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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.
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…
Well color me impressed. I honestly wasn't expecting much from this short story; it's hard to create a world in just over 50 pages. But Cochrane did it: she made me believe that this happened and that these characters existed during WWI.
I really wish this were a full-length novel so I could read more about: 1) Frank's background and his relationship with his wife; 2) the time Tom and Frank spent together during the war; and 3) what happens to Tom when the war is over.
My jaw dropped when I read that Charlie Cochrane is a woman. Most female authors who write m/m romances are so over-the-top that I've mostly stopped reading their works. I will definitely read more from Ms. Cochrane, especially if she ever considers extending this story (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!).
Recommended for fans of Jojo Moyes.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.