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The Rules in Rome

(The Ley Brothers #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  338 ratings  ·  84 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 291 pages
Published February 2015 by Covenant Communications Inc.
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  338 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Katie W
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've loved reading this author's works set in this time period--WWII. This story takes the reader to a place that doesn't seem to be written about quite as much--Italy. I found it very interesting to read about some of the history and the effects that WWII had on this country, while being thoroughly entertained by the fictional characters and the events surrounding their lives as spies.

Gracie endured things that I didn't think she could. She is a normal American girl who is also deeply rooted i
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
***4.5 stars***

A.L. Sowards does an incredible job at writing suspenseful, action packed, spy thrillers set during WWII. I am amazed at how well she writes a novel that feels like you are reading history.

I don't recall many books about the German occupation of Italy. It was interesting to visit the historic tourist attractions with Gracie. During the time they weren't taken care of and it's sad to see how war effects a country and the people.

Gracie is working undercover as a radio operator. She
A.L. Sowards
Update July 2017:
The kindle edition of this novel is currently on sale for $1.99

Original review:
I'm a little biased since I wrote the book, but I think it's an awesome read! A good choice for readers who like spy thrillers, clean romance, or general historical fiction.
Historical Fiction
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

To say I was excited when A.L. Sowards The Rules in Rome appeared in the Netgalley catalog is something of an understatement. I'd been eyeing the author's work for a while and was positively giddy when my request to review the novel was approved. I began reading it almost immediately and was pleased to discover my enthusiasm wasn't misplaced. The action and historic detail in the narrative impressed me so much that I actuall
Julie Carpenter
I loved this book. My first book by this author, Defiance, was actually about the brother to the main character in The Rules in Rome. While reading Defiance, I really wanted to learn more about Bastien's story and what happened to him. So, when I saw it was available on an account that I have for listening to audiobooks I was so excited! I moved it to my next listen and honestly, I could not put it down.

Bastien takes on a new name and life as he goes into deep cover in Rome, Italy during WWII. H
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever seen photos that are black & white (or sepia) with a one-color accent? I have read four books by A. L. Sowards (a trilogy and this one), and they remind me of those types of pictures, because they depict love stories in the midst of the greatest tragedy in human history – World War 2.
In this one, a young man who was born in Germany (but fled to the U.S. in the pre-war Nazi crackdown on intellectuals that disagreed with them) is sent behind the lines in Italy to work with partisans
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read my first book by this author a year ago when she was looking for reviewers for Defiance (it's about Bastien's younger brother, Lukas) and I was completely surprised by how much I liked it, because I don't read books about war. I was happy when this book went on sale for a great price because this is Bastien's and Gracie's story and Defiance doesn't go into their history.

Bastien Ley is an officer working in Italy for the Office of Strategic Services. While on patrol he and his team kill a
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-for-review
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, especially when it is done right. I love getting a bit of a history lesson without it actually feeling like a history lesson. This book is set during WWII in Rome, Italy. I have read a lot of books set during WWII but I cannot remember any in Rome, Italy. It was interesting and heartbreaking. War is awful.

Because I know some of the travesties WWII brought, I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through this book, just waiting for those awful t
Teya Teya
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The research into this book reflects the intensity of the content in this book. It took me back to the natzi war in Germany. It even talks about a sub that went down. I have a great uncle from WWII that they had just heard the war was over but the opposing team had not. As soon as his sub became visible it was sunk. Where is sunk is still in a place you cannot go to see if it's still there. For this hit a personal spot in my heart with that and my personal beliefs. At times it was hard to read b ...more
Bev Walkling
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow
This book is awesome!! I haven't seen many WWII books set in Italy so that caught my interest right away. Once I started reading, I was hooked from the first page.

Gracie is likable from the beginning. She wants to prove that her college degree was worth pursuing and show her mother that being smart is better than being beautiful. She recently finished training to be a radio operator and is one of the best. As she goes undercover, she does prove to be a great radio operator but struggles with bei
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Rules in Rome is a nail-biter, and A.L. Sowards does an excellent job of illustrating the courage required by those who risked their lives in Nazi-occupied Italy as they slipped information to the Allies. Gracie the radio operator is a wonderful character--her determination, her intelligence, her insecurities, her loyalty and compassion. I also like how Sowards showed a range of mindsets among the Nazi characters, humanizing them. They weren't cardboard villains--there was the officer trying ...more
Karen Thornell
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was wonderful. It was simultaneously a hate to love story, a spy story, a historical, a suspense, and so many other things. I loved every aspect even while the history made me unspeakably sad. Sowards does a wonderful job creating authentic scenes based off history while also weaving an impressively laid out plot.

