undiscovered forever and their ways inevitably have to part. Geez, this was so upsetting. I mean seriously upsetting. Yes, at this stage I hit the chocolate, red wine and tissues!“Together,” Nate said softly. “Don’t you want to be together?” Walter closed his eyes. “It’s a pretty idea,” he said. “Nothing I can believe in, but it’s pretty.”Nate escapes and goes back to working in military intelligence until the end of the war. During his time there and through his keen eye to analyse photos discovers the atrocities Nazi Germany is up to especially regarding The Holocaust. Here I had my own personal paradox as this hurt, really hurt to read about those things we all know about and no one would ever deny. About a country in the grip of an evil regime that had no scruples. About a country blinded by a madman. I have dual nationality, born British but also now German and it hurt to read about this on a whole different level. Why? Well, the Germany of 70 almost 80 years ago is now a far cry from the wonderful country that I now live in and have come to love as much as my country of birth. A country that is now a shining example of equality, freedom and human rights within the world today. Can the past hurt? Yes, it can! Can we learn from the past? Yes, thank goodness we can and if there is one country that exemplifies this and will do everything to make sure such atrocities never happen again then it is the one I am now living in. This period never let anyone really grieve, you had to get up and keep on going, no matter what your personal situation was. However, when the war was over Nate breaks down in one heart wrenching scene and so did I with him! So this story for me was also a dedication to all the men and women who fought so bravely on all sides to make the world a better place and rid it of a disease that engulfed the whole globe.We are back in present day Times Square and now know why Nate has gone there every New Year’s Eve on his own. We know what this means to him and why it is so important to go to Times Square and listen for the bells. So by the time we get to the end of the book, I’m hearing the bells with Nate and sobbing buckets into my Kindle once again surround by a pile of tissues. Thank you very much Ms Lane - you do it to me all the time! ;-) A story that ends on what I can only say is a very bittersweet note. A story that is sad but also gives hope at the same time. A story that made me feel! A story that shows us the rights and freedoms we have today should never be taken for granted or lightly. The rights and freedoms that have been fought for so hard and still need to be fought for every single day. Was I sad at the end of this story? No, not really. It left me reflecting for days though on the things I have mentioned before. Thankful to all those that sacrificed so much during WWII and thankful for what we have today.This truly is a beautiful story, impeccably written, well researched historically and carries a message that is as relevant today as it ever has been.

  • Amarilli Settantatre
    2018-11-12 07:31

    "Magari è a quello che servono le campane a Times squares, l'ultimo dell'anno.""Per chiamarci tutti."Ecco un libro di Amy Lane che ho letto mesi fa e che ancora non ero riuscita a recensire, perchè temevo che i vari pensieri che mi venivano in mente fossero banali rispetto alla profondità dei temi trattati.Una storia che viene dal passato e che arriva sino ai giorni nostri, e che attraversa momenti di guerra e di pace, di amore e di solitudine, di amanti segreti e di famiglie ufficiali.L'inizio è un po' straniante, perchè appare una prima coppia, un amore giovane che deve ancora fare il suo corso, e poi un anziano che non riesce più ad esprimersi ma rivive benissimo dentro di sè ogni ricordo, ogni momento della propria vita.E poi ci sono le campane di Times Square: cosa simboleggiano? Perchè è così importante sforzarsi di sentirne il suono, ogni anno.E ricordare. Ricordare.Finchè qualcuno serba memoria di un nome, quel nome non cadrà nell'oblio.E sarebbe un peccato non ricordare Walter, la casa ricreata in mezzo alla guerra, l'amore nato in mezzo a tanta morte e al caos, il mishkav zakhar che ha reso una vita diversa rispetto a quella che sarebbe stata altrimenti.Si capisce che mi sono commossa? Parecchio, ed è per questo che ormai centellino i libri della Lane. Poi ci vogliono mesi per riprendermi.Come al solito, tante citazioni suggestive da segnarsi.Le labbra di Walter erano dolci, ma il bacio troppo breve. Non si poteva far stare una vita intera in un singolo incontro di labbra, anche volendo.>/b>

