They Bled Orange

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Pub Date 05 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 05 Apr 2023

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A family divided. A war-torn continent. An impossible journey.

In the thick of World War II, Nora Brouwer is the Resistance's most valuable asset. But when her cover is blown in a botched execution, her life is in grave danger. She must leave Amsterdam immediately and embark on a perilous journey across war-torn Europe, fighting to stay out of the Nazis' clutches.

Meanwhile, Floris Brouwer—the city's top Jew hunter and Nora's husband, is hell-bent on exacting revenge on his traitorous wife. As he faces deportation to the very camps he had sent hundreds of Jews to, he seizes a lifeline to avoid certain death, but the cost is unimaginable.

Christiaan Brouwer, Nora's brother-in-law, is stuck in Switzerland, his heart aching as he hears news of his homeland's brutal Nazi occupation. When he's offered the chance to escort a downed British pilot back to England and join the Allied forces, he knows he must take it, even if it means risking everything, including the life of his Jewish girlfriend, Lisa.

Will Nora make it to safety, or will she be caught and face certain death? Will Floris succeed in his mission of vengeance, or will his past catch up with him? And will Christiaan and Lisa make it through Nazi-occupied France, or will they fall prey to the enemy? Only time will tell in this gripping story of life during the war.

You can’t save them all, but you might save yourself...

From London to the Eastern Front, the Orphans of War trilogy's second installment is a heart-stopping tale of conflicting loyalties, ever-present danger, and the will to survive at all costs.

A family divided. A war-torn continent. An impossible journey.

In the thick of World War II, Nora Brouwer is the Resistance's most valuable asset. But when her cover is blown in a botched execution...

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Featured Reviews

this was a great sequel in the Orphans of War series, it had what I enjoyed from the first book. Michael Reit has a great writing style that I was hoping would continue. The characters worked well in the time-period and I was invested in what was going on. It worked well in the historical genre.

"Nicolas gracefully inclined and shook his head. “I’d like to believe you would do the same for me if the roles were reversed. I’m happy you’re moving on tomorrow. I’ll feel much better knowing you’ve safely made it to Brussels. They’ll arrange papers for you there, and then you should have no trouble making it through France.” He set down his glass and picked up his spoon. “Now, eat, before it gets cold.”

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I am always hesitant to read books set in my home country because I'm always scared the author won't 'get it right', but after loving the first installment of this series I decided to continue. I really loved this book. The pacing was great and I really, really love Reit's prose. It also seems to be pretty historically accurate.

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Once again WW2 historical fiction is brought to us, this time, in this riveting account of courageous men and women of Dutch descent who dissented and rebelled against the evil of the Nazi occupation in their country. They were people who desparately wanted to undermine and overthrown the occupiers. Nora, Christiaan, Marcel, Jean Weidner, and Lars were among these book characters representing true-to-life heroes of those times. Dutch traitors also abounded, represented by cruel and evil men such as Floris and Hans.

This book is a sequel to Orphans of War, and is part of a trilogy. Potential readers may wish to read the books in order because although They Bled Orange (the second in the series) can be a stand alone story, I suspect readers may find it helpful to have read the first in the series beforehand as I felt there were some slight 'mis-connections' that would have linked this one more adroitly had I read it.

Generally speaking, this has been a very good read and I'd hightly recommend it.

~Eunice C., Reviewer/Blogger~

March 2023

Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the complimentary review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.

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Review of Advance Reader Copy eBook

In Amsterdam, Nora Brouwer hardly recognizes her husband, Floris. For the past four months, the police officer has been held by the Resistance and Nora realizes that, although she’d hoped he’d changed, Flor is still a vicious Nazi determined to send the Jewish people away to die in the faraway camps.

However, Nora tells him that he will die tomorrow.

But Fate provides an opportunity and Floris is able to escape, leaving Nora’s life in danger. Floris’s escape means that Nora, a valuable Resistance asset, must leave Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, his brother, Christiaan, continues his work with the resistance; now he and his girlfriend, Lisa Abrahams, will escort a downed British RAF pilot back to England.

