Review - "Bonds of Earth" by G.N. Chevalier
Fantastically moving historical piece
Very Highly Recommended
The Great War was not kind to any of the men who were involved, but those who survived came back with horrible scars, both mental and physical. And Michael McReady is no different. He was an ambulance driver, and worked with veterans of the war in a hospital as a rubber, a masseur, helping with physical therapy.
But the past couple of years he's been working in a bathhouse, doing massages and having an outlet for the desires that could get him arrested. Because sodomy is illegal in 1919 New York. When he runs afoul of his uncle, who threatens to tell his only sister about his...proclivities...he agrees to take a job out of the city as a gardener.
While there, he meets the nephew of the matron who owns the estate, John Seward. Another victim of the war, his wounds are physical as well as emotional. And when Michael sees him, he feels pity. Knows he can help. But John's personality and attitude makes sympathy difficult.
But when he finally breaks through and takes matters into his own hands, forces John to take his help, the results are amazing. Rewarding. As the two men learn to connect, their bond grows. And soon spills over into passion, which send Michael running away, the pain of caring too much.
Will these two men reconnect? Will either move past the ghosts of war that come between them?
Typically, I have not been one for historical books or romances, but I will definitely have to reconsider after reading this. G.N. Chevalier has given us a damned miracle here. This is a book that sings - a romance that grabs first at the mind, then at the heart. Treats both respectfully and with dignity.
Michael is a wonderful character. He is edgy, ahead of his time, and a wonder to behold. His bravado masks a huge wounded heart, and as we slowly get to see what caused that pain, we are amazed. Because he is such a wonderful, caring and loving man. But oh so very broken.
And John. All gruff and bark and sharp corners. But at heart, another sensitive broken romantic, loosed on the world only to have it break him. Wound his body and break his spirit. But not irreparably.
These two guys, they were made for each other. I hung on every work, every sentence, hoping for them. Because I was moved, so very moved, by the hurt and the pain and the passion and the rightness of them being together.
God, this book was just so good. I sound like a broken record, I know, but please, if you only buy one book this month, make it this one.