The World War II gay romance Pink Triangle was released by the Writers in Crime in October 2020.
Cover art: Book Cover zone
Fearing and Desiring the enemy… Sometimes you can’t choose who you love.
Oslo, April 1945
Paul Hartmann is a handsome, free-spirited Norwegian in the prime of his life, but he doesn’t fit the German occupant ideology simply because he’s gay. And so, when the Gestapo catches him for producing illegal propaganda, he’s tortured and threatened to be sent to a concentration camp with a pink triangle sewn on his shirt, the symbol for homosexuals.
It will take great courage and mind-blowing circumstances of luck, as the Führer commits suicide and the end of the war seems nearer by the day, for Paul to avoid his death transport to Germany.
And it will take the growing attraction of the Gestapo commander himself to regain his full freedom—and capture his heart.
#WWII #Gay #Romance
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Shortly after release, Pink Triangle reached #53 on Amazon’s bestseller list “LGBT Historical Fiction”.
In November, it was voted “Book of the Month, Readers’ Choice” for October 2020 at the TBR Pile review site.
Then in December, it was nominated for “Book of the Year 2020, Readers’ Choice” at the TBR Pile review site.
In January 2021, it won “Best Erotica Novel” at the Critters Annual Readers’ Poll 2020.
A MUST READ
The year is 1945 and Paul is caught selling propaganda. After horrible torture, he’s left broken and trying to survive. The pink triangle represents the image sown on his shirt to show others he’s gay (I had no idea about this!). As the war begins to come to a close, Paul is still left struggling but also fighting a growing attraction to the commander, Stefan.
Well. Hmm. F*ck. That was a crazy, intense, amazing book! I find books and movies in this time frame fascinatingly horrible. It still stuns me the atrocities committed. I have yet to read a gay story set in this time so that was a unique twist. I do have to say that cover did the book no justice and it definitely didn’t pull me in.
Paul. Oh God Paul. That poor man. All their circumstances were unimaginable so it’s hard to say how a person would react, especially now a days. This story brought up so many questions and opinions which shows you how great the plot is. Then throw in the romance and my mind was blown. The author did a freaking amazon job with Stefan and Paul. It wasn’t instant love, there were so many complications and yet, I really felt that connection grow.
A must read. Stop what you’re doing. Go buy Pink Triangle.
– Bella, The TBR Pile
Lea Bronsen’s Pink Triangle certainly proved be something you never experienced before. I had my fair share of ww2 books, so it’s not easy to show me something new. But a story placed in Norway? Sign me up. I’m fairly sure most of us have little knowledge of this northern country. So if you want something new, placed in someplace we hadn’t had much chance to read/learn about, this novel is for you too.
Reasons why I like this story
– I liked both of the main characters. Paul is unyielding, even when facing threats and mortal peril in the eye. He won’t lie about himself, not under pressure nor torture. At the beginning Stefan despite being faithful to the Nazi regime, and a brute when it comes to treating/interrogating prisoners, under the influence of Paul he undergoes an immense character development trough the book.
– Placed in Norway (I really like this country, it’s a prominent point on my bucket list to get there at least once)
– An original way of describing character arcs
– Shows the human side, fallibility of the characters, for example Stefan’s weak/coward moments, the way Paul surrenders to his mother until he learns to stand up for himself
– Paul and Stefan’s fight for each other, their courage and desperate resolve to save the other
– Everyday heroism and the will for repair the wrongs of the past
– And finally the Feelings slowly building and blooming into something beautiful.
If you want a thrilling, slow burning, roller-coaster of fear and love, a story placed onto the occupied Norway during ww2, this book is for you. If you harbor stronger or minor reservations about war-stories, you have nothing to fear from this one. The brutalities of the world war are not too explicitly described, but keep in mind that there are some rough/harsh scenes of interrogation and torture. If you can digest that, don’t miss this book.
– S.A. Locryn
LOVE THIS AUTHOR
I haven’t read many WWII set MM love stories and really didn’t know what to expect. I really enjoyed this book, I wish there was a book 2.
