Published March 5th 2014 by Createspace
Hank Fischer is drafted into the American Army soon after high school graduation in 1945, beginning a six month saga of intrigue, horror, and love that takes him from his southern Wisconsin home to Texas, then Germany, Switzerland, Greece, and Singapore, revealing along the way the devastating truth of the tragic consequences of war. In the Texas prisoner of war camp where Germans were interned, a youthful and naive Hank is targeted by Haynes who becomes his lifelong tormentor, but he also begins his closest, nearly unimaginable lifelong friendship with Max, a German prisoner of war under his supervision, whose twin sister, Roberta, back in their German homeland, is destined to become the love of his life. Hank is drawn into a dangerous web of intrigue by the common heritage he shares with Max, a prisoner of war being returned to his homeland, and the intense love he finds with Roberta. Because of their ties to the SS through their father, a senior Nazi official hand-selected by Adolph Hitler himself, Max and Roberta are pursued by the Intelligence Forces of the American and British Occupation. Hank is faced with the colossal choice between his allegiance to the U.S. Army and his love for Roberta. Hank chooses to collaborate with Max and free Roberta from a British prison camp, beginning a desperate flight through war-torn Germany where they witness first-hand the ravages of post -war Europe, while staying perilously ahead of pursuing forces. Their flight takes them to a secret refuge in the mountains of neutral Switzerland where Lazlo, a Hungarian born war-time profiteer provides the opportunity for their escape. Sadly leaving Max behind in Switzerland they set out for the port city of Trieste by train, only to survive an attack by post-war Italian Army pirates, then sail the seas on a merchant ship with a modern day Greek philosopher, Captain Koz, to search out hidden treasure in a small Greek village. Again forced to flee, Captain Koz helps them find refuge across the Indian Ocean, in Singapore, only to once again face the bane of powerful men...another war-torn country. Their very survival hangs in the delicate balance between their powerful love and will to live, and evil man's violent quest for power and wealth. Their amazing journey, immersed in horrors of war, bombed-out cities, dead bodies, displaced person by the millions, desperation and hopelessness, give the reader a rare look at the despair of victims of the hubris of men seeking power for the sake of power, amidst their powerful love story.
This is a historical romance novel taking place during World War II. Honor and Innocence is not the typical love story. The woman, Roberta, is a captive of the American Military. While having to interview her to find out what she knows about her dad, Hank falls in love with her. It is an unlikely romance and one that I fell in love with. Their path to finding safety takes them through Europe and Asia showing them all the destruction that the way caused. The places that they both had wished to visit or had visited were devastated and not at all what they had expected. Along their travels they met some amazing people who went above and beyond to get them to safety.
The romance is wonderful, but as someone who absolutely loves the World War II era I found the description of the training for deployment, the train ride, the time on the boat, and the mostly the description of what was found in the areas where the war took place the best parts of the story. It opened my eyes to a part of the war that is rarely covered in books. To imagine coming “home” to find nothing is as you left it, brought tears to my eyes.
If you enjoy historical romance set in World War II, this is the book for you. Glen Thomas Hierlmeier wrote an amazing book that I absolutely loved.