Grayton Beach Affair

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Overview


Christian Wolfe returns to Berlin after being educated in but disenchanted with America. Because of his skills in English and knowledge of America, he is coerced by the German military to locate and extract a high-level German officer imprisoned in a POW camp near the coast on the Gulf of Mexico. Christian witnesses an unusual and violent act by Maggie Neal, a young woman living in Grayton Beach. Suddenly their lives collide, resulting in a death and involvement with the local police. Sparks fly and they have a ...
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Dawsonville, GA 2011 Trade paperback New. No remainder marks. Slight shelf wear. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 315 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview


Christian Wolfe returns to Berlin after being educated in but disenchanted with America. Because of his skills in English and knowledge of America, he is coerced by the German military to locate and extract a high-level German officer imprisoned in a POW camp near the coast on the Gulf of Mexico. Christian witnesses an unusual and violent act by Maggie Neal, a young woman living in Grayton Beach. Suddenly their lives collide, resulting in a death and involvement with the local police. Sparks fly and they have a brief and passionate affair, leaving each with deep but unsettled feelings for the other. Upon returning to France, Christian joins the French Resistance and when he saves an American flyer who offers him a new start in America after the war is over, he seizes it. Arriving in Atlanta, he is determined to find Maggie, but with their relationship founded on death and deception, could they possibly build a future together?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Present day Grayton Beach, a quaint village on the sugary sands of the Florida Gulf Coast, is taken back to the WWII era in this action packed novel. Harvey convincingly weaves together a thrilling tale of espionage and Southern romance, bringing the reader's imagination to life with lucid historical detail.”

— Lindsey Kafonek, Panama City News Herald

“A war story for the men and a love story for the ladies, Grayton Beach Affair combines the action and suspense of war with the passion and romance of a beautiful love story in one compelling novel.  Harvey does an exceptional job of painting a vivid picture of the Southeast U.S. in the 1940's.  From the sleepy seaside town of Grayton Beach to locales throughout Atlanta, it is easy to visualize the setting for this unexpected story of action and romance during WWII.”

— Tracy Louthain, Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council

"It is refreshing to see a beloved place like Grayton Beach portrayed in a work of fiction.  It provides both a historical and cultural context of the area as well as giving the reader a sense of time and place in parallel to one of the most significant World Wars in history.”

— The Thirty-A-Review Magazine

Just when you thought that you knew everything, or had read everything,you could about WWII, along comes something new. For example, I knew that German U-Boats were active off the Jersey Shore but didn’t know that they were very active in the Gulf of Mexico by Florida and Louisiana. I never even thought about a POW camp in the United States until this book came along. Harvey has written a book about cross and double cross, murder, mystery, international intrigue and a shot or two of romance.

The story opens in a Florida of yesteryear when life was a lot simpler. No internet, cell phones or cable TV. What a different world! This world allows the story to proceed without interference.  It is a story that could not happen in today’s world.  I’m not saying that it’s good or bad, just different and interesting.  There are German spies and Prisoners of War. There is a Southern Sheriff who appears not to be bigoted. There are locals who are insulated and caring. There is a black family who is way ahead of the times, as is the main female character!

The story centers on a German American, Christian, who is disillusioned with America and returns to Germany before the start of WWII to help rebuild Germany.  He is pressed into service by Germany and fails in his mission; it is that failure that is the story. Harvey tells the story of this man on two continents while telling the story of the French Resistance. This part of the story is well researched and well written,a little simplistic at times, but well done.

 The female in the story, Margaret, is ahead of her time at times and then again very much in them. For example, she goes to a deserted area of Florida to get over the death of her fiancée, something that young women of the 40’s might not do. In the end, she winds up in a job, secretary to the president of a company, and engaged to the boss’s son, something that would be expected of women in the 40’s. There is a character, John Logan, in the story that is truly evil. Margaret deals with him as a woman in this decade might do. The Sheriff in the story is given a minor role and the murderer in the story is never really brought to justice.  This is the book's only short coming. In retrospect, if the murderer had been brought to justice, it would have been a very different story.

I really enjoyed this book. Harvey has a way of telling a story without making it overly complicated. It is just plain refreshing to read his work.

This review can be found on my blog http://janiesreads.blogspot.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984556403
  • Publisher: T.D. Bailey & Associates
  • Publication date: 1/3/2011
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


James Harvey spent his childhood in southern Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. After earning a law degree and completing a successful career in business, he now lives in northern Georgia. When he isn't writing, he travels the world fly fishing. He is currently working on his next novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A New Favorite!!

    The story takes place in the early 1940's during the time of WWII. Our main character, Christian, was raised in America by his German parents. Christian's parents take a lot of scrutiny for being German during this time and face a lot of prejudice. After his parents die Christian heads to Germany because he feels that he would be able to have a better life there and not have to face the terrible judgment that his parents did.

