Review: Shadowboxing – Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell
Historical M/M Romance
DSP Publications
May 31, 2016

Complete their mission or lose everything.

Berlin, 1943

An encounter with an old friend leaves German physicist Dr Kristopher Lehrer with doubts about his work. But when he confronts his superior, everything goes horribly wrong. Suddenly Kristopher and Michel, a member of the Resistance, are on the run, hunted for treason and a murder they did not commit. If they’re caught, Kristopher’s knowledge could be used to build a terrible weapon that could win the war.

For the team sent by the Allies—led by Captain Bryant, Sergeant Lowe, and Dr Zhou—a simple mission escalates into a deadly game against the Gestapo, with Dr Lehrer as the ultimate prize. But in enemy territory, surviving and completing their mission will test their strengths and loyalties and prove more complex than they ever imagined.

Author’s note: This is the third edition of Shadowboxing. The first and second editions were released by another publishing house. This story has been re-edited, and uses UK spelling to reflect its setting.

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

1943 Berlin, Germany and Kristopher Lehren a scientist and a man from a very well to do family comes to find out that the project he has been working on with the hope of helping mankind will be used as a weapon with the potential to leave destruction the likes of which the world has never seen. When his Jewish friend David Reuben comes to him trying to explain what is going on he remained skeptical until he accidentally came upon a letter detailing exactly what his project was meant to do.

Kristopher wants no part of anything that will bring harm to others but he doesn’t know what to do. After nights of nightmares and feeling an overwhelming guilt for what he was a part of he goes to his boss hoping he can get him to stop the project from moving forward but he runs into a situation that not only changes his life but puts him on the Gestapo’s radar. After suffering a heart attack his boss hits his head and dies and since Kristopher was the last one to see him alive he knows he has no choice but to run for his life. With the project paperwork in his pocket he finds that one of the soldiers at the institute is more than he appears.

Michel has been part of the resistenance and has been watching over Kristopher. Michel is working with a group of allies who know that it is imperative to get Kristopher out of Germany and get the project into the hands of the allies. With the help of Michel, Kristopher manages to get to safety but that doesn’t last long. Kristopher is hurt and when he is taken to his sister Clara for help he learns that his sister has been working with the resistenance and was the one responsible for getting Michel to look after him.

Michel and Kristopher run and hide and even though they are almost captured and the project reports are missing Kristopher is the one who has the final data in his head and without it the paperwork is useless. Now more than ever the Gestapo wants him. Captain Matthew Bryant and his team have no idea where Michel and Kristopher are hiding and are searching for them but not before Matt is captured. Now his team’s first duty is to free Matt and then find Lehren.

While on the run Michel and Kristopher find themselves falling in love making their situation much more serious. They are wanted by the Gestapo and if it is ever discovered that they are homosexual their lives would be worthless. Even today gays have to deal with constant prejudice but this is 1943 and making matters worse they are in Nazi Germany.

The story follows the lives of Michel, Kristopher and the allies especially Matt and Ken who themselves are in love. It is not hard to picture the constant fear the resistenance and the allies are facing on a daily basis and I don’t want to go into detail on what happens since it would take away from reading the book. The only reason that the book did not get five stars was that at times it was slow moving but other than that it was a story of life in Nazi Germany and although it ended in a cliffhanger the next two books are already released.

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