As Time Goes By

Title: As Time Goes By
Author: Anna Lee
Cover artist: Winterheart Designs
Publisher: MLR Press
Amazon: Buy Link As Time Goes By
Length: 240 pages, 64000 words
Genre: Historical M/M Romance
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: If you like over the top melodrama and Insta!love you may enjoy this story about a pilot and a doctor finding love during WWII

Blurb:

In 1944, Matt Jackson, a wounded RAF pilot, ends up in the Royal Infirmary after his squadron is attacked. When he meets Doctor Trynt Andrews, both men’s lives are changed with the instant connection they feel for one another. Alone and injured, Matt is invited into Trynt’s home and they become inseparable, finding a love they thought they never would. As the year goes by, their commitment deepens despite having to keep their love a secret. When Matt is deployed and his plane goes down during battle will all be lost? Or will he make it home to Trynt?

Review:

As the blurb tells us, Matt and Trynt meet for the first time when Matt is wounded and becomes one of Trynt’s patients. First and foremost I have to tell you that when the blurb mentions an instant connection, it is very instant — they are in love within forty-eight hours — so if you cannot tolerate Insta!Love, stay away from this book. I can believe in very well-written Insta!Lust which transforms and grows into love, but in this story this was not the case. It was a love forever and very fast one. Granted, the author attempts to show us that the love is growing with every day they spend with each other and apart, but as I said, to me the initial connection was too fast and too sudden, especially given the circumstances Matt had just gone through.

The story itself is really pretty straightforward: two guys who fell in love wanting and hoping to survive the war and make a life together. Aside from the Insta!Love, my biggest problem was the dialogue. I would have enjoyed this one much more than I did had it not been full of over-the-top, melodramatic conversations. I can see in a romance book where the characters are facing extreme circumstances talking like this maybe once, or twice during the book. And if such dialogue would have happened once or twice, it could have served to show how much they love each other, how much they cherish each other and how much they hope to be there for each other when circumstances are less extreme. What I am trying to say is that I can totally see how in the book about love such dialogue can sometimes serve its purpose, but they talk like this almost every time they are together and that made me laugh—and not in a good way. Here is the example:

“My life changed the day I met you. I thought I had loved before; I thought I knew what I wanted. And then you kissed me, and I knew no one ever had or ever will compare to you and what I feel for you. No one knows me better, and no one has ever cared or taken care of me like you have,” he said, voice filled with affection as he told Trynt everything”

I want to stress that I think such dialogue can serve its perfectly valid purpose in a romance story, it is just for me there was too much of our heroes speaking like this. If you enjoy such conversation style, you will enjoy the book a lot.

While I thought that our main characters were both sweet, nice, wonderful, pretty much perfect guys, when I finished the book I realized that I really did not know much about them and unfortunately for me such observation means that I think they needed to be drawn in more depth.

I also thought that settings were too generic and not period. War is taking place and people are wounded and dying, but I felt that it could have been easily substituted with any other war or catastrophe, if that makes sense.  I mean writer indicated that WW2 was taking place, but I did not feel that I was transported to the era.

Recommended if you are the fan of the author and if you like a lot of melodrama in your reading material.

6 comments

  • Thanks for the review, Sirius!

    If the character’s name were Trent or Tom, rather than Trynt, I might read the book. But one of my pet peeves is the custom in MM fiction of using distinctive names in an attempt to make a character distinctive. You have to earn at least 4.25 stars to get me to read a book with “Trynt”.

    Sincerely yours,
    Carlisle Leighton Sloane IV

    P.S. I have Mahogany colored hair that always looks slightly tousled, as if I just got out of bed. It makes a good contrast to my eyes which are pale gold, like Russian amber or late September wheat.

    Reply
  • Oh gosh Sirius, this sounds unrealistic to put it mildly! I agree that some flowery dialogue can work in some circumstances but this just sounds strange. What a shame! Thank you for your thoughtful review 🙂

    Reply
    • Leslie, when they talked like that I had a feeling that I am listening to the soap opera on tv, you know? Maybe it is not fair, but I kept comparing this book to Wingmen which I reviewed here relatively recently because both books supposedly take place in the same settings and have pilots as characters. Wingmen take you to the era, and chasracters there talk like real people do. Here – not so much. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply

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