Need a book to read? Take your pick of mystery or rom-com. Either one (or both) will keep you entertained.#amreading #booktalktuesdays #romcom #spythriller #inspy #inspirational #bookreview #newrelease #netgalley

Need a book to read? Take your pick of mystery or rom-com. Either one (or both) will keep you entertained.

I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.

Need a book to read? Take your pick of mystery or rom-com. Either one (or both) will keep you entertained.#amreading #booktalktuesdays #romcom #spythriller #inspy #inspirational #bookreview #newrelease #netgalley

Looking for Something to Read? Take Your Pick!

Do you like espionage, spies, and strong female characters? Or do you like romantic comedy, second-chance romance, and the boy-next-door-who’s-all-grown-up-now? Take your pick! Today’s reviews cover both genres. I enjoyed both of them equally, but in different ways (if that makes sense). You don’t have to take your pick of just one, I won’t tell if you want to read both. I love reading from a variety of genres, so sometimes I’ll end up with a mixed bag of books reviews on the same page.

The Mozart Code

By Rachel McMillan, Thomas Nelson, March 2022, 368 pages.

After spending World War II working at Bletchley Park helping the war effort, Lady Sophia Hungtington Villiers refuses to fulfill her family’s expectations to settle down and marry well. Instead, she joins Simon Barre’s team in Vienna, where the Allies each want to make the city over in their image.

Churchill warns of an iron curtain falling between the Soviet Union and the rest of the world, and Simon Barre and his team want to stop it. Using her extensive knowledge of art and music, Sophie acts as a go-between and meets Vienna power players. She sees first-hand how they pass information. Her contacts know her as Starling, and she soon makes a name for herself helping people find things lost or stolen during the war.

When multiple contacts suddenly inquire about Mozart’s death mask, Sophie wonders why. And when someone starts attacking team members, Sophie thinks the request may turn out more deadly than she ever expected.

Simon Barrington, illegitimate heir to a title and a fine country estate, has no experience with love, but a lifetime of experience with intrigue. His mother’s affair leads to his birth. From the time he could talk, he and his mother had to form ways to communicate without her husband knowing. To express love would be to break the deal she made with her husband. A deal whereby he claims Simon as his son and includes him in his will but disparages him at every opportunity.

Chess becomes a secret love language between Simon and his mother. When the war comes along, Simon is recruited to work at Bletchley Park. His chess genius helps him fight the war in a way many don’t understand. After the war, he accepts a new assignment. This time as a political player by the name of Simon Barre operating in Vienna and fighting the threat of communism.

Friends since adulthood, Sophie and Simon work well together. But what no one knows has the power to put their lives in danger—they entered a marriage of convenience to save Simon’s inheritance.

When Sophie goes to Prague, Simon feels the house of cards collapsing. Will he reach her in time? Or will the iron curtain crush her?

What I Loved About this Book

As in any good spy novel, Sophie and Simon’s story starts slowly as the author builds their world—post-war Vienna and Prague. Readers will relate to Sophie’s quest for independence in a world that wants to relegate women to their pre-war roles. As the level of danger and intrigue builds, so do the characters’ feelings for each other.

In this unlikely love story, one character has sworn off love and the other has never seen it modeled. But both believe in the sanctity of their wedding vows.

Need an espionage fix? (I mean a BOOK–no cloak and dagger required). Check out this new release from @rachkmc and @ThomasNelson! #amreading #bookreview Click To Tweet

The Do-Over

By Bethany Turner, Thomas Nelson, March 2022, 320 pages.

McKenna Keaton mapped out her career path at age seven. Her dream? Return to New York City, become a lawyer, and make senior partner in a law firm as quickly as possible. Just when her last dream seems within reach, McKenna gets put on unpaid leave while the firm investigates an embezzlement allegation. A crime McKenna would never commit.

To economize, she flies back to her hometown of Durham, NC, to stay with her parents and try to put herself back together with the tender ministrations of her older sister. And if she happens to be around for her little sister’s engagement party, McKenna doesn’t mind. Too much. Especially when the subject of a date for the party comes up.

An unexpected encounter with her high-school rival for valedictorian, Henry Blumenthal, rocks McKenna’s already tipping boat. Nerdy and shy no longer, Henry remade himself as Hank Blume, producer of documentaries. A fact McKenna somehow didn’t know, even though she’s watched and re-watched every documentary by Hank Blume.

When Henry drops by to see her father’s ancestry research, he discovers an alarming pattern. All the Keaton women who fail to marry by forty, die before they turn 41. McKenna doesn’t know how to feel about this, but she does know how she feels about Henry. He makes her sizzle and spark (in a good way).

But living a lie (only her sister knows the real reason she showed up in Durham), and telling a few more to keep her story plausible, is no way to start a relationship. What will it take for McKenna and Henry to get a do-over? And what will happen if they do?

What I Loved About This Book

McKenna narrates the book, and her internal dialogue will keep readers smiling. While I’ve never been a type-A personality, I can still relate to McKenna’s compulsion to follow rules and not break laws.

While romance and comedy play a central role in the story, ultimately, the Do-Over is about family. The messy parts of our relationships with our siblings and our parents, and how our understanding of what happens during our childhoods must change if we want to move forward. Tender, sweet, authentic, and funny, the Do-Over will inspire readers to reevaluate their own family of origin. And maybe, just maybe, ask for a do-over.  

Fans of Emma St. Clair and Melissa Ferguson will enjoy this book.

You'll love this new rom-com from @SeeBethanyWrite and @ThomasNelson Click To Tweet
Need a book to read? Take your pick of mystery or rom-com. Either one (or both) will keep you entertained.#amreading #booktalktuesdays #romcom #spythriller #inspy #inspirational #bookreview #newrelease #netgalley
Looking for something good to read? Take your pick of spy novel or rom-com (or both)! #amreading #bookreview @ThomasNelson Click To Tweet

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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