Stefan is a hard character to like at first, for obvious reasons, but he really changes by the end of their story and that is all Paul. Paul was in the wrong place at the right time and gets picked up by the Gestapo, which leads him to Stefan.
Paul hasn’t had it easy without the SS involvement, his mom is piece of work and not exactly loving. Believe it or not Stefan ends up being one of the best things to happen to Paul.
Slow burn some angst, but ends in an HEA.
– Tammy Rufo
LOVELY HISTORICAL FICTION MALE ROMANCE
It’s April of 1945 in Olso, Norway nearing the end of WWII.
Paul is such a sweet, strong and kind hearted young man I loved him immediately. Stefan on the other hand, is a hard, unyielding, German officer who’s trying to follow his orders until he meets the kindness of Paul. Things start changing for Stefan after that and it was lovely to watch it evolve.
The way Lea describes Norway, especially the scenery near the end of the book is breathtaking.
I can just imagine all 151 trees growing and blowing in the breeze.
– Janis Frisch
I can just imagine how many gay people were killed during the war ,in the time 1945 you could not voice your opinion you were either killed outright or sent to prison camp were you were starved and abused this couple were very lucky but not everyone is this book shows what probably happened during the war in Germany,,, I read this book for for my honest opinion about this book
– Jeanine Beaulieu St Pierre
Set during the time of the WW2, this is a compelling forbidden romance between two men on different sides of the law.
Paul Hartmann is a young man living in the prime of his life. He is shy and kind and keeps his homosexuality a secret and his proclivities discreet.
But it so happens when he is engaging in a particularly unsolicited rendezvous for a bit of cash, he is caught in the crossfires by the German police no less.
Arrested for producing illegal propaganda he is threatened to be sent to a concentration camp for homosexuals.
As Paul gets aquainted with the German commander Stefan Heimlich, they realize that they have more in common than they originally thought.
Through facing toxic ideologies and overcoming the worst of circumstances.
Will Paul and Stefan find courage to acknowledge the growing attraction between them in a time of war and where love between two men is considered forbidden?
I have not read many romances set during the time of WW2, but I am in awe of this one.
The author beautifully captures the authenticity of the story by infusing German dialogue in the narrative.
The characters were real, relatable and well fleshed out.
I feel the story could have been better with a little more romance, but keeping in mind the author’s perspective, I feel they wanted to make it more raw, real and gritty because real life is no fairytale especially during a time like WW2.
Overall, this was quite captivating and kept me engaged right from the very first page.
A must read if you like a raw and real romance set at the time of WW2.
– Rachel Reed
Unusual and well-written WWII romance, with a very different POV — that of a gay man in Norway, facing persecution and the threat of concentration camps — when he meets and falls in love with a Nazi officer!
I’ve read 1000 WWII romances, but never one from this angle….gays & lesbians were persecuted as much by the Nazi regime as Jews, Roma, the disabled — but we rarely hear their stories. Presumably many or most did not survive the death camps.
The term “Pink Triangle” refers to the badges that Nazis forced gay men to wear — yellow stars for Jews, black triangles for lesbians — each persecuted group had a special insignia.
This novel also gives an interesting view of Norway under Nazi occupation — something I was not familiar with — obviously great suffering, hunger, deprivation and persecution — but in an unusual location.
It’s a daring move to make a Nazi commander into your “love interest”, and author Lea Bronsen tackles this fearlessly — she manages to make Stefan Heimlich a sympathetic character against all odds. The protagonist, Paul, is an engaging and openly gay man at a time and in an era when this was not widely accepted at all.
I think this is a gutsy and very original subject for an erotic romance novel, and it is well worth reading for all these reasons — unusual setting (Norway during occupation), unusual characters, unusual but believable romance and plenty of erotic tension!
Bronsen is a fine writer, who takes the time to develop each character and their backstory, even Paul’s parents….so that in under 100 pages, she accomplishes what many authors fail to do in 1000 pages….make us identify with and care for the main characters and root for their romance to survive the war and thrive afterwards. It isn’t too hard to imagine a sequel to “Pink Triangle”, set in the post-war era and where the two lovers must continue to struggle to love one another at a time when homosexuality was still considered “sinful” and outside of social norms.
