In His Arms by Edward von Behrer

91TujtEnMlL._SL1500_Title: In His Arms

Series: N/A

Author: Edward von Behrer

Genre: Historical (20th cent)

Length: Novel

Publisher: Bookbaby (May 13th, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Blurb: Twenty-seven year old William Brandt could not have been happier in March 1910. He was finally living in New York City, on the verge of getting a job as a teacher, and reveling in all The Big Apple offered. But then a freak accident in Central Park brought handsome, wealthy Elliot Reid into his life—and William’s world was thrown into chaos. The more two men explore their overwhelming desires for each other, the more the differences between them—plus the times in which they live—seem to make their life together impossible.

Then urgent business forces Elliot to go to Germany for several months, and he persuades William come along as the tutor for Elliot’s nephew, eight-year-old Robert. In Dresden William blossoms, and soon he is being courted by a wealthy young widow, which throws Elliot into a panic. The more frightened Elliot becomes of losing the man he loves, the more he withdraws, and the more William fears he has no alternative but to stay in Dresden—without the man he loves. But attending the world premiere of Richard Strauss’s newest opera, Der Rosenkavalier, forces both men to realize they can no longer run from the only thing that truly matters in the world: their love.

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Pixie’s Review:  ♥♥♥2.5 – 3 Hearts

William finds bliss and happiness in New York from unexpected quarters. A day out with his cousin George places William in the path of banker Elliot and their attraction cannot be ignored, but finding happiness is harder than both of them thought. With drama, angst, plots, potential intrigue, and a wealth of history, a love story unfolds.

This is one of those stories that begin brilliantly, but gets lost in itself along the way. The story has a very strong start and a wonderful buildup, but then fizzles out. only to renew itself in a new setting before losing itself again. Let me explain… William and Elliot met briefly when William was knocked over in the park by Elliot’s brother-in-law. Neither man can get the other off their minds, eventually they reconnect, beginning a relationship, they both enjoy. Elliot has had a life of privilege and doesn’t really understand William’s need for independence. But, William fully understands the difference in their social classes and Elliot’s duty to his family name. This causes some friction between them, but it gets sorted out between them. But, the threat to discovery still lingers, when Elliot’s brother-in-law starts plotting against him and Elliot’s potential fiancée begins to dig into why Elliot won’t propose… and then the storyline fizzles out when Elliot and William go to Europe.

That is when the next part of the story begins and this time it is mainly Elliot who angsts as William blossoms with new friends and Elliot begins to think that he will lose him to the lure of an easier life in Dresden. The relationship between the two is good. it shows the difficulty of the two men even being friends from two different social settings and the expectations they both have as to what to expect from the other. They have a rocky time together, as William angsts over what would happen to him if Elliot ever got bored with him. and then later Elliot angsts over William not needing him so much. 

The settings of the story are beautifully described and you get pulled into the beauty that is described and the vivid descriptions that are laid out for us. But, even that can’t make up for the disappointment you feel over the unsatisfying plot and the unfinished storyline. There was so much potential for the drama, confrontations, and secrets, but they just stopped dead leaving me frustrated and hoping it would be revisited. But the story took a turn where misunderstandings and silence dominated. And although I enjoyed the descriptions of the opera, it was done just a bit too much towards the end and it began to bore me. 

I recommend this to those who love historicals, forbidden love, crossing social settings, potential intrigue and a happy for now ending. 

Thommie’s Review:  ♥1Heart

I am highly disappointed from this book. It started so well and the descriptions were so nice to get you right at the heart of the start of 20th century industrial revolution. William’s excitement was nearly catching and I couldn’t wait for the real story and the romance to start, but it failed me quickly and unceremoniously.

First of all, there was the incredible amount of typographic and grammar errors that made the entire experience a horrible nightmare. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve read a published book in such a bad state. It felt as if the book was a first draft and hasn’t even gone through a first-hand proofreading. All the enticing descriptions and the beautiful operas that we got introduced in here were lost; Lost in a sea of eye numbing errors.

Furthermore, the story itself went way out of hand. The story follows William, a man of no social rank who by sheer fortune and of course intellect managed to land a scholarship and have a good education. Yet he is still a nobody at the high circles of 1910 New York. An accident brings him face to face with the most enticing man he’s met and he experiences a deep truth inside him, that he’s attracted to men. No, not just any man, but Elliot Reed of the Reed family in New York. A series of event leads to the two men having a relationship, a first one for William, in which he falls headfirst and with utter lack of inhibitions.

But things get somehow intense when a young lady Elliot had been courting finds their “friendship” quite odd and resolves to investigate it, in addition to Elliot’s brother in law who is hell bound to make Elliot miserable and destroy anything that makes him happy.

And this is exactly where the story went off hands. There is this huge build up that lead you to believe that things are about to happen from these quarters. You expect intrigues, drama, outing, and angst… You get nothing. Absolutely nothing!

 A business deal forces Elliot to travel to Europe and he proposes William to go with him as his nephew’s tutor by day, his lover by night. I expected some dramatic events to follow this but, heh, I really should stop doing that. The three of them went to Europe and beside the enormous education on Strauss’ opera’s and classical music we received, the plot itself was from lukewarm to downright boring.

William felt much more at home in the Old World society. He became the object of interest for a Countess’s niece and Elliot felt unneeded. That cause some drama for the pair that resolved itself after the love lesson they got from hearing Strauss’ opera Der Rosenkavalier.

So I’m left wonder why on Earth did the author build up all that backstage drama with Potter and Missy back in New York and in the end what was the point of this book, besides showing us how much of a classic fan the author is? I know there is a bitterness leaking through my words, but after two days reading a book that should have taken only few hours if it was properly polished, and after all that headache those errors brought to me I’m not feeling too generous.

End result I did not like the book at all, poorly executed and pointless in my opinion. The rating it got was solely for the wonderful description of Dresden and the Der Rosenkavalier opera.