On this centennial of World War 1 with the world still very much about the business of war, my heartbreaks a little. It is important to remember all wars and those who have been lost.
The poetry of World War 1 is heart wrenching. The Mirror has recordings of some great poems #For the Fallen. Please listen if you have a moment.
This time period is sparsely cover by Romance. These stories should be told in larger numbers.
Here are some Romance Novels that do a fine job of witnessing love, grief, and survival. Nurses, German Americans, pilots, and even werewolves can be found in these pages.
1. Homefront Hero by Allie Pleiter Dashing and valiantly wounded, Captain John Gallows could have stepped straight out of an army recruitment poster. Leanne Sample can't help being impressed—although the lovely Red Cross nurse tries to hide it. She knows better than to get attached to the daring captain who is only home to heal and help rally support for the war's final push. As soon as he's well enough, he'll rush back to Europe, back to war—and far away from South Carolina and Leanne. But when an epidemic strikes close to home, John comes to realize what it truly means to be a hero—Leanne's hero.
2. Heroic Measures by Jo-Ann Power For nurse Gwen Spencer, fighting battles is nothing new. An orphan sent to live with a vengeful aunt, Gwen picked coal and scrubbed floors to earn a living. But when she decides to become a nurse, she steps outside the boundaries of her aunt's demands...and into a world of her own making. Leaving her hometown for France, she helps doctors mend thousands of brutally injured Doughboys under primitive conditions. Amid the chaos, she volunteers to go ever forward to the front lines. Braving bombings and the madness of men crazed by the hell of war, she is stunned to discover one man she can love. A man she can share her life with.
3. Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey In this dark and atmospheric rendition of the Cinderella fairy tale, an intelligent young Englishwoman is made into a virtual slave by her evil stepmother. Her only hope of rescue comes in the shape of a scarred World War I pilot of noble blood, whose own powers over the elements are about to be needed more than ever.
4. Sweeter Than Wine by Michaela August Forced into marriage by a scheming matriarch, widow Alice Roye weds a survivor of the Great War, Alsatian vintner Siegfried Roddernwiller, lookalike cousin of Alice's husband who died fighting for the Allies. Both have secrets that, if told, could destroy the uneasy alliance. Alice needs Siegfried's winemaking expertise to restore her Sonoma winery to its former greatness, and Siegfried desires Montclair almost as much as he desires his intriguing new wife. It is the early days of Prohibition, and together they struggle to save the winery by obtaining a coveted sacramental wine license as they struggle to come to terms with their personal desires.
5. Saving the Rifleman (War Girls) by Julie Rowe British Red Cross nurse Maria Hunt lives in daily fear that the Germans will uncover her secret: she helps wounded British soldiers escape.Lieutenant John Bennet is wounded and running out of options. Trapped behind enemy lines while collecting intelligence, he needs to get out of Belgium if he's going to escape with the information and his life.Maria is devoted to her patients and her cause, but something else compels her to risk her life for this soldier. While a man of Lieutenant Bennet's station would barely speak to her in other circumstances, something in his kind eyes inspires a passion deep within her.As his injuries worsen, can Maria find the courage to guide him through the war-torn countryside? And should they make it back to England, will their burgeoning desire survive the ravages of war?
6. Overseas by Beatriz Williams France, 1916: Captain Julian Ashford, a British officer in the trenches of the Western Front, is waylaid in the town square by Kate, a beautiful young American. Julian’s never seen her before, but she has information about the reconnaissance mission he’s about to embark on. Who is she? And why did she track him down in Amiens?
New York, 2007: A young Wall Street analyst, Kate Wilson learned to rely on logic and cynicism. So why does she fall so desperately in love with Julian Laurence, a billionaire with a mysterious past?What she doesn’t know is that he has been waiting for her...the enchanting woman who emerged from the shadows of the Great War to save his life.
7. Look to the East (The Great War Book 1) by Maureen Lang At the dawn of the First World War, the French provincial village of Briecourt is isolated from the battles, but the century-old feud between the Toussaints and the de Colvilles still rages in the streets. When the German army sweeps in to occupy the town, families on both sides of the feud must work together to protect stragglers caught behind enemy lines. Julitte Toussaint may have been adopted from a faraway island, but she feels the scorn of the de Colvilles as much as anyone born a Toussaint. So when she falls in love with one of the stragglers—a wealthy and handsome Belgian entrepreneur—she knows she’s playing with fire. Charles Lassone hides in the cellar of the Briecourt church, safe from the Germans for the moment. But if he’s discovered, it will bring danger to the entire village and could cost Charles his life.