As the Resistance continues its work, will the revenge-seeking Floris find Nora? Or will she escape? Will Christiaan and Lisa
be captured by the enemy?

And what of the work of the brave members of the Resistance?


“They Bled Orange” [presumably a reference to the Dutch program Radio Oranje that was broadcast to the German-occupied Netherlands during the Second World War] continues the author’s trilogy that began with “The Orphans of War.” Although this is the second book in the series, there is sufficient backstory for readers new to the series.

Well-developed characters and a strong sense of place anchor the telling of this tale. Filled with suspense, the unfolding story follows Nora, Floris, Christiaan, and Lisa, involving them in historically accurate events.

This compelling account of the Dutch Resistance and their efforts against the Nazis occupying their country reveals the courage of many civilians who fought behind the lines. This is a well-told tale, but readers may find that the horror of the Nazi regime and the depiction here of the war crimes committed make for difficult reading.

However, this historically accurate tale is a tribute to the brave heroes who stood against the Nazi evil and the horror perpetrated against the Dutch people.

Highly recommended.

I received a free copy of this eBook from The Book Whisperer and NetGalley
#TheyBledOrange #NetGalley

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Christiaan and his girlfriend had to leave Amsterdam or risk capture. They made their way to England and, within a short time, he accepted Queen Wilhelmina’s request to return to the Netherlands to unite members of the Resistance. Christiaan knew this would be an extremely dangerous undertaking but believed it could be done.

When Floris escaped, Nora had to flee for her life. She wanted to be reunited with Christiaan in England, but had to find a way out of the Netherlands to France where she would have to cross the Pyrenees Mountains on foot, and get visas from both Spain and Portugal. Once in Portugal she could make her way to England. Nora is determined to see Christiaan again and will climb any barrier set before her to do so.

Forced to fight against the Russians on the Eastern Front to avoid a prison sentence, Floris finds life as a soldier to be extremely difficult. Germany had suffered many casualties, and the Russians had overrun their lines many times. Morale was low, but the Nazis still found time to execute thousands of Jewish prisoners in cold blood.

In this second installment, readers are introduced to a bloodier side of the war where torture, death and murder are described in detail. However, the execution of Jewish prisoners on the Eastern Front stood out in stark detail. There was something about this that bothered me. I will talk about it at the end of this review as a spoiler alert. So, if you don’t want to see it, stop reading here. Otherwise, scroll down after you read the book and let me know if you also question this turn of events.

Recommended for Adults.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

**************SPOILER ALERT************SPOILER ALERT*************SPOILER ALERT*******

**************SPOILER ALERT************SPOILER ALERT*************SPOILER ALERT*******

Floris has always been a cold-hearted lover of the Reich and hater of all things Jewish. The author hinted he began having a change of heart when his life was saved by a Jewish man. However, I found it hard to believe a true Nazi lover like him had mercy for the Jewish prisoners executed in cold blood. Perhaps the author could enlighten me about why Floris suddenly developed a conscience.

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They Bled Orange tells the stories of multi-characters from Amsterdam as they all have different roles throughout WW2. Nora, Christiaan, Lisa, and Floris.

They all play different roles. One is attempting to escape Nazi-Occupied Amsterdam and is traveling with a small group to get to England. The other is a traitor to his country and has single-handedly turned in and arrested most of the Jewish population. The other two escape Amsterdam and begin working for the resistance and for the British.

It shows a different view and perspective to WW2 and I truly enjoyed this book. The authors dedication and pride to his characters shows through the dialogue and interactions amongst the characters.

