Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: The Rules in Rome by A.L. Sowards

The Rules in Rome, by A.L. Sowards
2015, 291p, LDS Historical Fiction/Suspense
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

With Hitler’s forces firmly entrenched in Europe, countless heroes seek to end the madman’s reign. Bastien Ley is one of the best. Working in Italy for the Office of Strategic Services, he’s been tasked with sabotaging German convoys. When his team kills an officer headed for Rome, the man’s similarity to Bastien is undeniable, and seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of the war, Bastien makes a bold decision: he will assume the dead officer’s identity. He becomes Dietrich, an Iron Cross–wearing German officer—an ideal position from which to infiltrate the Nazi ranks in Rome. To help with his stressful assignment, his superiors send him a reinforcement in the form of the lovely Gracie Begni, an intelligent and eager radio operator with absolutely no undercover experience.

With a gulf of resentment between them, these two agents must find a way to portray a couple in love. Soon their reluctant alliance becomes much more as Bastien and Gracie find themselves getting lost in their feelings for each other. But as they engage in battle against the deadliest foe the world has ever known, the pair quickly realizes their love may be doomed. As the Rome Gestapo threatens to destroy all they’ve worked for, will Bastien and Gracie survive their charade?

This book is awesome!! I haven't seen many WWII books set in Italy so that caught my interest right away. Once I started reading, I was hooked from the first page.

Gracie is likable from the beginning. She wants to prove that her college degree was worth pursuing and show her mother that being smart is better than being beautiful. She recently finished training to be a radio operator and is one of the best. As she goes undercover, she does prove to be a great radio operator but struggles with being a spy. She makes mistakes and some of them have real and devastating consequences. 

Bastien Ley, an American spy who is currently working undercover as Adalard Dietrich, has made some mistakes in his reports so he's being assigned to work with Gracie. He's not happy about it but finally agrees to it. Their cover story is to act like a couple. They start off tolerating each other but their feelings start to grow and their relationship becomes confusing for them. There are also obstacles in their way and it doesn't seem like a relationship between them will work.

Gracie is a good Mormon girl. There are references to her faith throughout the novel but nothing preachy. Bastien started out a little rough but quickly grew on me. Gracie has some self-esteem issues because of comments her family said to her while growing up. Bastien definitely finds her beautiful and wants to help her believe it. I enjoyed their relationship and watching it grow into something with great potential.

I felt like I was holding my breath through most of the book and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Some parts were hard to read as the realities of war were described. This is the first book I've read by A.L. Sowards and I will definitely read more of her books in the future!  

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Deseret Book

About the Author:
I was born in Georgia but consider Moses Lake, Washington my hometown. I came to Utah to attend school (BYU) and ended up staying. Books have always been an important part of my life. I remember writing self-illustrated storybooks at my grandparent's house when I was in elementary school (none of those made it to publication for many good reasons) and attending my first writer's conference when I was in third grade.

Now I'm a busy mom with young chidren. I still love to read and I also love to write. I'm usually reading a couple books at once and working on multiple writing projects too. Other than that, my life is pretty ordinary. I'm grateful for that. I'll let the characters in my books have all the adventures.
About My Writing:
A little mystery, a little history, a little romance, and a lot of action, adventure, and suspense. Primarily, I write to entertain. I also hope my books will teach readers something new about history or about life. My books are usually set during wartime, so there is some violence, but I keep the language and romance family-friendly. My goal is for my writing to be thrilling, clean, and uplifting. 

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Tour Schedule: (Cheryl's review) (Kathy's review) 


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the review!

Unknown said...

I am seeing this everywhere! I am so glad you liked it. I added it to my TBR pile :)

Tressa @ Wishful Endings said...

I felt exactly the same way. I noticed her book from last year is up for Whitney and I'm definitely planning on grabbing a copy.

Tressa @ Wishful Endings

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