Bolté, Betty. Notes of Love and War. [United States]: Mystic Owl Publishing, 2020.
ISBN-13: 978-1733973649 | $4.99 USD | 382 pages | Historical Fiction
Audrey Harper needs more than home and hearth to satisfy her self-worth despite being raised with the idea that a woman’s place is in the home. Working as a music critic for the city newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland, during the Second World War, she’s enjoyed both financial freedom and personal satisfaction in a job well done. When she uncovers evidence of German spies working to sabotage a secret bomber plane being manufactured in her beloved city, she must choose between her sense of duty to protect her city and the urgings of her boss, her family, and her fiancé to turn over her evidence to the authorities. But when her choices lead her and her sister into danger, she is forced to risk life and limb to save her sister and bring the spies to justice.
Set against the backdrop of the flourishing musical community during the 1940s in Baltimore, Notes of Love and War weaves together the pleasure of musical performance with the dangers of espionage and spying.
I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
After reviewing Betty Bolté’s previous 2020 release, I was intrigued to read more from her. And Notes of Love and War is another solid book, showing her dedication to historical research, this time delving into a subject much closer to her heart: Maryland where she grew up, set during World War II.
I was a bit confused at first, due it feeling rather leisurely paced, without the intrigue promised by the blurb. But it allows the reader to become acquainted with Audrey and her world as things change around her thanks to her brother, and later her father, going off to war, and developing a friendship that turns romantic.
And in that sense, it fits the title, since letters connecting parted family and friends plays a key role in the development of the story. I enjoyed observing the changes in her relationship with Charlie largely through letters, and in their rare in-person meetings.
And when things took a turn toward the more suspenseful, I felt close to Audrey and her sister and could truly fear for their lives.
This is a delightful, original historical novel, and one that made me feel like I came away having learned something new about one of the most popular time periods. I recommend this if you love historical fiction, especially set during World War II.
When I sit down to write, the goal for my historical stories is to bring the lives of people in the past to life for my readers. I write both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, I love to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to romantic fiction, I’ve written several nonfiction books, and earned a Master of Arts in English in 2008. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Find out more about me at www.bettybolte.com.