8. Hope at Dawn (Of Love and War) by Stacy Henrie With her brothers away fighting the Great War overseas, Livy Campbell desperately wants to help her family. Her chance comes when she meets a handsome stranger who lands her a job as a teacher in a place far from her parents' farm. But the war casts a long shadow over the German-American town that Livy now calls home-and the darkness will test everything she thought she knew about family and love . . . More than anything, Friedrick Wagner wants to be part of his adopted country's struggle for peace. But when the bitter animosity between Germans and Americans soon turns citizens against newcomers, friend against friend, he will do whatever it takes to protect Livy from the hysteria that grips their town. As tragedy-and dark secrets from the past-threaten their future, Friedrick and Livy have one chance to stand up for what's right . . . and one chance to fight for their love.
9. Angels of Mercy by Lyn Andrews Blue-eyed, blond-haired, full of smiles and sweetness, even as babies twins Kate and Evvie Greenway captured the hearts of Liverpool's Scotland Road slumlands. But now they are almost adults the two girls find that being pleasant, popular and blessed with a loving family isn't quite enough. For they've both fallen for men who will break their youthful hearts...But these sorrows are nothing compared to the tragedies that await them and so many others when the Great War breaks out. Determined to do their part, Kate and Evvie sign up for nursing training and are despatched to the Front, a terrible world far from the life-affirming energy of their homes. Can anything, hope, love or the bond that has always united the sisters, survive all that lies in store for them?
10. The Moonlight Mistress by Victoria Janssen It is the eve of the Great War, and English chemist Lucilla Osbourne finds herself trapped on hostile German soil. Panicked and alone, she turns to a young Frenchman for shelter. Together they spend a night of passion, but their dangerous circumstances won't allow more than a brief affair.Even with the memory of Lucilla's lushness ever present, scientist Pascal Fournier is distracted by his reason for being in enemy territory…Tanneken Claes has information Pascal could use against the enemy but, even more extraordinary…she's a werewolf.After entrusting Pascal with her secret, Tanneken and her mate, Noel, are captured. Suspecting a rogue scientist rumored to have a fascination with werewolves is behind the abduction, Pascal knows he must act fast to save them. He's all too aware of Professor Kauz's reputed perversions and lust for control….As war rages, Pascal and Lucilla combine efforts to stop Kauz, struggling with danger, power and secret desires….
Do you have a World War 1 Era Romance to recommend? Please do!
To vote for the best of the best, go to the Goodreads list: The Great War: Best World War 1 Romances
Check out my Pinterest Board, The Great War, for images of this time period and more recommendations of Romance set in this era.
Here is a timeline from 100 years of World War I: Timeline of The Great War
I pulled out the dates of the countries entering the war. To see more details, click on the link above.
July 28, 1914: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Russia mobilizes two days later in aid of its Serbian ally, setting off a chain reaction among European powers bound by a web of military alliances.
August 1: Both France and Germany declare general mobilizations, Germany declares war on Russia.
August 3: Germany declares war on France, German troops invade neutral Belgium.
August 4: Britain declares war on Germany, joins France, Russia in group known as the Allies.
August 23: Japan declares war on Germany.
November 1: The Ottoman Empire blocks Black Sea access, isolates Russia and joins Austria-Hungary and Germany in a group known as the Central Powers.
May 23: Italy joins the war on the Allied side.
October 5: Allied expeditionary force lands in Salonica, Greece. Bulgaria joins the Central Powers.
June 7: Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire begins with help from Britain.
February 1: Germany launches all-out submarine attacks against Atlantic shipping. The United States cuts diplomatic ties with Berlin.
March 8-15: The first Russian Revolution topples Czar Nicolas II.
April 6: The United States declares war on Germany.
November 5-6: Second Russian revolution, also called October Revolution owing to Russian use of the Julian calendar, brings Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik party to power.
December 9: British forces enter Jerusalem, a month after the Balfour declaration backs the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
September/November: Peak of Spanish flu epidemic that kills at least 20 million people across Europe in two years.
October 30: Ottoman Empire signs an armistice, Austria-Hungary follows on November 3.
November 9: German emperor Wilhelm II abdicates. Demonstrations break out in Berlin.
November 11: Allied Victory. Armistice with Germany takes effect at 11:00 am.