  • Karen
    2018-11-19 10:23

    I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before...I don't read war stories...and in particular I try really hard to stay clear of WWII and I'm going to try and quickly to explain why.My father's generation was the one that fought this war. My grandmother who I love, admire and adore beyond measure watched 3 of her sons go off to do their part in this battle. Two of those sons never returned and as much as I love my father the war was something we just never talked about. Our opinions were different is an understatement and my dad much to his frustration didn't go off to war because his mother got a dispensation for him because he was the oldest of 9 and she needed him at home. In a way it was always a bit of a sore spot between them. My dad wanted to 'do his part'. My grandmother felt that she'd already given enough and as any mother would she did what she had to do, to protect her children.But this is just a bit of extra background and not the reason that I frequently don't read stories set in WWII. No that decision was made when the man who was more of a grandfather to me than my real grandfather passed away, he also served in WWII. I was asked to stay with my grandma because she refused to leave her home and stay with family and this is when she told me the story of my uncles. The two that never came home and whom I would never know. One of those uncles being the brother who was nearest and dearest to my father's heart. So upon hearing my uncles stories, I like my grandmother decided that this war had seen enough blood, tears and heartache from my family and that is when I made the decision that I was not going to read stories about WWII because when we're young we can decide anything can't we?I'm much older now and hopefully a little wiser. I still don't read a lot of stories about WWII but the ones I do, I treasure, because they speak not just of the inhumanities that happened but they tell stories of the personal sacrifice that people made to preserve the freedoms and the rights that we the future generations frequently take for granted.Nate and Walter's story may be for all intent and purposes a work of fiction but there is an underlying truth to it. A reality that cannot be denied. Lives were lost, loves were ended before they began. It was not a pretty, romantic time, it was scary, harsh and at moments horrendously brutal and yet, in the middle of it all because people are for the most part strong and resilient and just downright amazing. They carried on, they lived when they could, they laughed and loved when and where they could, they gave of themselves to keep the world a better, safer place however they could.So sometimes when I feel brave enough to take this step back in time, I frequently do so with tears in my eyes and pride in my heart that stories like this in a very abstract way are about people who are related to me that I never got to know and yet, each story makes me feel like maybe I've gotten to see a little glimpse of them and what their world was like through some wonderfully gifted author who is able to take me back to a time and place that I thankfully never had to really endure.I loved reading this story and being reminded of why my world is so much better that I can read a story about 2 men finding love and not fear having anyone know what that story is about but most of all I love that while it's not perfect yet we are so much closer to that day when anyone can find and love that person who makes them complete and not have to fear people finding out. So thank you, grandma for the 9 children who you brought into this world all of whom did their part whether it was on the battle field or here at home, thank you to all who gave and sacrificed to make this a better world to live in and thank you Amy Lane for this beautiful and moving story that pays tribute to a past no one should ever forget.