    Fast forward a couple of years and Christian is a civil engineer living a quiet life in Germany. When he ends up becoming involved with the war he tries to stay out of the spotlight and remain unnoticed. Certain circumstances bring him to light with military officials and they believe he will be useful in a mission in the US because he can speak perfect English and would easily pass for an American. Although Christian is completely against the mission he is forced into it with little choice.

    His mission brings him to Grayton Beach, Florida and he ends up running into Maggie. Maggie's husband was killed in Pearl Harbor and she has escaped to Florida to heal and start over. They don't realize at the time how meeting each other will truly affect their lives.

    The story was told from various points of view though out the book. I normally find this very confusing, but Harvey did it in such a way that made it perfect. The story never could have been told without it. We see things happen through so many eyes. I think this is one of the things that I loved so much about it.

    I could probably gush and gush over my love of the characters. Christian and his charm and overall mannerisms. He had such a heart about him and was always willing to put himself in the line of fire for someone else. Maggie seemed so simple and sweet in the beginning. She ends up becoming such an incredibly strong willed person. She overcomes so much pain and sorrow.

    While the end did leave me wanting more I couldn't have been more happy with the book overall. The story flowed perfectly and I found myself getting more engrossed as the story went on. I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone that is looking for a good adult read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    An amazing book! I loved it!

    I think I am in Love with Christian, the main character in Grayton Beach Affair. It happened so quickly I was not even aware until I realized that I was almost at the end of the book and would have to let him go. Christian is German but was raised in America and even graduated from Georgia Tech. After World War I though, Germans in America faced discrimination and he and his parents were no exception. After his parents died he decided to go back to Germany and start a new life for himself. A German man who speaks english with no accent and can pass as American was very valuable to Germany during World War II. Christian has no choice but to enter the war effort on Germanys behalf. Maggie is a woman who loses her fiance in the attack on Pearl Harbor. She flees to Grayton Beach Florida to try and get herself back together, but her situation gets worse before it gets better. Much worse. She meets another man named John Logan and he is up to no good. I have to admit that I loved Maggie too, in a way. I admired her bravery, her strength and her attitude. I think that she is a woman who is not going to play a victim. She is content to be her own hero if she can. There are some squirm worthy things that happen and I wanted to cheer for Maggie when she did things I wish were legal, but they most decidedly were not. This is one of those books that I want to sit down with you, have a cup of coffee and tell you every amazing detail. I don't want to ruin the story for you though, because it was amazing. Christians mission brings him to Grayton Beach and Maggie is there trying to find her way back to happy. Those two people end up needing each other in so many ways. I thought that I was going to be reading a story about war and devastation. Instead I am quite sure I read a love story that also happened to take place during a war. I read this book in one sitting. I don't mean over the course of a day, I mean I sat on my bed and started page 1 and did nothing else until I finished page 314. I can not promise it will be like this for everybody. There was some rated R content, this one is adults only. I really enjoyed the parts that were about the war, there were not overly long explanations of the specs of WWII aircraft or anything like that. The story stays focused on Christian and Maggie. I might have to get extra copies to lend out because I assure you that I can not part with mine. I know that I am going to read this again one day and love it just as much as the first time. I urge you to give this one a chance! I know it seems a bit outside of the books that are normally on the blogs, but this is at its heart a love story. Or at least I found it to be a love story. Perhaps it is like a painting and you will read it and think it s something else. Either way, it is worth the read to find out. This book makes me wish I were a better writer so that I had the words to convince you to buy this book! BOTTOM LINE: THIS BOOK WAS LIKE A FIRST LOVE; UNEXPECTED, INTENSE, FULL OF SURPRISES AND WONDERFUL! *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Grayton Beach Affair by James Harvey

    War, deceit, a love affair, and more await the reader of "Grayton Beach Affair" by James Harvey. Christian Wolff is an unsettled man who would love nothing more than to stay under everyone's radar and simply live his life. However, war has come to Germany and the things he loves and enjoys are changing. As a German who grew up in America and knows it well, the German hierarchy not only notices him, but they have a job for him to do. He is forced to "volunteer" to extract a German scientist, Dieter Braun, from an American prison camp in southern Florida. After traveling to America via U-Boat, Christian must keep his German heritage secret, find his way to the scientist, and get back to Germany without anyone discovering the plot. But, circumstances conspire against him, as they so often do, and Christian meets a woman named Maggie Neal. They have a brief love affair but Christian leaves, thinking he can leave his feelings for Maggie behind, and reappears in France. There he joins the French resistance and realizes that his life would be better spent in America with Maggie. Will Christian find Maggie? Does she want to be found and, if so, will she ever trust him again? What happened to Dieter Braun, and how did Christian escape being caught by the Germans?

    This is an intriguing book that keeps a reader interested with the story line and characters. I found the story compelling and easy to read, with many thrilling moments of war and love. I recommend this book to lovers of historical or romantic fiction, as well as reading groups. There are some great topics of discussion here. Thank you to Net Galley who made it possible for me to read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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