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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Spies, Lies, and Allies and The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts - Book Reviews, Excerpt & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Laurel's dad runs his own company and spends most of his time at work. Laurel misses her father and manages to arrange a summer job at the company for herself, so she can see more of her father for a while. Laurel isn't particularly happy with her assigned tasks though. The company has an internship program for kids who could use college money. One person will win a free ride. Laurel is supposed to assist the interns and she has to vote on the one she finds most suitable. The interns aren't supposed to know about the power she has and have to accept her help because they want it. How is she going to make them trust her?

Carlos knows everything about the company, but he's dangerous to be around because he sees straight through Laurel and flirts with her. Jason is Laurel's big high school crush, Ashley well liked and she is also pretty enough to be a model and Elijah is a nerd just like Laurel. How can she choose between those four totally different candidates? To make it even harder, there's a fifth intern who isn't competing for the scholarship. Trish is the daughter of Laurel's father's right hand. She's tough and doesn't seem to like Laurel, which makes it difficult for her to make a connection with the other interns. Will Laurel's summer be a complete disaster?

When someone starts attacking the company via twitter it's time for Laurel to step up. It's an inside job and she has to find the person responsible, so she can save her father's reputation. Who is behind the evil tweets and what will the damage of those messages on social media be? All the interns need that money, but someone is trying to get them fired. Will Laurel be able to save the day?

Spies, Lies and Allies is a fabulous fun story. I absolutely loved Laurel. She's a huge fan of Star Wars, which is something I liked a lot. She uses this to make connections with people. She's smart, creative and resilient. As the boss's daughter she isn't well liked and it takes plenty of effort to be accepted, but she doesn't give up and manages to prove herself many times. She's a wonderful girl with a great big heart. I loved every single page of her story and often had to laugh out loud while reading her hilarious observations and comments.

Lisa Brown Roberts has written a fantastic heartwarming story. The bond between Laurel and her father is special. Laurel never gives up and makes sure her father spends time with her. They have their own endearing inside jokes and I loved how Laurel learns to stand up for herself and grow as a person during her summer at her father's company. She always speaks her mind, she fights for what she believes in and she's protective when it comes to people she cares about. Spies, Lies and Allies is a terrific story filled with lightheartedness, laughter and sweetness. I absolutely loved this amazing romantic book.


If you love feelgood, funny and romantic YA you don't want to miss Spies, Lies and Allies.

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Review by Anniek

Vivian lives with her mother, who's a writer and owns a bookstore. Vivian works at her mother's store, has her own book blog and runs a book club. She has a busy life, but there's also room for love. She's had a crush on Jake for a very long time. This popular surfer boy doesn't have a good reputation, but Vivian is convinced he isn't as bad as he's made out to be and thinks he likes her as well. On the first day of school Jakes breaks her heart when he's all over another girl though. Vivian decides that she needs a replacement crush. A guy who won't be able to hurt her feelings. Will Vivian's strategic approach to find someone to get over her shattered heart actually work or will it show her that love isn't as logical as she thinks?

Vivian's mother has hired Dallas to upgrade her store and make it ready for the 21st century. Dallas is a skilled computer genius and he'll be working with Vivian to design a system for the store. Dallas is everything Vivian would love in a boy. He's a good looking nerd and they share plenty of interests. Because of the obvious attraction between Dallas and Vivian, she can't put him on her replacement list. Dallas is a kind and caring guy, he would never make Vivian feel bad about herself. Can he win her trust and break through her walls?

Vivian is a sweet girl. She has a big heart and always thinks of great ways to help people to find books to read. Vivian has a fabulous sense of humor and made me laugh out loud many times. I absolutely loved her funny ways. I liked her kindhearted and generous nature, through which I felt connected to her immediately. I admired her strong personality, especially the fact that she isn't a push-over, she stands up for herself whenever she needs to. Vivian deserves to be with someone who appreciates her for who she is and I was hoping for her to be brave enough to see the possibility of true love.

The Replacement Crush is an adorable story about finding that beautiful first love. I loved Lisa Brown Roberts's descriptions of the family bookstore and I wished I could visit this brilliant shop. Bookstores with a homely atmosphere, where everybody feels welcome, are places I dream of. I couldn't get enough of reading about this special place. Lisa Brown Roberts combines an amazing setting with gorgeous sparks and chemistry. I really liked this cute romantic story with endearing main characters. Lisa Brown Roberts is a wonderful writer and I look forward to reading more of her books.


If you love to read heartwarming romantic stories, The Replacement Crush would be a perfect choice.

About Lisa Brown Roberts

Sometimes people ask me why I write YA novels, especially romance. Here’s just one reason (and believe me, there’s a long list).