I really loved Gracie. She grew so much in this book—physically in her spy skills but also mentally and emotionally. There were many lessons to be learned from her and her gr
Sowards is a master of her craft. This WWII fiction thriller is set in Italy. The main characters are Bastien, an Allied spy posing as a Nazi officer, and Gracie, a female radio operator fresh out of OSS training. Sowards always does a great job researching the time period and intrigues of war in the place her stories are set. I was transported into war-torn Rome and felt hungry and desperate as I turned the pages and watched this spy story play out. The action and suspense never stops and will ...more
Sara Cardon
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent WWII story about a radio operator and a spy working for the Allies in Nazi occupied Rome. Both characters are highly skilled and intelligent. The story highlights some of the grave risks people took to aid the Allies, and the high cost of being discovered. I liked both Gracie and Bastien. Bastien would rather work alone and recognizes the risks Gracie faces before she does (and before I did). Gracie is book smart and eager to help, and I related to her. I loved her humanity with her co ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
2015 Whitney awards finalist in the Historical category. I'll rate it after the gala. ...more
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
Loved it! Review to come.
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story, and getting to know the characters. Bastian and Gracie are both brave, heroic protagonists who help me appreciate what real life people went through in WWII to bring the war to an end. I really liked that minor characters, including the Antagonists, the Nazis and the SS were portrayed as real people, not just mindlessly evil psychopaths. I liked Heinrich especially, though his nickname was a little distracting.

There were some things the main characters did that didn’
Apr 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
I am always amazed when I read WW2 books, how every country, city, person, had their own battle to fight. This was an example of one of those (potential) fights. It is fiction but I loved the story line. There were a few parts that were a little "too coincidental", but I almost enjoyed that, because I wanted it to work out. There is plenty of death, gore... just war content but it was tastefully written. I really loved the ending, though I admit, I was not surprised, but I was pleased... Anyway, ...more
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
Really quick read that had me thinking about it when I wasn't reading it. Loved it ...more
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE espionage thrillers!
A.L. Soward's books are some of THE BEST!

What would you do if your team just killed a man?
And what would you do if you happened to look exactly like that man?

At the height of WWII Bastien Ley is working in Italy against the Germans.

When his team kills an officer that looks just like Bastien he is tasked to take the dead man's identity.

Now he is know as "Dietrich, an Iron Cross-wearing German officer."

But his real task is to send out information to his team to help them
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! The Rules in Rome is an excellent WWII Romance! There is a lot more to it than romance (suspense, action, intrigue, etc.), but I loved the romance.

A.L. Sowards does a fantastic job writing historical fiction. I really enjoyed her characters. Gracie sounded like such a wonderful person. She has low self esteem (thanks to her mother), but she's decided to do what she can for her country. I liked how both of the main characters had been born in Europe, but at a young age had immigrated to the
In The Rules of Rome, Soward takes the reader on a thrilling ride through the Nazi occupation of Italy. The story starts with a bang as Bastien Ley, an OSS agent working in Italy stumbles across a German officer who bares an uncanny resemblance to himself. Going undercover is a risky proposition but if it helps end the war before his brother joins up, he's willing to risk it. However, when his boss sends him an inexperienced young agent to help, he is extremely reluctant to accept her presence. ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I love the way that A L Sowards can take a time in history, during World War II and make it come alive. I loved the way that the author shows things from both Bastien's and Gracie's point of views, I loved the way that it made the story seem more 3-D. I loved the characters. Gracie is a good Mormon girl who wanted to make a difference in the war, so she did the OSS training and ended up in Rome. Bastien is originally from Germany, but his family moved to the USA and he is figh ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Action packed and suspenseful, this was a difficult book to put down. It was interesting to learn about life in Rome during WW II. I had never previously spent time considering what life would be life for a radio operator behind enemy lines. I like how this story was told from several perspectives. Not only could I see the thoughts of the hero and heroine, but I could see how the enemy could convince himself that he was justified as well. War stories are a little hard for me to take because of t ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. I absolutely loved it! Every page was a mystery and lead to more suspenseful situations. Bastien and Gracie are fabulous characters. I loved how we were able to see them from the other's point of view. I also enjoyed how the story was told from other characters too. WWII is a fascinating subject to take on, and Amanda does an incredible job with this story. Gracie and Bastien both are thrown into an almost impossible situations. So many thrilling events take place, I was t ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, first-reads, romance
I received this as a first read . This one was a great read. I like reading works about war world 2 time period. The author writes this era beautifully. It is set in Italy which is wonderful. It was hard to read at times just because of the subject matter. However you can help but root for Grace and want to know what is going to happen to her. I would read this author again.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book, I couldn't put it down! It is well researched historical fiction, a spy thriller, with lots of action and clean romance. It is set in Italy during WWII, a piece of that war that isn't written about a lot. A.L. Sowards has brought that piece alive with this book. A good read for sure! ...more
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was well written. I enjoyed this book. I cried through parts of it. It had a lot of history that was kinda scary. But we now that a lot of things that were done to occupied countries were not always nice. I am proud that there were people who risked their lives to help stop the war.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will be reading more from this author

This is my first book from this author, and it was wonderful. Great characters, realistic history and conflict, great climax. I smiled, I held my breath, and couldn't stop reading until the end. The Epilogue is so perfect. I can only hope the rest of her books will be as good. I love WWII stories, and am so excited to have found a source for more great stories.

Clean, some kissing but nothing else. It does have reference to character's religion, but only as
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I love books, so that makes Goodreads my favorite social media site. As a reader, I enjoy a variety of books. As a writer, I create historical novels with a wholesome mix of action, adventure, and romance. My stories include a Whitney Award winner and several Whitney finalists.

I'm a wife and a mother of three, and I've called Washington State, Utah, and Alaska home. I'm usually reading a couple bo

Other books in the series

The Ley Brothers (2 books)
  • Defiance

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