Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Fighting on the Western Front in 1915, Lieutenant Tom Donald has admired his friend Frank Foden, a fellow officer, for as long as they’ve known each other. Forming a bond that only comes from fighting alongside one another in battle, Tom cherishes his friendship with Frank. He looks forward to the letters Frank receives from his wife, the words of wisdom she sends, and the stories she recounts. He feels a bond with the woman he’s never met. But she has, in a way she may never know, given comfort and a sense of normalcy to Tom’s world of war and chaos. And Tom longs to open up to Frank and tell him of Jonny, Tom’s secret lost love, but is afraid of how Frank will react.
After Frank is killed in a fire fight, Tom is left with a request from Frank via letter: visit his mother and deliver a letter to his friend, Ronnie Palmer. Confused as to why Frank would want him to do either, Tom sets out to fulfill the commission set upon him while on his next leave. But as he begins the journey Frank laid out for him, Tom begins to uncover the facts that prove his friend a liar. Unsure what to believe, Tom sets out to find out the truth about his friend and about himself.
If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that I’m not usually one to read historical fiction, but I’m slowly coming around…at least to a point. I’m happy that I picked up this story. Promises Made Under Fire is a story of a man who not only finds out that the friend he’s been closest to has lied to him, but in the process of discovering the truth, he finds himself and unexpected love.
Tom is a great emotional character. He’s strong and solid on the battlefield. He’s accepting and caring of his friends. His reaction to loss is heartbreaking. When he begins this search for the truth, Tom is lost and confused, but eventually finds hope in understanding Frank’s actions. He’s such a well-developed character. His feelings were my feelings. When he was sad, confused, happy, scared, I felt it all as if I were right there with him. I loved Tom from the beginning of the story and loved him even more by the end.
The feeling of this story is poignant and subdued. It’s a beautifully written piece that held me captivated. It’s a very emotional story with little to no angst. It’s sad and sweet at the same time. I would have liked for the pacing to be a little faster, but that may have taken away from the story. It’s a slow paced story but not boring in the least. Set in the time of World War I on the Western Front in France as part of the British Army, this author shows her knowledge of the time period, not only of the war but on the home front. The world is perfectly displayed – the fear on the battlefield is obvious, while adapting to civilian life and adjusting to the real world is uncomfortable.
There is not much that I don’t like about this story. It’s more than a romance. More than historical fiction. It’s a search for truth, for friendship, for understanding, and results in a sweet, touching love story. From beginning to end, this story is beautifully written and wonderfully told. I highly recommend Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane.
Cover: I am not sure who created this beautiful cover at Carina Press, but I absolutely love it. The aspects of the time period with a little bit of romance. It’s perfect.