World War II is an oft-neglected era in romance novels, yet one that has a lot of potential for dramatic and intense storylines. The setting of 1939 Germany in Dangerous Allies was a major draw for me, and while the story used the setting effectively and had a decent romance and a prevalent inspirational religious subplot, it just didn’t quite meet its promise.
Katarina Kerensky is one of Germany’s most famous and admired actresses, inspiring awe with her performances. As good an actress as she is, no one suspects her secrets: first, that she has Jewish ancestry, an almost guaranteed death sentence in Nazi Germany; and second, that she’s a spy for the British. She meets with another British spy, a man she knows only as Freidrich Reitter, to copy blueprints for a new weapon being developed by the Nazis. Both of them have lost their faith in God and humanity, and trust no one. However, as the mission progresses and they are forced to rely on each other to survive, an undeniable connection grows between them.
I liked the atmosphere of the book; the contrast between the fear and glamour of the elite of Nazi Germany was well drawn. Katarina and Jack (“Friedrich”) work together as well, and despite the limited sensuality, they had chemistry. I liked watching their growing trust of one another, when trusting the wrong person could mean death. I was a bit dissatisfied with the precarious nature of the ending, though. The author assures us of their happy ending, but they are in no way safe when the story ends.
This story has a stronger religious element than other inspirational romances that I’ve read, quoting scripture and prayers frequently. I liked the growing reconnection they both have with their faith, but I wanted a bit more substance built atop the Bible quotes in the context of the story.
Dangerous Allies was good, but not spectacular. I wish it was longer, but as a series romance the story couldn’t go as deep as it could have been in a longer format. I suppose most of my frustrations are founded in the abbreviated length and cursory development that a story of less than 300 pages allows. I’m not saying that series romances can’t be complex and have intricately developed plots; but this particular plot lent itself to more than it delivered.