As many of you know, I am a huge history buff, and by far my favorite is military history. I am a sucker for war-time love stories and so today I bring to you a new love story set during World War II in Guam.
Please welcome to the Yellow Book Road… Paula Quinene and her historical romance, Conquered.
The Japanese have bombed and left Pearl Harbor, but several hours later, they bombed and occupied Guam– the only American soil to have been taken by the enemy. After almost three years of brutal occupation, on July 21, 1944, Guam’s liberation was imminent. Jesi, a native girl, would have suffered at the hands of the Japanese if not for Johan, an American soldier bent on putting himself in harm’s way.
Conquered is an erotic historical romance of a young woman and an embittered soldier. It’s a story about war, hope, faith, and love, and the spirit of the Chamorro people.
An excerpt from Conquered
Staff Sergeant Johan Landers left his tent and walked toward the railing on the port side of the ship. With his back against the rail, he looked left. The bow was blocked by a chimney and the quarterdeck. He looked right. The gun turrets didn’t completely obstruct his view of the stern. It never failed to amaze Johan that these ships were much longer than a football field. Some ships were built twice as long. Soldiers and equipment were packed so close together on the deck Johan felt as if he were training in the deserts of Arizona. He turned to look out at the ocean.
Johan pressed his hips into the metal. Mount Sasalaguan is at the center of southern Guam. Johan checked the time; it was 0140. The glass and frame of the Bunn Special sparkled when it caught one of the lights on the ship. The silver-cased watch was the only keepsake he had from his old life. It was a gift from his grandfather who had worked the railroads that ran through the Catskill Mountains. It was a pocket watch, Pops had said. Johan cleaned the glass with his thumb, and a smile touched one corner of his mouth….
He crossed his arms on his chest and filled his lungs with air. Soon, even sleep would be tinged with thoughts of battle, a welcomed retreat from the nightmares he’d had since losing Lily. Johan shouldn’t have bothered with his mother and father that day. If I had left on time. The ache in his heart threatened to consume him. They should’ve just let me die.
Yellow Book Road’s Review
First of all I’d like to give credit to the author, Paula Quinene, for writing a subject that is barely ever, if at all used in historical fictions: Guam during World War II. I’ve studied history – a lot – and have never read about Guam’s experience during the war. Secondly, Paula is a native of Guam, and writing this book in English has taken her ten years to write and produce. She never gave up her dream to have her story told. For that alone, I praise you Paula. Lastly, I know first hand how difficult it is to write a war-based romance and pull it off. Men want the blood and guts, soldiers will correct you on the right wording (like the difference between C-ration and MREs), and women just want the romance… that’s what problems I went through when writing Beneath the Wall, a Vietnam War historical romance. In the end, it’s what the author wants the story to be that makes it wonderful.
With all that said, this was a pretty darn good book. I loved the history, loved learning about a subject I never read before, and loved the romance between Johan and Jesi. It has a very real-life feel to it. You can feel the heat, taste the coconut (and there’s a lot of coconut), and see the world that Jesi lives in very clearly.
Like I mentioned above, though, the author’s second language is English, so there is a bit of a barrier there. It makes for a little difficult reading, but to me, it makes the story more authentic, like Jesi is telling the story herself.
So if you like a beautiful love story, and history on a barely seen time in the world, then please check it out.
PS. I realize the cover says that it’s an erotic tale… I don’t know who came up with that one, but it’s not erotic – at least not in my eyes. Erotic to me is kinky stuff, 50 Shades junk… this is not that at all or anything close to that. The characters do have a loving and healthy relationship, but nothing erotic. If it were a movie, it would be rated R, not in the NC-17 or X range. Sexy, but not disgusting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paula Quinene was born and raised on Guam. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 1997 with a bachelor’s of science in Exercise & Movement Science, hoping to return to the island as an anatomy teacher.
A resident of North Carolina since 2000, Paula’s homesickness – or “mahalangness” – has motivated Paula to write A Taste of Guam, Remember Guam, both cookbooks, and her first novel, Conquered.
You can visit Paula on her website:
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