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Between Love and Honor

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It’s 1914 and David looks up from his Post Office counter to see the man of his dreams. Carl is everything he’s ever wanted, but Australia has laws against ‘deviants’ and the two men must be circumspect. When World War I breaks out, Carl tries to enlist but is rejected. People see his delicate features and stature and assume he’s ‘less than a man’. He’s scorned for not doi It’s 1914 and David looks up from his Post Office counter to see the man of his dreams. Carl is everything he’s ever wanted, but Australia has laws against ‘deviants’ and the two men must be circumspect. When World War I breaks out, Carl tries to enlist but is rejected. People see his delicate features and stature and assume he’s ‘less than a man’. He’s scorned for not doing his duty while David is applauded for serving his country at home. Public condemnation turns violent, and Carl and David are torn between love and honor.


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It’s 1914 and David looks up from his Post Office counter to see the man of his dreams. Carl is everything he’s ever wanted, but Australia has laws against ‘deviants’ and the two men must be circumspect. When World War I breaks out, Carl tries to enlist but is rejected. People see his delicate features and stature and assume he’s ‘less than a man’. He’s scorned for not doi It’s 1914 and David looks up from his Post Office counter to see the man of his dreams. Carl is everything he’s ever wanted, but Australia has laws against ‘deviants’ and the two men must be circumspect. When World War I breaks out, Carl tries to enlist but is rejected. People see his delicate features and stature and assume he’s ‘less than a man’. He’s scorned for not doing his duty while David is applauded for serving his country at home. Public condemnation turns violent, and Carl and David are torn between love and honor.

30 review for Between Love and Honor

  1. 5 out of 5

    MLE

    Tragic short story about intolerance, fear, prejudice, and love. It is a powerfully moving story that will stay with me. The characters were well drawn, and the plot rang sadly true to what might have actually happened in those day. It makes me think about all those who have lost their lives to hate, and the loved ones left behind.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    Short and Sad. Illegal affections. Dreadfully disheartening. A powerfully written short story, snapshots a brief moment in time when two men are so desperate to be together, they gamble on love when the consequence of discovery is punishable by death. David and Carl began as nothing more than casual strangers, but before long they realize the possibility that the other yearns for more as well. They both crave simple things in life, yet for them it is not so simple. Stolen moments build from swee Short and Sad. Illegal affections. Dreadfully disheartening. A powerfully written short story, snapshots a brief moment in time when two men are so desperate to be together, they gamble on love when the consequence of discovery is punishable by death. David and Carl began as nothing more than casual strangers, but before long they realize the possibility that the other yearns for more as well. They both crave simple things in life, yet for them it is not so simple. Stolen moments build from sweet passion to forbidden love. War breaks out and threatens to tear them apart. Tragically, an ambush at home snuffs out their future before it has a chance. Beautifully written, impressionable characters and unforgettable circumstances. *4 desperately-depressing stars*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    A short enjoyable read. For the length not a lot of room for character development, but I felt the issue it dealt with to be harrowing and always reminds me how lucky I am to be living now. 1914 Australia and gay, it must have been a nightmare not being able to live out your love without the constant fear of persecution. I felt the hopelessness of their situation making it a somewhat sad and melancholy read and not an HEA I'm afraid. A no-way-out situation which always tugs at my heart strings. A short enjoyable read. For the length not a lot of room for character development, but I felt the issue it dealt with to be harrowing and always reminds me how lucky I am to be living now. 1914 Australia and gay, it must have been a nightmare not being able to live out your love without the constant fear of persecution. I felt the hopelessness of their situation making it a somewhat sad and melancholy read and not an HEA I'm afraid. A no-way-out situation which always tugs at my heart strings.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Too real, too heartbreaking, too sad for words. While this was only a short story the few brief pages it took for the author to tell it in, left me silently crying & broken hearted for a world that was and should never have been. Thank you Ms Montgomery for reminding us that while we have come a long way in accepting people's differences we still have a long way to go. Too real, too heartbreaking, too sad for words. While this was only a short story the few brief pages it took for the author to tell it in, left me silently crying & broken hearted for a world that was and should never have been. Thank you Ms Montgomery for reminding us that while we have come a long way in accepting people's differences we still have a long way to go.

