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When Skies Have Fallen

(When Skies Have Fallen)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  108 reviews
For many in war-torn 1944, love blossoms in the dance hall, and airman Arty Clarke is no exception. He’s a thinker and a dreamer; however, it’s not the beautiful, talented dancer in his arms—his best friend Jean—who inspires his dreams. For when his gaze meets that of Technical Sergeant Jim Johnson, Arty dares to imagine a different dance.

Their love is forbidden, by both t
ebook, 296 pages
Published July 8th 2015 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads (first published July 7th 2015)
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  380 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Oh, Debbie McGowan. Oh, oh, oh.
This is the sweeping story of Artie and Jim, two gay men trying, like everyone else, to survive during WW2. It is obvious right from the start that the author has taken great pains to be historically accurate, giving this epic story validity as a gay historical romance so realistic it will take your breath away.
Have you ever made a snow ball, then rolled it around until it gets bigger and bigger, taking away all the snow and leaving behind only freezing, ruined gr
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just beautiful. This was so much more than I expected.

When Skies Have Fallen is not just the story of two young men meeting and falling in love during WW II but it's also the story of their hard-fought HEA in the aftermath of the war when men who should have been treated as heroes were persecuted because of their love for one another.

I thoroughly enjoyed the development of Arty and Jim's relationship during the war. One English, the other American, they are immediately attracted to one another
5 Stars

Yep, I’m dishing out all the stars for this one.

Beginning in 1944 in war-torn England, and spanning over twenty years, this story follows the epic love shared between British airman Arty Clarke and American Sergeant Jim Johnson.

Their story is one of great romance, but also friendship, loyalty, heartache, injustice and a necessary fight for social change.

I absolutely adored their romance, but I was slightly overcome by many of the situations Arty and Jim faced in this story. Assuming th
Amy Spector
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing

How on earth do you write a review of a story like this?

I won't lie. I cursed Debbie McGowan up and down over the last two days. And seriously wept while reading this book. Not just tears for two fictional characters but for all the real people these two represent.

As I cried I also made a mental list of the people I wanted to read this. Not something I have ever done before.

I love this story. Perhaps more than anything I have read from this author. And that says a great deal because I already
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have read every single one of Debbie McGowan’s books and this one stands head and shoulders above all of them.

In the interests of full disclosure, I feel it prudent to mention that I’m also married to her but that is inconsequential. I’m also probably her fiercest critic.

When Skies Have Fallen is at times, a touching romance, a tear jerker, an emotional roller coaster if you’ll excuse the cliches. But not withstanding, a bloody good read.

It is also however, and in my opinion more importantly
Larry Benjamin
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let me begin this review by saying two things. First, I don’t review many books—I’m a writer, not a book reviewer. But I’m also a reader. And once in a while, often once in too great awhile, I read a book that is different, that offers more than the standard fare, that touches something in me. “When Skies Have Fallen” is exactly such a book.

The second thing is more of a disclaimer. Not only do I consider Deb a friend, she is also my publisher. So to avoid any conflicts of interest, I don’t usual
Kaje Harper
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story is a free gift from the author, and a Lambda award winner. Beginning in WWII, and moving on through some of the post-war years, this tells of the awakening of a young gay man to the possibilities, joys, and pains, of a fully-lived life. I really enjoyed the period feel of the action and language and tone. The emotions have a water-color lightness, and the phrases echo the time and place. These are not modern young gay men set into a frame of the war in England, but men of their times. ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I have words to do this story justice. I love all Debbie McGowan's books, but this one really is outstanding.
What makes it so powerful for me, is the juxtaposition of the writing style with the events being described. It is not written to be bitter or angry, and so this quiet dignity reinforces the ferocious stupidity of ignorance and inequality.
A lot of reviews say this is a devastating story, but for me this was not so much about the guys - because I knew Debbie would bring them
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A review is coming awesomely soon. :D
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even in war, just the simple act of giving oneself over to the music could soothe away every trouble.

Wow, I want to thank the author for this absolutely lovely and great book that she contributed to this year's writing project of the M/M Romance Group.

WHEN SKIES HAVE FALLEN is a free 250 pages long novel about Arty and Jim, set in historic England, and spanning the time from 1944 near the end of WWII until 1967 when being homosexual was no longer prosecuted.

Though Arty and Jim face many challeng
Kade Boehme
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love LOVE historicals. Especially well written, well researched ones. And this was both of those things. I also love stories written around WWII, because it seems like one of those eras we forget in romance. And wow this had some meat on it for a free read from the Love is and Open Road event. Great book, and I definitely recommend it. Although, there was conflict, but I felt like for the time—and as a historical romance enthusiast, here—perhaps not ENOUGH conflict.

But very well done.
Dee Aditya
As I was getting into bed the other night at, blearily rubbing my eyes and mentally listing out the stuff I was going to put off from doing the next day, it suddenly occurred to me that I'm a big fan of Debbie McGowan but I actually haven't read any of her work?????? Like, what???? That was crazy dumb!

So to rectify this grievous error I immediately downloaded a pdf of When the Skies Have Fallen (yes, at 3 am) and then I fell asleep while I was waiting for it to download (I've have very spot
Victoria Zagar
I'm a huge sucker for WWII historicals, so when I saw this listed on the Love Is An Open Road page, I was very excited to read it. What I didn't expect was to read it cover to cover in two sittings overnight. I just couldn't put it down.

