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The Lisbon Affair (Flying with the Swallows #1) by Cat Gardiner: A Book Review

The Lisbon Affair (Flying With the Swallows #1)

Author: Cat Gardiner

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Publisher: Unionport Hills Books

Release Date: April 2, 2024

Pages: 339

Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: An unforgettable reading experience about one woman's brave determination to prove she is more than a do-nothing aristocrat and, in her journey of self-discovery and sacrifice, finds a second chance at true, unconditional love. * Epic adventure and romance. Strong female heroine.


     New York City, 1943: War widow and Best Society’s darling Mrs. Evelyn (Evie) Rousseau Somerset is five months into mourning her husband’s death when her family insists on an untenable plan for her future. Desolate and disenchanted with life, she’s determined to remake herself and prove she’s something more than a useless socialite—regardless of what her senator brother and domineering mother demand of her.


     A previous clandestine job at a newspaper provides the escape she’s looking for: a trip to Lisbon, the spy capital of the world, to use her money and connections to rescue a family of German Jews stranded in neutral Portugal. While crossing the Atlantic to Lisbon, she meets handsome and enigmatic Carl Wilson, a cocksure, ill-mannered American musician with an agenda and secrets of his own.


     Armed only with sophistication and moxie, Evelyn reluctantly welcomes Carl’s invitation to a new world—one that ultimately lands her as a secret agent for His Majesty’s government. 


     My Review: Evie Somerset is a newspaper reporter. She is sent to Portugal to interview Elena Lupescu who is the mistress of King Carol II of Romania. She is also given a secret mission to rescue her boss’s Jewish relatives who are stranded in Portugal. Along the way to Portugal, Evie meets the handsome and enigmatic musician named Carol Wilson. Together, they were to help make her secret mission successful. Through Carol Wilson, Evie eventually becomes a secret agent for the British government.


     I really like Evie. Evie was a former socialite. After she became a widow, Evie decided to work as a journalist in the women’s pages. Evie is very intelligent, hardworking, and kind. I love how compassionate she is to others. It is because of her compassion that she becomes a secret agent. Therefore, Evie is a very likable protagonist. I also love her relationship with Carol Wilson. Both of them are very similar. At first, they distrust each other but slowly they gain each other’s trust. Thus, they made a wonderful couple.


    Overall, this book is about secrets, love, and justice. I found all the characters to be very likable. My favorite was Elena Lupescu. I wish she was in the book more! I did think that The Lisbon Affair was rushed at times, especially the ending! Nevertheless, it was a very fast-paced read! It had glamour, suspense, and a dash of action! There was never a dull moment in The Lisbon Affair! I can’t wait to read the sequel, Rendezvous in Berlin! I recommend this for fans of The Librarian Spy, Goodnight from Paris, and The Invisible Woman!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


  Here is the official book trailer for The Lisbon Affair:


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