Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network–field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.
Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?
Amid biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.
Why This Book:
Roseanna M. White wrote it. I have yet to not enjoy anything she has written.
Old Admiralty Building
25 September 1917
The numbers marched across the page in a glory all their own.
I’m not such a fan of this opening line, actually. Maybe its because I’m not a numbers person, but I thought it was rather ho-hum. That being said, the next sentence gained my interest. By the bottom of the first page I could feel the tension in the room. By page 15 I was hooked.
In case you’re curious, here are the second, third and fourth sentences:
Margot De Wilde stared at them for a long moment, looked back at the German telegram sitting on her desk, and then scratched a new number onto the column. Almost there. Almost.
Margot De Wilde – Yes! I LOVE Margot! I loved her when we first met her as Lukas De Wilde’s little sister in A Song Unheard and I adored getting to know her better as the heroine of this novel. There can be no debate that she is a character with an utterly unique personality and perspective on the world. I am extremely impressed with how well Roseanna pulled off writing this character. Margot never once acts or thinks in a way that doesn’t seem to fit her. She is consistent with who she is while also continuing to grow as a person over the course of the story. This is a heroine you won’t soon forget.
Drake “Dragon” Elton – He has another name, but I won’t give it away here. 😉 He’s a very engaging character with a strong sense of right and wrong that is tested in ways only war can do. I love the way he responds to Margot’s unique personality and habits. He’s a hero you will love reading about.
Dorothea “Dot” Elton – Drake’s younger sister is another unique character I loved getting to know. Thanks to war-related trauma she has fears connected to leaving her home. Seeing how she handles these fears and how they impact her relationships adds depth to this story.
There are four or five other characters I’d like to name here, but since they aren’t introduced until later in the story, or are integral to twists in the plotline, naming them here could be perceived as spoilers. So I’ll simply add that the other main characters are equally well developed and you will enjoy reading about them.
Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:
This is definitely a suspenseful read that will keep you turning pages, but it doesn’t sacrifice emotion for action. As I mentioned above, the characters in this story are all so well-written that you can’t help but care about what happens to them. Roseanna even managed to evoke compassion for a villain that has done some truly horrifying things.
Elements I especially liked/disliked:
I love how many honestly unique characters Roseanna managed to fit into this novel without making any of them seem like gimmicks or cartoons. They each feel real and relatable despite their uniqueness that, at times, borders on the extreme.
The balance of control between the head and the heart.
Oh, I was grinning from ear to ear. I think I even gave a very delighted little giggle when certain events occurred near the end and the only reason I didn’t clap was that I was still holding the book and didn’t want to set it down until I’d read the very last word.
5 out of 5 stars
What part of The Number of Love‘s premise intrigues you? What is your favorite era to read about? Do you enjoy math?
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Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, but was NOT required to write a positive review. You may read my full disclosure of materials HERE.