My first car was an old orange Gremlin, a la Wayne’s World. Attempting to show off for the cute neighbor boy shooting hoops, I gunned the engine, accidentally hopped the curb, and crashed into a tree my dad had just planted. You may be shocked to learn this did not result in insta-love. But at least I made an impression, right? And honestly, what could I do but laugh, after I metaphorically died of embarrassment, of course.

That’s just one example from my angst-filled, ridiculous teen life. I think I was destined to write stories about smart and funny fumbling teens who manage to navigate life’s ongoing dramas and fall in love. (And no, there wasn’t a romantic ending to my tree destruction…but if I were writing that story as fiction, you can bet there would be…eventually).

Nothing makes me happier than hearing from readers who say my books kept them all night, made them laugh, and made them swoon.

Happy Reading!



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It’s the second Saturday in May, and I’m counting the days until I’m free of Clarkson K-12 Academy. Tonight—awards night—my school sparkles like a scaled-down version of the Dolby Theatre on Oscar night, fancied up in twinkling lights, ruby-red velvet stage curtains, and glittering decorations. Our private school is jokingly called Harvard High; everything is overfunded and insanely competitive.

Like all the Oscar almost-winners say, it’s an honor just to be nominated. And in my case, that’s true. All I want is to stand on stage and see my parents in the crowd—well, see my dad. Mom will be there; she always is. But Dad? Odds are low that Dad Vader will tear himself away from Emergent Enterprises, AKA his evil empire.

Is he here yet? I text my mom. I’m in violation of the no-cells-on-stage rule, but I don’t care.

Her reply is quick: Not yet. Which in our family is code for he’s not coming. My heart, which had been fluttering around hopefully, folds in on itself and sinks back into my chest. Despite my low odds, the fantasy of actually winning the photography award and standing at the mic to thank my dad for buying all my equipment, watching his face light up with pride…that fantasy has played in my head for days.

“And now for the photography award.” Our principal’s voice jolts me to attention. I squint my eyes against the lights, searching hopefully for my dad’s dark hair, but I can’t distinguish faces in the crowd. Where’s my zoom lens when I needed it?

“As most of you know, Clarkson Academy prides itself on its award-winning photojournalism classes,” Dr. Farnham says, her spikey silver hair glinting under the spotlight. “Our top photographers often continue their studies in college, and at last count we had five Clarkson graduates working in major media outlets across the globe.”

The crowd applauds politely as I rattle off those graduates’ names in my mind. I stalk them in the news and social media because one day I hope to follow in their footsteps.

“This year we have an outstanding slate of nominees,” continues Dr. Farnham. “Without further ado, I’d like each student to stand as I call their name.”

I zone out as she rattles off the names. I already know that Blake is going to win. Awards always go to seniors, which he is, and his photos are as jaw-dropping as his attitude is

annoying. If he had a halfway decent personality, I’d be madly in love with him, but unfortunately, he’s as pretentious as he is gifted.

We each stand as Dr. Farnham calls our names. As I rise from my chair, I’m keenly aware of how wrongly I pegged the event’s attire, wearing one of my mom’s one-of-a-kind yarn and fabric creations instead of something sleek and sophisticated like all the other girls on the stage. I feel like a hippie flower girl trailing in the glamorous bride’s wake.

My phone buzzes in my hand again and I sneak a glance at the text.

You look amazing! Followed by a thumbs-up emoji and a heart from my best friend Lexi.

That means I don’t look amazing, and Lexi feels the need to give me a bad-outfit-choice-pre-award-loss boost. I chew on my lip to hide my bittersweet smile; Lexi knows me better than anyone.

“A selection of our nominees’ best photographs is displayed in the hall outside the auditorium. Please take time to view them later, if you haven’t already.” Dr. Farnham clears her throat and glances at us, then proceeds to open the envelope. I can hear the Oscar drumroll in my imagination as her finger slides under the tab and she removes the ivory card.

“And our winner is Blake Hamilton! Please give him a round of applause!”

Even though I knew my odds of winning were miniscule, a tidal wave of disappointment floods through me. I try to keep a “Yay, Blake” smile plastered on my face as Blake pushes past me in his rush toward the mic, stepping on my toes. Dr. Farnham presents him with a certificate and a crystal disc engraved with his name, the year, and an etching of a classic Brownie camera, circa 1940.

I’ve been picturing that award engraved with my name on it for weeks. My shoulders slump as I sit down, since standing is for winners.

It’s just as well Dad’s not here to witness my failure.


Two very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Both books sound like sweet, contemporary YA stories packed with humour, friendship and romance.

  2. Sounds good, thanks for the reviews!

  3. Love YA adult romances, and these sound amazing. The covers make me want to pick them up and read them then.

  4. Sounds so good. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Ann S

  5. I had a summer job in a book shop many years ago. Well, I say worked, I read my way through the contemporary fiction department till it was time to go back to College! I still remember that wonderful smell of books!