  • Lelyana
    2018-11-14 09:35

    SPOILER FREE REVIEW...*** 5 - heartbreaking-heartwarming-tear jerking stars!***I can not give this book less than 5 stars, if it possible, I'll give them more...Amy Lane will tear you apart, break your heart...not from the start, but right close the ending, and put it back together again.Don't worry about your common question about will they have HEA? (view spoiler)[They're finally got their HEA after all, trust me. But you have to shred your tears to the end of the book. (hide spoiler)]My God, I'm a Muslim, and I also know that in Jewish, they condemned same sex relationship as well, it's forbidden, God won't let you even smell heaven.But who we are to judge? Love is love.Like Nathan and Walter's forever love, so strong and so beautiful'I understood Nathan's heart war between right and wrong, I do. I have a gay relatives, and it's not easy for them.Amy wrote it beautifully. I laugh, I smile, I blushed, and I wanted to wrapped them in my heart closely so they don't have to be afraid to love.But war, people, so many times are so cruel to their own...and that's included Nate and Walter's very short but forever remain love affair.I adore this beautiful story. Amy broke my heart, but in the end, even still with tears, I smile.TRUE LOVE DOES EXIST !Thank you Amy for this beauty...this book will stay in my heart forever.Highly recommended~ARC kindly provided by Riptide and Netgalley in exchange of an honest review~"Suddenly, he wanted that thing , the thing that Walter was preparing for - the mishkav zakhar, the most forbidden way to spill seed that wa not in woman's womb, Nate was swollen and greedy for it.""Ahava, the love of passion. I would love Walter above anywoman as Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. There is no storythat says that is wrong. I would love him as a partner and friend,raya, as my passion and lover, ahava, and bound to him in bothloves, I would find dod. The mishkav zakhar we can keep toourselves. And even that was lovely, ferocious and beautiful, themerging of bodies and hearts." "“Please, Walter!”“Please what?” Walter snapped, forced to raise his faceand look Nate in the eyes. “I don’t even know what you wantfrom me!”Your love. For you to not withdraw from me now that I’vegotten used to us being close. I don’t want you to pull away now.""Courtship, love—not words until some woman from Francebrought them to England. Ahave, raya, dod, it boils down tothis: one soul comforting another when ugly death surrounds us.I love you, too, Walter. This touch, this is real." " I had never dreamed of being in love. I did not know the mechanics, the nuts and bolts,the quirk of lips, the texture ofskin, the dimension of another’s hands upon my body. Forgive me, Father. I did not know you made this thing as vast as the sky,so that we may see the sky and not tremble. " "Was he Wicked, turning his back on this part of hisfaith? Was his Simple, believing that the one section of Leviticus had no meaning? Or was he merely Young, naive to believe that love could be so important that God would love it in all its forms?" ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Fani *loves angst*
    2018-11-12 10:19

    As usual, Amy Lane writes a beautiful, emotional story that's sure to move most readers. The scenes in the abandoned cottage in the woods where Walter and Nate spend a couple of months isolated from anyone else, feel like they're drawn from inside a fairytale, albeit for adults:) Both heroes are likable and lovable in their insecurities and loneliness and it was nice to see how well they fit together despite all their differences.I can't speak of what made this book less than perfect for me however, without giving away some spoilers. Though I believe that from the book blurb and the book's first 10 pages, it's easy to deduct that (view spoiler)[Walter and Nate don't end together (hide spoiler)], I'm putting this section in spoilers for those who don't want to get any insight into the story they're going to read (but long story short, I didn't exactly buy that theirs was an epic kind of love):(view spoiler)[Well, the problem is that for cynical little me, those two never got tested in real life. I mean, it's easy to idealize two months spent together with someone you lust (especially if he ends up being the one and only male lover you ever had in your life and you happen to be gay) and come to believe he was the love of your life. Had this romance transitioned into everyday life after the end of the war, I'm not sure how easily those two men from completely different backgrounds, would have managed to co-exist. Or, if Nate found the courage to come out of the closet, whether he wouldn't find another man to love as much, or even more than Walter. But making the decision to marry a woman, that left Walter with absolutely no competition and his remebrance firmly set on a pedestal that nothing could knock over. (hide spoiler)]Despite knowing and expecting how the book would end, I did get misty eyed which is not something that happens often to me. However, I liked the tone with which Lane ended the book, not exactly happy but hopeful and uplifting in a way. I believe more romantic souls than mine, will be moved by this story and appreciate it even more than I did.Update: After a couple of days, I'm still thinking of it and despite the fact that my brain refuses to believe that theirs was a love unique and rare, my heart was moved by their story, hence I'm removing my initial 3.5 stars rating. 4 solid stars it is.ARC provided by NetGalley

  • willaful
    2018-11-09 14:27

    4 1/2 stars. A beautifully done tearjerker in the classic style, except with a gay, Jewish main character. My review at Dear Author: http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/ov...

  • Richard
    2018-11-10 09:11

    Whoa- wonderful story . I swear their are two Amy Lanes. I like this one.

  • Marcie
    2018-10-30 10:23

    *tears still rolling down cheeks*Nick, we're are now officially going to owe each other forever. That was so much harder on me than the one we read.OMG! My eyes and nose have been leaking for the last 25% of this freaking book! I knew it was going to be an emotional one, but...damn!Review to follow when I no longer have this sucky sinus headache.

