The Garçonnière

The Garçonnière - Ali MacLagan I'm going to hide most of the review with a spoiler tag because I give much away in my comments.

Things I liked:

The alternating POV of both MC's. For me to invest in a love story I need to hear from both characters, I need to get inside both their heads or it almost never works for me.

The realistic portrayal of the period without either gratuitous violence or window dressing.

That one MC didn't save the other. It was the strength of their love and seemingly unbreakable bond that kept them each alive at different points of peril throughout their lives.

That there were elements that surprised me - I did not see the blackout coming at all. I was not happy about it either, I couldn't believe you did that to Joseph. But kudos on being able to surprise a reader who doesn't get surprised very often.

The HFN that got them both out of the country before the war even though with Henry's health a HEA might not be long lived. I was glad there was no epilogue 10+ years later that showed Joseph on his own finding his way after Henry's death ...

Things that took me out of the story a little:

Sometimes when the POV switched it seemed like the other MC was still speaking, for example it would switch to Joseph but then he would think or say something that sounded like Henry to me. I had to page back just to verify which character was narrating and it pulled me out a few times. Nothing really significant.

The only other thing that niggled at me was Henry's father hiding his maternal inheritence from him. Not sure I grasped the motivation for that but the revelation coming at the end of the story makes it a moot point for me.

I'd like to commend the author and event staff involved in producing this story. This is only the second story I've read that has come out of the Love is an Open Road group event and I can honestly say I am pleasantly surprised at the caliber of it. I have to admit the event is something I would ordinarily avoid because my biggest pet peeve with the writing in this genre is the writing itself. If you guys can create stories that are better written and edited than many books I see coming out of so called professional publishing houses, I need to take a closer look at some of these stories. Thank you for that. :)