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A compelling continuation of the story of resistance during World War 2. The story follows three family members on their journey through the difficulties faced. One member of the resistance has escaped to freedom but is being tasked to return to his home country to serve as spy and reset communication. A woman in the resistance who is forced to flee the county after her ss serving husband escapes death at the hands of the resistance. Meanwhile, the husband finds life after capture isn't what he expects and finds himself serving at the front lines. I can't wait to read the third installment of this series later this year! Highly recommend this book to readers of ww2 historical fiction.

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Michael Reit did it again. And if by some chance you are reading this Michael, you embarrassed me at the Dr's office. I finished the book and yelled out loud, "What?! Really?! Are you serious?!" I had to explain to a couple people that I didn't think the book was ending yet. I'm glad to see there will be another out this year!

Michael has turned into one of my favorite authors. I received an email about the book. I didn't have much time to pay attention to who wrote it or what it was about. I knew I wanted to read it. I was thrilled when I got home and saw not only that he was the author, but it was a sequel to Orphan's of War.

If you have the time, I would suggest reading Orphan's of War. If you don't, that's fine. The author refers to happenings from the 1st book, making it an easy follow and a nice refresher for those of us that have already read it.

We continue to follow the fight for freedom with main characters Nora and her brother in law, Christian along with his fiancé, Lisa. They are part of the Resistance, always in danger of being found out.

Nora's husband, Floris is the enemy. We also follow his journey from capture by the Resistance to his escape. I won't say more on that and spoil your read.

There are tons of reviews with details, so I won't repeat what others have already said. I suggest you get your copy and pre-order if you can!

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Survive at All Costs

Courage, action and vengeance. Resistance workers in Amsterdam help many Jewish people to escape to safety and guide downed pilots through their network back to England.

The story is of the occupation and these brave workers, but woven in the story is a family saga as well.

Nora Brouwer, her husband Floris Brouwer and her brother in law Christiaan Brouwer all play parts in this family saga during their time in Amsterdam during the war. Nora and Christiaan are both members of the Amsterdam resistance and Floris is policeman and a staunch Nazi. He wants to find Nora and take revenge on her for her actions.

Christiaan and his girlfriend Lisa have escaped to Switzerland but Christiaan wants to get back to work with the resistance. When he is offered a way to guide a downed pilot back to England from Amsterdam he is all in on the plan.

Floris, meanwhile, has been demoted and is facing being shipped to a camp because they believe he is in cahoots with the resistance.

Who will make it out alive and who will be captured and tortured or die during this awful Nazi occupation? Will Floris have a chance to find Nora and have his revenge?

You will have to read the book to find out how this all plays out. It is fast paced and edge of your chair reading. It was a good story and I recommend it.

Thanks to Michael Reit for writing another great story, to The Book Whisperer for publishing it and to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to read and review.

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Historical fiction from World War II is my special interest and They Bled Orange did not disappoint. Although second in the series Orphans of War by Michael Reit, I had no trouble following the thread of the storyline without the benefit of having read the first book in the series. This novel follows the interwoven storylines of several family members and friends that are caught up in the Resistance during the occupation of The Netherlands by the German army. Nora and her brother-in-law, Christian, are both deeply involved in the Resistance efforts to help Jewish families and children escape the country and both wind up having to leave Amsterdam abruptly upon discovery of their efforts. Nora’s husband, on the hand has joined the German forces helping to hunt down Jewish citizens and is in hot pursuit of his wife and brother when his missteps wind up sending him to the Eastern front fighting for the German Army. The story lines follow the escape of Nora and some other Resistance fighters as they endeavor to make their way out of the clutches of the Nazi regime and to England. Christian and Lisa, his fiancé, the first to escape are charged with helping a pilot cross to Spain so that he can they can head to Britain and Christian can rejoin the resistance fight in Amsterdam. The escapes are heart-stopping travels with fear of being apprehended by the Germans at every turn.. The journey of Floris, the husband of Nora, to the Eastern front to meet up and fight against the equally ruthless and deadly Russian army is an eye-opening experience for Floris. Unfortunately the book ends with several characters stories left in limbo which of course is designed to entice the reader to continue the sage with the third book. However, it is slightly frustrating to be left hanging until the next book comes along!