  5. 5 out of 5

    T.A. Webb

    David is a postal clerk in 1914 Australia. He loves at home, goes to church, and is the obedient and proper young man of his times. One day, he looks up and notices Carl. Smaller, more bookish, a smile and manner to die for, the two share a quick smile and a light laugh as David posts his letters. As the days go by, the two strike up a quick friendship, and are soon sharing lunches on the riverbank. Then they are sharing more, quick kisses, assignations in the woods, then nights together, stolen David is a postal clerk in 1914 Australia. He loves at home, goes to church, and is the obedient and proper young man of his times. One day, he looks up and notices Carl. Smaller, more bookish, a smile and manner to die for, the two share a quick smile and a light laugh as David posts his letters. As the days go by, the two strike up a quick friendship, and are soon sharing lunches on the riverbank. Then they are sharing more, quick kisses, assignations in the woods, then nights together, stolen in silence as David moves into the same boarding house as Carl. War breaks out, and threatens to come between the two men. Politically. Personally. Perhaps permanently. Will their love survive the war, the times, the pitfalls of being gay in an intolerant era? I started this very short, haunting and lyrical stunner early in the evening, and I have to admit, it ruined me for the rest of the night. The quiet gentle love these two young men shared, shy and tentative and sweet, but forbidden - "I looked at our shoes, surfaces barely kissing" - tore at me. The passions of David and Carl, so sweetly hidden, in words barely acknowledged but the feelings and love so plain. And the things hidden between them - so heartbreaking. And then the ending - "I had to hide behind anonymous initials". Absolutely killed me. Bittersweet and brutal. E E Montgomery has written a short masterwork here. It makes me thankful, but so beautifully sad. Just wonderful. Tom

  6. 4 out of 5

    L-D

    This was a very short story, but it brought a lot of angst with it. Carl and David have an illegal and illicit romance just before the outbreak of WWII. When Carl tries to enlist, he is rejected, but everyone assumes that he is not doing his duty because of his smaller stature. No one bothers to look close enough at the young man who is bursting with duty and honor, seeing only someone physically weaker. This was a really touching story but was also depressing as all hell.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ashley♥Alexis

    This was one of the most depressing stories I've read in awhile. I read to escape the crappy world we live in and this story did not help. Had I known what was going to happen, I wouldn't have read this. It was rough (but very well written). Please excuse me while I go wipe the salty tear stains off my kindle... This was one of the most depressing stories I've read in awhile. I read to escape the crappy world we live in and this story did not help. Had I known what was going to happen, I wouldn't have read this. It was rough (but very well written). Please excuse me while I go wipe the salty tear stains off my kindle...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cass Moriarty

    I found the short story 'Between Love and Honour' by EE Montgomery to be emotional and insightful and to give a good glimpse into what life might have been like for gay men at that time, particularly with the threat of war hanging over everyone's heads, and the 'manly' connotations that went with it. I think you succeeded in showing an empathetic and intimate tenderness. I found the short story 'Between Love and Honour' by EE Montgomery to be emotional and insightful and to give a good glimpse into what life might have been like for gay men at that time, particularly with the threat of war hanging over everyone's heads, and the 'manly' connotations that went with it. I think you succeeded in showing an empathetic and intimate tenderness.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fangtasia

    Short but packs a significant punch. Masterful writing, inspired me to go look at the author's back list. Beware, though, it's a "Bittersweet Dream", no HEA. I still cry when I think about the ending. Short but packs a significant punch. Masterful writing, inspired me to go look at the author's back list. Beware, though, it's a "Bittersweet Dream", no HEA. I still cry when I think about the ending.

  10. 5 out of 5

    M'rella

    This is so unbearably heartbreaking :( This is one of the major reasons I don't do late 19 early-to-mid 20th centuries. This is so unbearably heartbreaking :( This is one of the major reasons I don't do late 19 early-to-mid 20th centuries.