  • Sophia
    2018-10-26 11:33

    As I sit here sniffling back the sobs, I think I should warn folks that this is at least a two tissue read. This will definitely be one of those stories that sticks with me long after I finished the last page. It was all that a story ought to be and rung emotions that ran the gamut from happy bliss to tragic weeping. Well done, Amy Lane! It was a beautiful WWII story told in a flashback manner involving an old Jewish photographer reminiscing about a part of his life that he has kept hidden for decades. His family honors his annual quirky New Year's eve tradition of listening for church bells near Times Square not knowing the true significance of his need. This time is different. Nathan Meyer has experienced a stroke that left him paralyzed and locked inside his own mind. He is accompanied by his adult grandson who has something important- someone important- to share with the one family member who would accept.Nathan looks back on his life to the time he served in the war as a reconnaissance photographer, a Jew and a man who fought his own interest in other men. He was always a loner, but he has made a couple of friends doing similar work with listening devices. Nate would love to do more, but it is his skills at photography that are needed so that is what he does. His latest mission goes haywire when he and the pilot who inexplicably hates him are shot down shortly after spotting an interesting looking installation on the French-German border. A badly wounded Nate is rescued out of the crashed plane by Walter and this begins the unlikely friendship and more between two men isolated to themselves in the midst of a world at war. Unfortunately, Nate still has his duty to get that important film back to Head Quarters and the war can't be put off forever. This story sets things up in the beginning with Nate's current situation and then when it flashes back, to his situation at the outset of the war. I loved the details of Nate's Jewish life and then also the details of those early OSS workers seeking to bring in information with the best that the time had to offer that included Nate going up in a plane and filming needed pictures of the ground that would be analyzed and used for planning. His best friends were part of the group who flew over occupied areas and listened while undercover operatives radioed information up to them. All so dangerous and daring. I found the attention paid to this setting of the character's story just fascinating stuff. Most of the story flows at a gentle pace, but there were times that I was just holding my breath too.I also found Nate's character and as a narrator, his descriptions of those around him, just so engaging. Nate is so many things, but it was that streak of adventurer and a young man open to other ways that made him so endearing. During his time, people were still a bit bound by ethnic group, class, religion, etc. Nate was true to who and what he was, but he was accepting of others too. I loved that his best friends were Americans that were Hispanic and Irish in origin, poorer class and Catholic to boot while he was an educated middle class Jew. Then there was Walter. The time Nate spent with Walter was just precious. Walter was another complex character with quite a story. I loved how it came slowly and not all at once just as the relationship progressed. It was just such a precious thing and probably more so because the reader is aware that they will separate at some point and wonders when and what it will be.In the end, I sat there just staring off still caught up in the story of Nate and Walter. This was a beautiful holiday story that grabbed me up and will probably not let me go for a while if at all. As to recommendations, those who enjoy M/M Historical Romance set during war time.My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Christy
    2018-11-02 09:24

    It was with no small amount of glee, and trepidation, that I cracked open 'The Bells of Times Square' by Amy Lane. Glee, because, well, it's Amy Lane, people, and 90 percent of the time, it just doesn't get any better than that. Trepidation, because I knew it was going to bring out the feels, and probably a tear or two. But I grabbed my glass of wine, my box of tissues, all of the animals for comfort and support, and bravely cracked open my Kindle.World War II wasn’t just another world war. It was the end of an era, the beginning of a new one, and the emergence of the United States as a world power. There was pride in our country and our soldiers, and there was no shortage of people willing to help out at home to help the war effort, from victory gardens to Rosie the Riveter. Unfortunately, it was also still a time of racism, homophobia, and intolerance of anyone different than white, middle-class, straight Christians. I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like to be Jewish, and gay, as an aerial tactical photographer during the war.“No. No. Not this. Not this, that had kept him aloof from his fellows through school. Not this fear of seeing the sun on a cheekbone, filtered through someone’s eyelashes, or the shadow of a jawline, and feeling . . . this thing. The thing that poets spoke about, but not like this.”Nate met Walter when Nate's plane went down during a photography mission, killing the pilot, and leaving Nate severely wounded. Walter saved him and nursed him back to health, while they hid out in an abandoned farmhouse in the French countryside. The middle-class New York Jew and the poor white trash from Iowa. Doesn't stop them from falling in love, and it certainly doesn't prevent them from understanding the futility of the whole relationship, but dreaming of more."He turned his head away, wiped his face on the covers, then took a deep breath and looked at Nate with resolve. It was like he had a handle on what to do, what to say now. Well, good, because Nate didn’t.“You’ll have a regular life after this, Nate. I’m something to toss away. I always have been.”As usual, Amy has wrecked and devastated me with this tale of a love that could never be. A beautiful story of wishes, of hoping, and of finding forever love in the space of a month, in a war torn world. When the only promise they have to hold on to is meeting in Times Square after the war has ended, and finding somewhere together where they can live as two old bachelors. Nate and Walter. They lived a lifetime in a month."The bells,” he said, hoping Walter would remember. “The bells, they will chime for both of us.”NOTE: This book was provided by Riptide Publishing or the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  • Sunne
    2018-11-15 09:19

