Risking it All (novella) by Lucy Oliver

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Devastated by the death of his brother, Spitfire ace Billy Jenkins accepts a secret assignment to investigate the high rate of deaths. But the person who seems at fault is his old flame, Lynne. Torn between duty and love, Billy must discover if the woman he still adores is responsible for the loss of his fellow flyers. Lynne can't afford the distraction of falling for a fighter pilot like Billy at this dangerous time. But every flight could be Billy's last. Will she settle for one night of passion or risk losing him forever?

Publisher and Release Date: Wild Rose Press, April 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: WWII
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 5 stars

Review by Hannah Fielding

As soon as I saw a new book by Lucy Oliver up for review, I knew I must request it, because I so enjoyed her earlier books. In terms of the romantic novella, this is perfection. It has everything you could want.

The historical setting is vivid and realistic. I was fascinated by the detail on the air defences, and especially the role of the head radio operator – I had no idea of the responsibility they shouldered. The darkness at the centre of the story (too many pilots die on Lynne’s watch) is compelling, and it made me wonder how true to life this part of the story is. I’ll say no more for fear of spoiling this plot element!

The story is poignant and compelling with mystery and plenty of passion and drama. The backdrop of the war really heightens emotions and squeezes the time frame for a love affair. At a time when one knew every moment was so very precious, there was no time to mess about in love – and that feeling of urgency and intensity, mingled with fear of loss, permeates the story.

The author shapes characters whom you can’t help but feel for and admire. Billy is sublimely easy to fall in love with, given his heroic job as fighter pilot – but there are such depths to this man, who battles grief over the loss of friends and the difficult job of investigating the death rate connected to Lynne’s team. But for me, the stand-out character is Lynne herself. How wonderful to have such a capable and strong heroine for the era! And we can well understand both her reticence to fall in love in such times, and with such a man, and also the strength of her passion when she finally sets it free.

Finally, the writing style is lovely and easy to read, transporting the reader to another time – evocative, colourful, beautiful.

I was utterly gripped and caught up in the world of the story, so much that so that I read the novella in one sitting (fuelled by three coffees).

If you want to be moved and to be swept away in romance, this book is a must-read.

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