The real strength of this book is its characters. Not only do our main characters, Arty and Jim, come to life as very three-dimensional, believable people, but the cast of supporting characters is rich and diverse, adding their own stories and personal struggles
Ofelia Gränd
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’m not a person who reads historicals, and I tend to avoid war—especially the Second World War. That being said this is one of the most amazing books I’ve read in a long time. Debbie had me crying…several times. How she managed to write this story within the timeframe of DRitC is beyond me. I can’t even phantom the amount of research she must’ve done. Fantastic!

Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was marvelous. I cried, it was angsty for sure but is really one of the most amazing love stories I've read. Through WWII, the persecution, horrific unfair punishments, fear and hiding, these men's love persevered and my heart is so full right now.
The narration was hard to get used to at first, but as it went on I found it fit, is like listening to an old record. Tim Hillborne transported me there.
What a great story!
Two guys from different sides of the pond meet because of the war and fall in love. This is a story of their journey and of the struggles they went through during the war and after. All the research that must have gone into the writing of this book made it so very believable. As I read it, I felt like a movie was being played out in my mind. i really enjoyed it AND it's a free read! Can't get better than that.
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay, ebook
What a great romantic story - two guys fall in love during WW2 and maintain their love for each other through ups and downs until being gay is no longer a criminal offence.

This story is driven by a strong narrative, great characters, realistic events and good writing - it's great.

At the end I had a tear in my eye, as the ending is sweet, true and heartbreaking.

Loved it.
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Wow. Wow. WOW.

It is safe to say I have never cursed an author as much as I did Debbie McGowan when I was reading this book. (view spoiler) Whe
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: free, mm, dritc
Some books entertain. Some make you feel. Some make you think. Then there are those cherished stories, the ones that burrow deep, that offer all three. This is such a story. Beautifully crafted with an attention to historical detail that enriches and truly brings Arty and Jim’s world to life.

Theirs is a world ravaged by war and rife with social injustice made worse (or possible) by cruelty or ignorance or just plain apathy. It is also a world in which the light of hope flickers like a beacon th
This was absolutely fabulous. Falling in love amidst the terrors of WWII, knowing their love is criminal in the eyes of the law, but finding support in amazing friends and family members, Jim and Arty do what they have to do to stay together. Utterly brilliant in the emotional writing, this took my breath away.

Free from the M/M Romance group's Love Is An Open Road event.

My gratitude to the author.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh the feels...
This book is delightful.
From the characters to the scene setting to the story to the heart break to the emotion tugging on my heartstrings.
It's beautiful and so much more than I expected.
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

When Skies Have Fallen is a very optimistic historical gay romance despite it being set during and after World War II. It's a story filled with enough kindness to heal wounds.

What I liked the most is the overflowing positivity this book radiated when it came to Arty and Jim's relationship. They loved bravely and truthfully and had adequate support from some of the people dearest to them.

I really enjoyed this book, but I think it could've been better if the first half of i
Beautifully written freebie from Debbie, published in 2015 under the Goodreads Love is an Open Road banner, and unfortunately buried on my kindle ever since. 🙁

Set in WWII and going forward until 1967, when the Sexual Offences Act in the UK decriminalised homosexual acts in private between 2 men over the age of 21. We meet Arty, a young RAF mechanic, and Jim, over in the UK with the US Army, who spot each other across a crowded dance hall. 😍😍 I'm not going into any more detail, I can only highly
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This historical WWII didn't break my heart in the same way that the previous ones from the same time period did. The war and the suffering didn't rip me open and leave me heaving. No, this one accomplished that showing the non war related suffering and persecution from the time. Arty & Jim were such vividly alive characters and it was an honor to go on this journey (no matter how hard in places) with them. Special mention of how wonderful the side characters were here. From friends to siblin ...more
Jor Barrie
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found it an incredibly moving story and a stark reminder of how difficult life was for gay people when being homosexual was against the law.
And yet, even nowadays so many LGBTQ+ people are still living a lie -even here in Britain- just to 'fit in' and not to upset friends or loved ones. We still have a long way to go...
When Skies Have Fallen show us how live can survive and blossom against all odds.

Definitely one of my all-time favourites!
3.5 stars.
This book was very well written.
It was beautiful and captivating, and I just loved every minute of the first half of the story.
The second half, though, which is about the years that followed ww2, was slow moving, and uneventful.
It picked up again in the last 10% or so, and all in all it was a beautiful story about true love, that is not based or even ignite, by lust.
It's about love that stands tall in the face of war, of hate, of distance, of illness...
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
3.5 stars

This reminded me a lot of Kaje Harper's Into Deep Waters. Two guys meet during WWII, fall in love and decide to make a life together. One gets injured near the end of the war. We see them as they grow older, living through the various social and political changes and victories for gay rights. They get cats. And that's pretty much where the similarities end.

Arty and Jim are air force technicians, Arty for the Brits, Jim for the Americans. They first see each other at a dance hall, where
This is a truly epic story that takes us through Arty and Jim's life together. They meet at a dance during WW II when both of them can't help notice each other across the dance floor. Both of them are stationed at the same base in England. Arty is British, Jim an American stationed overseas. From there, they work to find time together to get to know each other, falling in love as they do. They receive help and cover by a wonderful secondary character in Jean, Arty's competitive dance partner, wh ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In this story, we go on a lifetime journey with best friends Jim, and Arty, and; Jean, and Charlie. The main characters this story are Jim, and Arty, who are in love, and can't show the world that they are because it's forbidden. This is 1944, and both are in the military. A well written story, with well developed characters. I loved the storyline. Its no wonder that this story won an award. 5 Stars.
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