The Rules in Rome
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?
Praise for The Rules in Rome
Readers who hunger for a great espionage thriller with an extra helping of romance will devour The Rules in Rome. A.L. Sowards is at the top of her craft with this terrific WWII suspense novel. It is definitely a book not to be missed! Gregg Luke, author of Bloodborne and Deadly Undertakings
The Rules in Rome has it all. Romance, adventure, and epic themes illustrating the unconquerable human spirit. From the moment Gracie met Bastien, I knew I would love this book. He’s the perfect hero, Gracie is his match. I fell in love with these characters over and over again. Thank you, Sowards, for another fabulous read! Stephanie Fowers, author of the Twisted Tales Trilogy and Jane and Austen
Gracie slammed a new clip into the P 38 pistol, pinching a bit of skin in the process. She shook her fingers, trying to fling the pain away. Captain Ley reached for her hand and examined it, then turned it over and studied her fingernails.
“You know, sometimes Gestapo guards like to rip out a prisoner’s fingernails during interrogation.” Ley released her hand. “It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I hear it’s quite painful.”
“I’m sure it is.” Gracie took the pistol in her right hand and aimed for the bull’s-eye on the target strapped to a tree. They’d been at their makeshift firing range for an hour. Ley had insisted she dismantle, reassemble, load, and fire half a dozen rifles, machine pistols, and light machine guns. He scrutinized each move she made as if hoping she’d mess up. She hadn’t hit the center of the target on each shot, but she was close enough that he hadn’t yet criticized her marksmanship.
“The Lord gave you two hands and two eyes, Miss Begni. Use all of them to aim your pistol.”
Gracie gripped the pistol with both hands and fired a few shots at the target.
“Of course,” Ley continued, “the Gestapo has been known to blind its prisoners.” He brushed a finger across her cheek, under her eye. “How would you like to go through the rest of your life blind, Gracie? Or should I start calling you Concetta?”
Gracie smacked his hand away. She didn’t like her new alias, and she didn’t like the confusion his fingers and lips both seemed to stir up whenever they came in contact with her skin. “I know what you’re trying to do, Captain Ley, and it won’t work. I have a healthy fear of the Gestapo—I’d be a fool not to. But despite that fear, I’m going to Italy. If you’d rather stay behind, so be it. You aren’t the only agent in Rome who needs me.”
A.L. Sowards has always been fascinated by the 1940s, but she's grateful she didn't live back then. She doesn't think she could have written a novel on a typewriter, and no one would be able to read her handwriting if she wrote her books out longhand. She does, however, think they had the right idea when they rationed nylon and women went barelegged. Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from BYU and ended up staying in Utah, where she enjoys spending time with her husband and children or with her laptop. She does not own a typewriter. She does own several pairs of nylons.
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