I was provided an arc through the Book Whisperer and Net Galley and certainly appreciate the opportunity to preview this exciting book.

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They Bled Orange depicts strategies in 1943 during World War II detailing the Dutch resistance fighters against the might of the German forces. The story is replete with conflicts pitting brother against brother and wife against husband. In addition to the descriptions of the atrocities of war — particularly on the Russian front — there are harrowing accounts of daring escapes to neutral European countries despite less than ideal circumstances and conditions.
The novel is an interesting and intriguing read and could very well have been modeled on events which could have actually occurred. I thank NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book prior to publication.

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They Bled Orange is the second part of the trilogy of Orphans of War, the continuation of the story of resistance during World War 2. The novel follows three main characters on their progression through various challenges. One member of the resistance has escaped to freedom but is being tasked to return to his home country to serve as spy and find out if the network of resistance fighters in the Netherlands has been compromised. A woman in the resistance who is forced to flee the county after her Nazi affiliated husband escapes death at the hands of the resistance. Meanwhile, her husband finds life after capture isn't what he expects and finds himself serving at the German Eastern front lines. I look forward to reading the third installment of this series later this year!

The second installment is more graphic and shows the reader real events through Michael Reit’s meticulous research and incredible writing. It’s important to read this book to realize the cold, cruel nature of what the Nais did and the lack of humanity the possessed.

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“They Bled Orange” is the second book in the Orphans of War trilogy. In this book World War II is in its fourth year and the Nazis are expanding their murderous grip on Northern Europe and Russia. The struggle between the Resistance and the Nazi sympathizers is raging in The Netherlands and Nora Brouwer is forced to escape south to get passage to safety from her husband and Nazi leader, Floris. Christiaan Brouwer, Floris’ brother and a member of the Resistance, with his wife also escape from Amsterdam to England and safety, but Christiaan returns to help the Resistance.

This story tells of some of the horrors of WWII and Nazi persecution of millions of Jews and dissidents. The incredible risks taken by incredibly courageous people to stop the Nazi onslaught make exciting and sometimes terrifying and heartbreaking stories. This book tells some of those stories and we should never forget them and the possibility of new threats on freedoms at home and around the world.

I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest voluntary review. I have read many WWII novels and this is a very well researched and well written story depicting the real struggles to survive a war of unimaginable horrors.

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This novel hardly let me breathe peacefully!!! What a thrilling page-turner! I enjoyed reading about the different characters and their journey through the Dutch resistance, or/a d their journey fleeing the Nazis through Europe. I also learned quite a lot about Dutch men enrolling in the SS and being sent on the Eastern front fighting the Russians... Some gruesome detailed descriptions (though luckily not many made some of these journeys very realistic and not to be forgotten. I will definitely read the last book of the trilogy.
I received a complimentary ARC of this novel from NetGalley and I am leaving voluntarily an honest review.

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This sequel in the Orphans of War trilogy with the Brouwer brothers is engaging, adventurous, and such a powerful read. Floris Brouwer and his wife Nora are on their own different paths to their destiny. Christiaan Brouwer and his Jewish girlfriend Lisa Abrahams, are on their travels to help all they can in this war. The obstacles they all face along their journey are page turning. I highly recommend reading this family saga. I am looking forward to the third installment. I loved it. Enjoy. ❤️

Thank you for the free arc e-book NetGalley, The Book Whisperer, and the amazing author Michael Reit.


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They Bled Orange is the second in the outstanding Orphans of War trilogy by Michael Reit. WWII is raging out of control all over Europe. The characters in this story move through different countries yet are bound together by evil, hatred, love, courage, despair and anguish.

Floris Brouwer is a Jew Hunter in Europe in WWII. His wife Nora is part of the Resistance and in grave danger, always looking over her shoulder. Floris is desperate to eliminate the Resistance and believes his wife is a traitor. But as his life is about to come to an end, Nora doesn't help him.

