Monday, May 7, 2018

Blog Tour: Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts

Spies, Lies, and Allies 
Lisa Brown Roberts
Series: n/a
Age/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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.

There’s a crazy guy 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 that way because Crazy Guy says any fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.

As if that’s not enough, an anonymous weirdo 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.
This book could be described using many of my favorite adjectives: fun, cute, adorable, heartwarming, but what stood out for me, was the focus on family and friendship.

Laurel wanted a position at her father's firm, because she missed him. She thought, if they worked together, they would have the drive into the city and back, and perhaps a lunch date here and there, to reconnect. She was looking to renew the bond between them, and that just tugged on my heartstrings. I liked Laurel's family a lot, and you could tell they shared a tremendous affection for each other. This was her attempt to cram some family time into this last year before she left for college, and I thought that was fantastic.

I am also a fan of the friendship that developed between the interns. It was not an easy road to friend status, but it's amazing how fast people can bond, when faced with adversary. Brown gave us a diverse cast of interns, who came from very different backgrounds, and had very different interests from each other. I liked that they could see past their differences and find common ground. At one point, the author puts them in a Breakfast Club-esque situation, and even has the characters discussing who's who from the film. The scene was quite amusing, and among one of my favorites.

I always enjoy Entangled books, but I have certain expectations when it comes to their books. I read them for the feel-good romances. And yes, this book was feel-good and had a romance, but there was not enough of it. What a shame too, because I loved the romance Roberts set up, and would loved to have seen more of it.

If you want to get your nerd on, look no further. Laurel and her dad were HUGE Star Wars fans. In the beginning of the book, I was worried, because I felt bombarded by the references, but it did ease up as the story started moving ahead, and I will admit, I smiled the entire time we were at Comic Con.

Overall: A delightful story of family and friendship, sprinkled with a romance, which left me in a feel-good way.

**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.


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“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.”
“Uh huh.”

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.

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.

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  1. This sounds like so much fun, Sam. I love the sound of the friendship between the interns especially. Glad you enjoyed it!

    1. The friendships and family portions were very endearing.

  2. Normally these types have too much romance. I’d be fine with just a taste of it.

    1. I love romance, so I always want a ton, and I did love the pairing.

  3. Focus on family and friendship, sign me up!

    1. I actually found Laurel's motivation quite touching, and I did love she related to us about things she used to do with her dad.

  4. This sounds like such a fun read and I have to admit that as a huge Star Wars fan, I could definitely get my nerd one with a book filled with Star Wars references, lol.

    1. I think Star Wars fans will eat up all the references. I even found some of them quite delightful.

  5. I love it when co-workers have a relationship in books! It's always fun to see how they make that leap, and then how they act around each other afterwards. This is the first time I've seen this book, but I usually like Entangled's romances. It just depends on my mood!

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

    1. (My husband and I actually met at a job we shared! <3)

    2. Awwww, that's awesome. I am usually a fan of Entangled, and I did enjoy this book. I just wanted more romance.

  6. This sounds just lovely -- and the focus on friendship and family? Totally don't get enough of the focus on family in YA and I love that.

    1. I think that is something many authors are trying to correct. Adolescence is a time when children are known to flex their autonomy, but I am like that we are seeing more and more present parents in stories.

  7. Laurel and her father's relationship is already pulling on my heartstrings from your review. Now I want to know if they reconnect! The friendship aspect sounds great as well. I love when books have strong friendships. Great review!

    1. It was very sweet. Definitely a highlight of the book, and I read that Roberts was writing those parts after losing her own father, which just made it tug even harder.

  8. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one more!!

    1. I enjoyed it, but would have liked it more, had the romance been featured more prominately

  9. Sucks this book didn't quite hit the mark for you but it does sound fun. I think I'm the same, when it's supposed to be a fun feel-good book I expect certain things and I'm probably a bit harsher on books because of that. It obviously had good parts to it all the same.

    1. It was cute and fun. I don't finish books I am not enjoying at all. Exactly! It was more of a case of my expectations, but the family stuff was really wonderful.

  10. This sounds like a nice fun read, and like it has a good focus with the themes as well. It doesn't sound too deep or anything but sometimes you just need fun quick reads as well.

    1. Not too heavy at all. The real focus was on the father-daughter relationship