    I'm actually not sure how to rate it. Why?Because it made me sad, really sad and kind of angry, too. Now, this isn't a reason to be conflicted about the amount of stars to give, right?But - first, I was a bit annoyed with some stuff. Like how the whole airfight went down. It read like it was all happening very fast. I was thrown out of reading when they are at the atlantic coast and in a blink of an eye near Stuttgart. This is an hour flight. And the Mosquito is actually faster than the Messerschmidt. And then, while being in an airfight at Stuttgart, they go down in the Moselle area...again 20 minutes away by plane minimum. Europe is smaller than the US...but not that small. I'm not saying this couldn't happen this way but while reading I never got a feeling for a timeframe like this, it all seemed to happen very fast.And then Walter...how did he become a Corporal with his really, really short history in the military?Then...I admit I felt some kind of unease when Stuttgart was mentioned. I was born there, my partents lived there, my father had been hiding in the cellars during bomb attacks as a child. Okay, these things aside - I couldn't really enjoy the book because I knew what would happen. It was very clear from the beginning (with Nate as a grandfather) that they never really lived together. I have no problems with lovestories in flashbacks, when one character of the couple is already dead. But I need to know that they had a great time, a wonderful time, that they hopefully lived a long time together.This isn't what had happened to Nate and Walter. They had a few weeks and of these few weeks only a few days really as a couple. Their time together is written in Amy's skilled ways, wonderful, bittersweet and loving. They feel like a few days in a very different life, a bit like a fairy tale. I found it a bit hard to get to know Walter. We can only see him through Nate's eyes and the emphasis was for sure on Nate's feelings and his own "journey" to accepting himself. Thus said, I cried like a baby in the end. Of course I went through the whole emotional wringer Amy intended to put us readers through.So - the book is good, it is skillfully written, it has parts I loved but I was never able to really enjoy reading it because I knew what would happen. And now the question...how to rate a book like this? Without considering my emotional state I'd rate it 4 stars. Considering my emotional state...the feeling of unease through the whole book...3 stars. Feels kind of not okay to give it three stars...but this one I'm not going to reread.

  • Susan65
    2018-11-02 11:34

    The Blogger GirlsHow depressing! I was so distraught by the end of this book I immediately started another one so that I could get some joy back into my world. I completely understand that the times were way different back in the 1940s but jeez this one was very hard to read.This story was written almost as if the author had lived it. It was very rich, raw, and emotional. My heart was nearly cracked by the life that Walter and Nate lived, but it was almost destroyed because of what it wasn’t. A part of me kept hoping that the story was written from a dream and at the end one of the guys woke up, but that wasn’t to be. I can’t imagine how Nate lived as long as he did with that hurt inside of his heart, how he found the strength to move on when everything he wanted was out of reach.Walter just started to live when he is thrust into a war no child should be forced to bear. He is full of self doubt and saw no future for him, and especially not one for him and Nate. Knowing that you were destined to live a lie, or worse, is heartbreaking. Knowing that Nate and Walter were just two of many gay men who denied or hid to survive is completely devastating. Real life sucks sometimes.The ending brought about some salvation for my pain, but it was too little, too late. I hope it’s true. I hope that Walter and Nate are together and dancing and looking dashing in their spiffy suits listening to the Bells of Times Square. But their lives, in my opinion, were so tragic that the happy reunion was dulled by the force of my pain.So people, if you love angst and a non-traditional happy ending, then you might just want to grab this book. But prepare yourself, it’s a tough ride to Times Square.

