Healing is impossible in loneliness. – Wendell Berry
George Johnson is a man whose soul bears a heavy burden, weighted by the yoke of shame and self-recrimination, so deeply scarred by an event in his youth that even years later its aftermath leaves George running frightened from the man he once was, the man he was born as, a man who no longer exists. A man who was branded a coward.
Meeting Matthew Connaught was synchronicity and irony and destiny all rolled up into a single monumental turning-point for George. Matthew is a veteran of World War I, and a part of him was left behind on the battlefield as a permanent reminder of his sacrifice, but his scars don’t serve only as proof of how much Matthew gave. They serve as proof of how much he has survived.
Dulce et Decorum Est is indeed a terribly sweet and touching historical romance that first appeared in the 2010 Dreamspinner Advent Anthology Naughty or Nice. It is a story of a forbidden love and of a family’s affirmation, and is a story of courage, even when that courage is born in fear. It is a story of truth and of the wisdom in knowing when to run away and when to stand still and just be with the one who makes you feel whole again. Matthew was the light in George’s darkness, and I just couldn’t help but to embrace them.