Lisa Brown Robert
May 1, 2018
Summers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I’ve got a job at my dad’s company, which is sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I’m supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for.
My boss is running the competition like it’s an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting––in a good way. But I can’t even think about him like that because fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.
As if that’s not enough, an anonymous informant with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad’s company on social media…and I’m afraid it’s working.
Much as I’d love to quit, I can’t. Kristoffs Never Quit is our family motto. I just hope there’s more than one survivor by the end of this summer.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
Spies, Lies, and Allies is one of those captivating novels that you begin reading and just can’t put down.
Laurel is a photography-loving geek, into cos-play and Star Wars and all things Comic Con-cool. But she’s smart, without a lot of friends and doesn’t seem to mind, because she has one really good one.
Her father, Dad Vader (after Darth), is organizing a scholarship for interns at his company, and Laurel begs him to let her be a part of it. Not that she needs the scholarships but she proposes that she could be a peer reviewer. The fact is that she really misses her dad and wants to spend time with him. Finally she breaks down his resistance. Only things don’t turn out the way she thought they would. She’s expected to spy and then vote on who should win.
There is so much to love about this novel that I don’t know where to start. First off, one of the things I appreciated so much was the familial aspect. Laurel loves all of her family, and it’s reciprocated. This is so, so nice. It’s a tremendous change from all of the dysfunctionality that I’ve read lately. It exudes hope and love. Best of all is the relationship of Laurel and her dad. Erm. I’ll stop here. I want you to read this and experience this for yourself and not have me give away things!
Now for Carlos. Sigh. Dimples and chocolate kiss eyes and smart and funny and serious and loyal and nice. Wrap him up, it’s a go.
Plus we’ve got a mystery. Who is this person tweeting bad stuff? Is it an intern? I’m not telling.
Oh, and there’s Breakfast Club interludes with dancing! In fact, the Breakfast Club comparisons are so on target that I couldn’t help loving the novel even a little bit more.
There are people who seem awful, but then you find out their struggles and your heart breaks a little. Nothing is black and white.
Spies, Lies, and Allies is a novel with a gooey center and a wonderful heart. It’s the kind of novel we all need to read every once in a while to feel good and feel hope.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies
“Let’s see where helping me on my project falls on this list.” Carlos picks up a pen and clicks it, eyeing me from underneath ridiculously long lashes.
Cautiously, I take a tiny step toward his desk so I can read the list.
“Number three.” I point to the napkin. “Teamwork.”
He nods and underlines the word. I notice he’s added numbers six through ten. Nothing is written next to those numbers, except for ten, next to which he’s drawn a smiley face.
“What’s that for?” I point to the smiley face. He leans back in his desk chair and grins up at me.
“Not sure yet.”
My heart throbs in my chest and my imagination is off and running, fantasizing about number ten.
Carlos points to number five: nicknames. “I think this is where we left off at lunch.” He clicks his pen repeatedly and I resist the urge to snatch it out of his hand. “I’d prefer not to be nicknamed for a pasta, but I gave you a cereal nickname, so…” He shrugs but keeps his eyes on mine.
“I…pasta…what?” He’s not making sense.
He bites his bottom lip, and I have no trouble picturing what will make me “smiley face” if we ever make it to number ten. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s a mind reader because his gaze drifts down to my lips, then back up to my eyes.
“The Manicotti. Who is it?” He glances across the room. “Elijah? He can be sort of cheesy.”
My mind analyzes his words, sliding them around like one of those puzzles where you have to move a string through twisted metal. And then it clicks.
“You read my notebook! You’re the one who—” Panic zings through me as I remember what I wrote about him, Carlos is trouble, and his editorial comment, True. Is Carlos adorable?
Apparently I’m not the only spy around here.
“Why’d you pick this desk?” I’m desperate to change the subject.
“I like the view.”
“But it’s better by the windows.”
“Depends on which view we’re talking about.” He gives me a cryptic smile, one that makes my stomach dip. “Anyway, I saved your notebook. You’re lucky no one else read your notes.”
Mortified and defiant, I cross my arms over my chest. “You didn’t have to read it. You could’ve just returned it.”
“I was just checking to make sure you’d listed all of Mr. Mantoni’s rules.”
Across the room, Elijah stands up and stretches. He glances at us, an amused smirk twisting his lips like he knows something I don’t.
Carlos writes on the napkin again. Number six: healthy disagreement.
“You’re kidding, right?”
His responding grin packs more heat than it should.
“I think we’ve gone off track.” I’m proud of how calm I sound, even though my nerve endings are exploding like firecrackers.
About Lisa Brown Roberts:
Award-winning romance author Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage catastrophes of tweezing off both eyebrows, or that time she crashed her car into a tree while trying to impress a guy. It’s no wonder she loves to write romantic comedies.
Lisa’s books have earned praise from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and the School Library Journal. She lives in Colorado with her family, in which pets outnumber people. Connect with Lisa at www.lisabrownroberts.com.
Signed copy of Spies, Lies, and Allies and some spy-related swag