Hearts in Barbed Wire: Belgium 1914 (Love’s Great War)


The year is 1914, and German troops are spreading across Europe like invading ants.  Belgian citizen Madeline Thevenet is forced to leave the hospital where she was training to become a nurse when the Germans arrive.  When she reaches home, her father makes Maddy promise she will become a nun because he believes this will keep her safe from the war.  An hour later, he is dead, killed by Germans for sheltering wounded Belgian soldiers.  Lt. Lucien Duplan takes it upon himself to get Maddy safely to a convent, but with enemy soldiers patrolling the streets, this is no easy task.  As feelings grow between the two, Maddy must decide what is more important – keeping a deathbed promise to her father or following her heart.


This is a novel set during WWI, sprinkled with historical details that send the reader back into the past.  Characters are believable, but passive.  Instead of being told by other people that they have feelings for each other, it would be much more satisfying if Luc and Maddy would just talk to each other.  The writing is strong, but the romance is weak.  There is not much here to base a relationship upon.  Maddy is the damsel in distress and Luc is the knight in shining armor, but one wonders how well they will work together once the war is over.  There’s not much grit here, but fans of wartime romance will find a pleasant read without a lot of blood or graphic imagery.  


Leslie Stokes