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Hidden Conflict: Tales from Lost Voices in Battle Paperback – November 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Cheyenne Publishing (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979777380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979777387
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,166,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Victor J. Banis VINE VOICE on October 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
A terrific quartet of beautifully realized stories exploring hidden loves and secret desires, set against backdrops of war and violence. And, as the blurb says, each told in unique voices.
Mark R. Probst's NOT TO REASON WHY is set in 1876, on the eve of the massacre at Little Big Horn. Corporal Brett Price and his best friend, Sergeant Dermot Kerrigan are both a part of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry as it rides to a fateful rendezvous with rebellious Sioux forces. Brett is in love with the happily married Dermot, but the hardships of their journey bring them even closer together, until finally Brett confesses his love and is rewarded with a single kiss before they engage in one of the most grisly battles in American history. There's not much suspense, since we all know where this is headed, but Probst compensates with vivid descriptions and apt dialogue: "Haven't you ever noticed," Brett muses, "how these things are reported in the newspapers? When we win they say it`s a victory, but when they win they say it`s a massacre?" The battle scenes are horrific indeed, but even more painful is the picture the author paints of Brett's not altogether requited love. Yes, he and Dermot are best friends. Yes, Brett gets a kiss, just one. And, yes, Dermot loves Brett too, but not in the same way. A loving friendship may be harder to endure than the absence of love altogether. A little love is like an arrow to the heart of one who pines.
The two men in Jordan Taylor's NO DARKNESS don't even progress to the kiss, though their awareness of the possibility, and ours, is palpable. The setting here is 1915, during World War I, on the Western Front. In a tale worthy of Poe, an enemy shelling leaves Lieutenant Darnell and Private Fisher trapped and injured in the root cellar of a farmhouse.
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Format: Paperback
Dedication to one's country may not overcome a dedication to one's love. "Hidden Conflict: Tales from Lost Voices in Battle" is a collection of four short novellas focusing on gay men in the military throughout history. A British sea captain faces mutiny with his lover, a corporal of Colonel Custer is torn between doubting his unit's cause, and love he can't have. Two strangers become stuck in the trenches in the Western Front, and find love comes in strange places, and a World War II veteran is faced with a loss he cannot properly grieve. "Hidden Conflict" is an intriguing exploration of homosexuality and the military, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Hidden Conflict is a collection of four historical novellas chronicling the lives of closeted gay military men. Timewise, they run from the late 18th Century to WWII, but in tone and mood they seem to cover even more ground. Approach this one with an open mind because while the first and last stories are traditional romances, the middle two (literally and figuratively the "meat" of the book) are fairly unsentimental and downright gritty.

Mainstream gay romance writer Alex Beecroft has a lovely way with words and her research here is evident. Her 18th Century seafaring epic, "The Blessed Isle" is overflowing with lush imagery and historical detail. But occasionally both went into overkill, distracting from the action, rather than enhancing it. Sometimes less is more. But overall a fun piece. A love story told in successive diary entries by two British sailors, it's peppered with the tropes of the m/m romance genre - the jocular teasing/flirting, the compulsory injured pride and the petulant lovers' quarrels. This one is more of a guilty pleasure than any reflection of real-life. If you're looking to read about what things may have been like for homosexual sailors in Jane Austen's England, you aren't going to find it here. This is a sensual and deeply romantic love story. Escapist? No doubt. Enjoyable? Sure. Historical? Not so much.

The last novella, "Our One and Only" is the story of Philip Cormier who is left a "war widow" after his lover, Eddie Fiske, is killed in WWII. Author E.N. Holland re-visits him every decade, showing us a stifled, lonely man unable to move on with his life.
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