  11. 4 out of 5

    The UHQ Nasanta

    3.5 stars Oh, my heart hurts. :'( 3.5 stars Oh, my heart hurts. :'(

  12. 5 out of 5

    Thomaidha Papa

    4 Hearts Review written for MM Good Book Reviews http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/ Looking at Carl’s beautiful eyes everyday David slowly falls for the gorgeous delicate man. Carefully hiding from the laws that will not have two men caring for each other David and Carl live the romance day to day. When war breaks out though things start to darken; David has no interest to enlist for a war he does not understand, but his job at the Post Office provides him a shelter as people think he is alrea 4 Hearts Review written for MM Good Book Reviews http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/ Looking at Carl’s beautiful eyes everyday David slowly falls for the gorgeous delicate man. Carefully hiding from the laws that will not have two men caring for each other David and Carl live the romance day to day. When war breaks out though things start to darken; David has no interest to enlist for a war he does not understand, but his job at the Post Office provides him a shelter as people think he is already serving his country. Carl on the other hand wants so much to enlist and serve, but his delicate frame and asthma marks him unwanted in the eyes of the military. Unfortunately his willingness to serve does not reach the people who frown upon him and slowly things get really bad. Bruises start showing up and David can’t help the only man he cared for and reluctantly admitting to himself he loves. When the revelation hit David square in his head, and he makes up his mind to totally devote his life to sweet Carl, the cruelty of life shows and Carl suffers on last fatal attack. This story is so romantic, so sweet and so sad that although being a very short one is bound to tug at your heart. There isn’t much to say here; it’s beautifully written and it suits the area and time. The couple’s relationship escalates from mere acquaintances to friends to lovers in a dream-like manner and the darkness that follows slips the same way. While there is not much focus in the relationship itself you cannot fail to feel the wonderful emotions implied here. I loved it, I really did, but then again I love all love-lost stories. If you’re a fan of bittersweet, historical romances, than this is a story for you. Thommie.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Don Bradshaw

    Reviewed on Hearts On Fire... http://heartsonfirereviews.com/ What a beautiful and heart wrenching love story this was. It was good to see just how far society has evolved toward gay love. Set in 1914 just at the start of World War I we see a lack of tolerance toward anyone not joining in the war effort. David is a postal clerk trying to walk the straight and narrow. He looks up from his window at the Post Office and sees the man of his dreams in the slender, blue-eyed Carl who has come to post Reviewed on Hearts On Fire... http://heartsonfirereviews.com/ What a beautiful and heart wrenching love story this was. It was good to see just how far society has evolved toward gay love. Set in 1914 just at the start of World War I we see a lack of tolerance toward anyone not joining in the war effort. David is a postal clerk trying to walk the straight and narrow. He looks up from his window at the Post Office and sees the man of his dreams in the slender, blue-eyed Carl who has come to post some letters. The two young men begin eating lunch together by the river which soon lead to trysts in a hidden grove. David doesn't see the sense in the war which leads to many long debates between the two. Carl tries to enlist but is turned down because he has asthma while David is exempt because of his work with the Postal Service. Carl starts getting put down because he's not in the military and people assume the wrong thing. Although this is a short story it really packs a punch. Montgomery's writing style brings out the beauty of the love between David and Carl and the stark ugliness of the people back then. The ending was very well done and brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes love can't conquer all.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nic

