Spies, Lies and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts (Review, Excerpt & #Giveaway)

I read The Replacement Crush a couple years back by this author and liked it. This is also a
high school romance for contemporary fans. Read my review and enter the giveaway below...

Spies, Lies, and Allies
By Lisa Brown Roberts
YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 300 Pages
May 1st 2018 by Entangled: Teen


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.

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My Review

SPIES, LIES AND ALLIES is a story with one fabulous geeky heroine and a group of equally fabulous characters, each with their own struggles and dreams as they intern and compete for a college scholarship. YA Contemporary readers will love the mix of characters, the teasing and banter, the light suspense, the family dynamics, and the romance. An enjoyable read from beginning to end.

I liked the characters from the start. Laurel is so easy to relate to with her own insecurities, with her desire for more time with her dad, and wanting to be well liked. The other interns made up a wonderful motley group. They each grew on me as the story progressed, specifically one charming guy. I loved the different relationship types, particularly the father/daughter and sibling ones. That aspect added a lot to the story. There is also an emotional pull as Laurel tries to figure things out and be accepted. It was quite heartbreaking in placed. Gotta love a story that pulls on your emotions. Then there's all the geeky aspects. If you're into fandom, comic-cons, Star Wars references (there are a ton of them - maybe slightly overdone), then you'll enjoy all the geeky parts of this story, just like I did. Add a little mystery when someone tries to sabotage Laurel's dad's company, and you have a good balance. I also loved the chemistry between Laurel and one of the guys (going for no spoils here). There was some serious sizzle. But also extremely sweet. Loved it!

I didn't quite understand Laurel's issues with her dad and his company per se. I felt like I wasn't quite involved on her thinking there, but went with it. I think some more reasoning or experiences that would have set up that mentality would have been nice.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I really enjoyed this contemporary romance and would definitely recommend it to YA Contemporary readers who enjoy geeking out.

Content: A few swear words.
Source: I received a complimentary eARC from the publisher through NetGalley, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.


“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.

About the Author

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 www.lisabrownroberts.com.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

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

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