Nora's brother-in-law Christiaan and his girlfriend Lisa are also desperate to do their part as well as escape the iron grip of Nazism. Lisa's only crime is being a Jew. To what lengths do families go to for their convictions and loyalty in times of war when lives are torn to pieces?

This poignant, heart stopping and haunting novel crushed me and moved me to tears. I FELT the all-sensory story written with a powerful rawness and grittier detail than the first. The sense of urgency is propulsive and utterly engrossing.
The uncomfortable story made an incredible reading experience.

Anything written by this author is an automatic read for me, no blurb needed. He is THAT good. It is clear his heart and soul are in his writing. If you are seeking a meaningful WWII trilogy, do not miss this.

My sincere thank you to The Book Whisperer and NetGalley for providing me with an early digital copy of this unforgettable novel. It is impossible to love a series more.

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*Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book had a lot of detail and I feel like I could tell it was written by a man vs a woman just in the writing style and details vs similar stories that I’ve read by women. It still was a wonderful book.

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They Bled Orange
By: Michael Reit
Review Score: 4 Stars

Five Key Feels
-This book is intense and engaging from the start.

-I loved how the different stories were woven together, and how each part played out in different locations of Europe during the war.

-Reit does an amazing job of mixing real events of the war with these fictional characters.

-There is a lot more violence in this book compared to other Historical Fiction on WW2.

-I know it’s a trilogy, but I was so bummed by the cliffhanger at the end!


They Bled Orange was kindly provided as an ARC by Netgalley and The Book Whisperer. Thank you for allowing me to read this wonderful book!

Release Date: 4/5/23

They Bled Orange was an engaging story, covering several parts of World War 2. The dutch resistance, spy networks, the holocaust, and the lengths people had to go through to escape the Nazis. All of it was so well done.

#bookstagram #books #readingnow #boogiereadsbooks #fivekeyfeels #audiobooks #audiobook #historicalfiction #arcreview #netgalley #theybledorange #michaelreit #thebookwhisperer #worldwar2

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They Bled Orange 2nd in The Orphans of War Triology by Michael Reit
Lisa and Christiaan have escaped safely to Switzerland but they want to continue the fight against the Nazis. They decide to flee to England, where Lisa manages to become an assistant to the commander counterintelligence and Christiaan infiltrates the resistance back in Amsterdam as a spy.
Christian’s sister in law Lisa manages to escape from Amsterdam via France, Spain and Portugal along with three other expats. Her abusive husband, Floris, escapes captivity by the resistance and is sent to the eastern front to fight the Russians.
One can enjoy this second installment of the trilogy without having read the first, but cliffhangers at the end make one looking forward to the next installment.

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Book #2 in the “Orphan of War” series

An impossible journey

This is a gripping version of the Dutch Resistance and what they needed to do against the Nazis occupation in order not only to survive but to get their country back. This story reveals the determination as well as the courage those working behind the lines manifested for a long period of time. This tale also honours those brave people that stood against evil.

Although this second novel in the series we have just enough backstory to blend in, so no worries there. At center stage we have the resistance members: the main players are Nora, Christiaan and Lisa and Floris the Jew hunter portrayed with all his dilemmas. As we follow the paths of these characters the story flips from one character to the other showing their view and perspective on what there are experiencing. The dialogue and the interaction is what drive this story. It is very active and dramatic. Not a dull moment. This is a real page-turner.

In “They Bled Orange” we are introduced to the vicious side of the war where torture, murder, death are described in some details. This is a very engrossing story of a war-torn continent.

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I thought Orphans of War was good, but Michael Reit blew me away with They Bled Orange! It sucked me in from the very beginning, and it seriously irritated me that I had to put the book down and do adult things instead of binge reading the book all the way though. If you haven't started this series yet, you need to! It may be one of my favorite historical fiction series out there.

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