– Laurel Freeder
A GRIPPING AND WELL-WRITTEN WAR ROMANCE
‘Pink triangle’ is an unique story set in the last stages of WW2 as Hitler’s empire collapsed. It follows a lost but strong, determined and patriotic Norwegian -Paul as he is captured by the German Secret police and crosses paths with the high commander-Stefan.
The story starts off with a bit of enemies to lovers vibe as Stefan is enraptured by Paul’s courage, bravery in the face of threat and physical beatings and from there follows a story of forming a bond despite varied ideologies, the power of humanity and love and in a way, to also pay for one’s mistakes.
”His look was earnest and direct and complete, like he considered Paul for the first time, really saw him. Like a man. An equal. A friend. Or maybe something more, from the length of the stare and its intensity, as though he used his eyes to tell Paul unspeakable things.”
The writing flows well and the plot is very engaging and though I would have loved a touch more of romance at the end, I think it would have been inappropriate considering the plot.
Paul’s character stands out throughout. His struggles, his internal dilemma when it comes to his growing attraction towards Stefan as well as anger towards the atrocities of the Nazis. Stefan’s character is hard to love at the start ( which I think is a risky but well thought out decision by the author) as he portrays the true image of Nazi tyranny, but towards the end of the book, one can see how much he has changed for the better after Paul points out the wrong doings and the path to what is right. Loved how Paul hits him with the truth in an unforgiving way.
Recommend to fans of war and enemies-to-lovers romances.
ARC received in exchange of a honest review.
– Shweta’s Reviews
GRIM, IPRESSIVE NARRATIVE
Norway, April 26th, 1945 Its war.
Paul got arrested by the Germans when he tried to make some money with a guy.
He will be sent to Germany with dead in prospect. Homosexual acts are forbidden by the German law.
But first, they want information from Paul about the other guy.
Stefan Heimlich, a high ranked officer, is abusive, he wants information from Paul. Only Paul is stubborn and shows his hate and disgust for the Germans.
But there is an undeniable spark. Stefan even helps Paul to escape and hide.
With the fall of Germany in perspective, everything changes.
Paul’s life is hard, living with a heartless mother. His connection with Stefan braves him.
With his father entering his life, who accepts him wholeheartedly, he knows what to do with his life and with Stefan. Maybe the impossible is possible.
When I look at this story very closely it’s an absolutely impressive story. The circumstances are grim and palpable. It’s vividly written, I was there and could hear and see it all clearly, it felt authentic. The attraction between the men was delicate, fragile.
When I look at this story from a distance I had some trouble with the situation. Somehow regret wasn’t enough at this point. I’m not sure what would. But that’s me.
I read this story in one sit. It was well developed, I guess a lot of research is done.
This author is skilled in every way.
– True Love is Love Reviews
I read this ebook in one quick sitting. It’s an easy read, and it keeps you wanting more. It did not go where I thought it would, and it’s definitely a slow burn. I enjoyed the quick flow of the story but I was not entirely convinced with the characterisation. Paul and Stefan were not complex enough to me and failed to fully resolve the redemption theme, a trope I personally love!
I guess I would have liked more finesse and depth within the story and the writing, but overall it’s an emotional ride, that simply requires you to suspend your disbelief, in order to accept decisions made by the protagonists.
If you are an M/M and WWII era reader you should enjoy this book.
Thanks to these lovely bloggers for hosting the release!
Jennifer Macaire ~ Tenderly Wicked ~ Wendi Zwaduk ~ Iyana Jenna ~ Susy Shearer ~ Sexy Romance Novels ~ Lucy Felthouse ~ Allyson Young ~ Dulce Dennison ~ Thea Landen ~ Spice of Life Romance ~ Elodie Parkes ~ Written Butterfly ~ Pick A Genre Already ~ Lynn Burke ~ Double Author Services ~ Aubrey Wynne ~ Gale Stanley ~ Celia Breslin