The Rules in Rome by A.L. Sowards
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from the Publisher to review
Genre: Historical Fiction with Romance
Book Description: 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?
My thoughts: A.L. Sowards does an incredible job at writing suspenseful, action packed, spy thrillers set during WWII. I am amazed at how well she writes a novel that feels like you are reading history.
I don't recall many books about the German occupation of Italy. It was interesting to visit the historic tourist attractions with Gracie. During the time they weren't taken care of and it's sad to see how war effects a country and the people.
Gracie is working undercover as a radio operator. She is to act as the Italian girlfriend of Bastien Lay. He is an allied soldier who is acting as a deceased German officer, Allard Dietrich, whom he resembles. Of course, the German's do not know that Dietrich is dead. Both are place in dangerous and thrilling situations. It amazed me at how well they handled themselves and continued to do their job.
One of the elements of Historical Fiction, is that the reader is often familiar with the time period and events. I knew that the penalty for spying was severe. I am also familiar with some of the horrible ways that prisoners, and civilians were punished by the Nazi's. This information added to my interest in Gracie and Bastien. I was anxious when they came too close to discovery.
This is a book that I highly recommend to readers of the historical fiction genre. The romance is clean but it does contain war violence.
About the author: (Taken from Goodreads):
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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