Friday, May 11, 2018

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

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. 

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

Author Links:

Excerpt from Spies, Lies, and Allies:
“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.

Signed copy of Spies, Lies, and Allies + some spy-related swag

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This was a pretty cute book! There were many things I enjoyed, but on the whole, I think it was just a bit "young" for me.

On the upside, there were some great relationships exhibited here. Usually, I'm all about the main couple in a YA contemporary - give me more! - but i the case of "Spies, Lies, and Allies", there were two, more secondary, relationships that I really enjoyed. The first was between Laurel and her father. It was obvious that Laurel adored her dad, even though he could be a bit scary sometimes. She bugged and nagged and bugged some more, until her dad let her work at his company for the summer, just so she could spend some more time with him. Really?! How sweet! What teenage girl do you know who would do the same?  They also had a lot of sci-fi geekdom going on between them. Good grief, the girl even calls her dad, "Dad Vader"! There were some fun moments between them throughout the book.

The other relationship that surprised me in its development was the one between Laurel and Trish. Trish was the daughter of Dad Vader's right hand man. She was portrayed as a real emo-goth-angry-girl. Eventually, though, Laurel was able to find some common ground with Trish, and it was rather nice to see.

As for Laurel's relationship with Carlos, I like how there was a gradual building up to friendship before continuing on to something more. There was plenty of banter and sarcasm between them that kept me giggling.

I did have some problems with this book, mainly the overuse of the sci-fi references and Laurel's constant need to over analyze every. Little. Thing. If you can disregard things like this, however, you will probably enjoy "Spies, Lies, and Allies".

My rating: 3 stars

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