  • Jacq
    2018-11-02 09:26

    Why the guy hitting his head ~Amy tends to do jagged bow endings. I like smooth bow endings Damn her. Be ready for the angst full dose. I Had a few WTF moments.

  • Barb ~rede-2-read~
    2018-10-21 06:27

    ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review. What does it say about a story when I admit that I started to cry as I was reading the blurb? Knowing that my favorite “Queen of Angst” was likely to pull out all stops on this one, I went into it with a box of tissues in hand. And I was not disappointed. And yes, the tissues were needed. This story is a beautiful, poignant, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and bittersweet look at a romance that transcends time. Nate Meyer, a nice, sweet, young Jewish man decides to enlist in the Air Force in World War II, in part because he knows he’s a disappointment to his father, a fact more evident after his brother passed away at a young age. His brother was the one who got all the pride and affection his father could give out, and Nate just feels that it’s time to get away from the stifling environment. The son of a clockworker, he’s surprised to find that his knowledge of cameras and photography are not only appreciated, but needed for the war effort. He’s promoted to Second Lieutenant and together with his pilot, assigned the role of taking photos of potential targets during night missions over France and Germany. On one such mission, he spots a suspicious series of smokestacks and they move in to get a closer look, but the flare he and his pilot use to light the area for the photos is seen by Messerschmitt pilots who give chase. Their plane crashes in a wooded area over Nazi-occupied France, and though the pilot is killed, Nate survives. He’s rescued by Walter, a diminutive redhead from Iowa who is an escaped POW, and fortunately for Nate, a medic as well. Walter has been living in an abandoned cottage in the woods for several months. He’s resourceful and self-sufficient and the cutest little man Nate has ever had the pleasure of seeing. However, at this point in our history, it’s extremely dangerous to reveal any attraction to another man so Nate hides it until one day when Walter is bathing his extremities and “Little Nate” is too obvious for Walter to ignore. They confess their mutual attraction and act out on it slowly, engaging mostly in kissing, handjobs, blowjobs, and frottage. Nate doesn’t consider himself deeply religious, nevertheless, he knows that committing the act of mishkav zakhar, “the one act between men that was considered unforgivable”, will guarantee that he won’t find his way to heaven. But when the time comes for them to prepare to leave their nest in the woods, they finally do have sex, and Nate forgets his worries about heaven. Though they don’t verbalize the words “I love you”, they do make the promise to meet at Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve after the war is over, with or without the church bells ringing. They know they’ll be separated as soon as they are rescued since Walter is an enlisted man and Nate is an officer, and they have no choice about leaving their cottage, because a Nazi soldier has been using it for a tryst with a local Frenchwoman and they’re fortunate they haven’t been discovered yet. What the Nazi doesn’t know is that the Frenchwoman is working with the resistance and plans to help the men escape. Circumstances never go according to plan, however, and a tragedy occurs which leaves Nate bereft, injured, and alone. As the book opens, and again at the end, Nate is being pushed in his wheelchair to Times Square so that he can follow the ritual he’s followed for over 60 years to listen for the bells. He’s had a stroke this past year and his grandson, Blaine, who is so much like him, is the one pushing him. Accompanying them is Blaine’s boyfriend and lover, Tony, a young black man. Blaine confesses to his Zayde (grandfather) that he wants to move in with Tony, but he’s afraid that what he is doing is wrong because his parents won’t approve. He’s holding out hope that Nate approves and will grant them his blessing.(view spoiler)[ Unable to talk, and barely able to move the hand on the only side of his body which still works, Nate’s final act that night is to give that blessing to Blaine before he hears the bells and goes to join Walter.(hide spoiler)]I have chills right now as I write this review. Amy Lane is an excellent author, her grammar and punctuation are perfect, but what really makes her books stand out among the rest is her ability as a storyteller. I am in awe. This story should have more than 5 stars. Superb is a mild word. By all means, do not miss the chance to read this book. And if you love historical romances, consider it a bonus. I think I may go hide out for a while and reread this story right now. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe how amazing this outstanding story is. Don’t hesitate to buy it.