Rating: 3.5 stars
Lovers in Arms is a romanticized historical fiction taking place during the 1946 Nuremberg trial, where Captain Frank Hawthorne stands witness to the defense of his lover, Johann von Biehn, a Nazi officer. Each chapter shares two different moments: the present (1946) and a retelling of how these two enemies meet in 1943.
I really enjoyed this novel, because it was a fairly painless reading. I expected a lot of heart ache, some violence, and to be crying gushing amounts of tears. Now there was a little bit of heart ache due to the circumstances between these two guys. Pretty much no violence (the war is over by 1946, and the setting in 1943 was actually peaceful), and I got a bit teary at some points. So my expectations weren't completely unfounded.
While I have enjoyed every historical book I've read, one thing I felt lacking in Lovers in Arms was the world building usually evident in these types of novels. Descriptions were kept pretty general, and it was difficult at times to feel like I'm reading a book taking place in 1943-1946.
But asides from that, I enjoyed this book. The romance was a bit too
romanticized, if that makes any sense. A little too "love at first sight" and the development between these two guys happened pretty smoothly without much of the complications you would expect in the enemies-to-lovers trope. But in the end, I was charmed by Johann's brilliance and Frank's courage. These two guys deserve the rest of their lives together, and I was happy to share in the experience.