    This story had a true sense of time and place, capturing the era and the attitudes beautifully . The time is 1914 and David & Carl are dealing with their growing love for one another in a time when their love was definitely not understood, and also dealing with the impact of the war. I knew this story was bittersweet going into it and almost read it reluctantly, knowing I was setting myself up for heartache. It is only a short story but managed to really draw me in, leaving me with a feeling of s This story had a true sense of time and place, capturing the era and the attitudes beautifully . The time is 1914 and David & Carl are dealing with their growing love for one another in a time when their love was definitely not understood, and also dealing with the impact of the war. I knew this story was bittersweet going into it and almost read it reluctantly, knowing I was setting myself up for heartache. It is only a short story but managed to really draw me in, leaving me with a feeling of sadness and most definitely wanting to keep following David's story. Somehow I think it makes it easier to read these Bittersweet series stories when you know there is another book on the horizon. In this case it is The Courage to Love which follows David's story as he returns from the war. I publish all my m/m reviews on my blog so if you want to see all my m/m reviews in one place come visit at Because Two Men Are Better Than One!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Nice little story but oh, so sad. A freebie download from Dreamspinners. Not much of a plot and not much character development. I must admit, I wouldn't have paid money to download such a short story and it's read in under an hour. Pre WW1 and into the early months of the War. Two Australians set up a clandestine relationship, eventually one of the characters is beaten to death. The End.....Can't say more than that really. Nice little story but oh, so sad. A freebie download from Dreamspinners. Not much of a plot and not much character development. I must admit, I wouldn't have paid money to download such a short story and it's read in under an hour. Pre WW1 and into the early months of the War. Two Australians set up a clandestine relationship, eventually one of the characters is beaten to death. The End.....Can't say more than that really.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Salsera1974

    Nicely written story in the Bittersweet Dreams line. I would have enjoyed more character development and a closer look at the romance between David and Carl -- due to the lack, I'm not especially invested in either the love story or the ending -- but the story was reasonably well done nonetheless. I'm looking forward to the follow-up. Nicely written story in the Bittersweet Dreams line. I would have enjoyed more character development and a closer look at the romance between David and Carl -- due to the lack, I'm not especially invested in either the love story or the ending -- but the story was reasonably well done nonetheless. I'm looking forward to the follow-up.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    Bitterweet, heavy on the bitter. While this was a touching story there were several unaddressed elements that I wish had been fleshed out more for both the characters and the reader. Early twentieth century was not a kind time, Carl and David were stuck in an unforgiving place. Short and heavy-hearted story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jax

    Well that was a gut-punch I didn't see coming. This has been on my kindle for a long time so I forgot it was a Bittersweet title. Probably for the best that I didn't know or I might've put off reading it again. Anxious to read the novel-length sequel now. Well that was a gut-punch I didn't see coming. This has been on my kindle for a long time so I forgot it was a Bittersweet title. Probably for the best that I didn't know or I might've put off reading it again. Anxious to read the novel-length sequel now.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    Loved the ending. Very emotional. I enjoyed seeing a perspective from nearly 100 years ago. I seem to forget how hard it was then for people to express themselves freely, as it is so much more acceptable now.

  20. 5 out of 5

    A.B. Gayle

    Beautifully written and so believable of that age. A relative of mine was given white feathers which he kept in a diary. He wasn't gay, but people didn't care why young men didn't enlist, they just felt they had the right. And being gay on top of that. Beautifully written and so believable of that age. A relative of mine was given white feathers which he kept in a diary. He wasn't gay, but people didn't care why young men didn't enlist, they just felt they had the right. And being gay on top of that.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Saura Underscore

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Any author that moves a reader to tears or laughs, regardless of where you are reading their story, deserves all my admiration and respect. I hated E.E. a little because I cried for one hour after finishing this lovely story. But I guess that was the target..

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Very short story. Well written, but full of angst and no HEA

  23. 5 out of 5

    Betryal

    Short and very sad. It brought me to tears, but I enjoyed it even though it messed with my emotions. I'm into the next book to these and enjoying it just as much so far. You can't read this one without going on to the next. Trust me when I tell you that. Short and very sad. It brought me to tears, but I enjoyed it even though it messed with my emotions. I'm into the next book to these and enjoying it just as much so far. You can't read this one without going on to the next. Trust me when I tell you that.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alaska

    3.5 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dee Wy

    Beautifully written, but sad too.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meggie

    How this is truly deeply sad even heartbreaking short story. Gosh, some people. who only know how to hate, are terrible monsters!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kellie Dennis

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jules Lovesbooks

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jilrene

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