Author: Angelle Petta
Publisher: Warren Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Historical, Romance
Page Count: 336
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Read book blurb here
Being a history nut, this story is right in my wheelhouse and I am intrigued by the two relatively unknown historical events Petta brings to light. As youth, Bastian and Max meet at Camp Siegfried where, yes, like-minded German-Americans sent their boys to summer camp to be indoctrinated with Hitler's plans for Germany in a pseudo-military setting. The two boys form an unlikely friendship and begin exploring their feelings for one another only to separate on the cusp of WWII - Bastian enlisting in the army and Max returning to his family's ancestral roots in Rome and studying film.
They meet up again during the war in German-occupied Rome where Bastian is intelligence gathering and Max is involved in filming La Puerta del Cielo, a movie from Italian filmmaker Vittorio De Sica that employed hundreds of Jews to save them from the Germans.
I would give the plot of this book very high marks because of its originality, and the various actions scenes are well-done and very interesting to read. Where the story worked less successfully for me was in the love story. There's a lot of "tell" versus "show" and while I feel we learn a lot about the characters' backgrounds and actions, there is less in-depth emotional development of the characters and the dialogue is a bit stilted. In addition, a few plot points seemed ... odd
My rating is 3.5 stars and I think any reader who enjoys historical romance will want to take a look at this story.