Playing the Spy by Maggie Brown

Lies and deception is never a good way to start a relationship. It is a damn good way to start a romance novel though. Add in chemistry and a whole lot of sexiness and you have a book by Maggie Brown you just won’t want to put down.

Eleanor Godwin is a mega-star in Hollywood and beloved by many. As a household name, Eleanor has very little privacy and the small amounts she does have she guards fiercely. After wrapping up a punishing role, Eleanor is exhausted and ill from the toll she reeked on her body to get into character. She decides to return to her birth country of Australia for some much needed rest out of the public’s eye.

Our other main character is a journalist on the political beat. Sophie Marsh is forced by her editor to take an undercover role, as a housekeeper/cook to infiltrate the life of Eleanor Godwin. Sophie has no interest in Hollywood or reporting on entertainment news. Her sexist boss forces her to take the role or hit the unemployment line. The young journalist reluctantly agrees knowing that this is so wrong on so many levels and decides upon arrival at the private island she will not do harm to Eleanor Godwin’s reputation no matter what.

This adorable and sweet relationship blossoms from a reluctant friendship to an all-out burning love affair. The two main characters are delightful and you love them for their kindness and strength as well as the many missteps they make on their journey to happily ever after. You root for their success all the way through. A fantastic read!

4 out of 5 stars


Piping Her Tune by Maggie Brown

Let me just say this book is excellent. Maggie Brown is an exceptional writer that built characters that were intelligent and sassy, and not afraid to show it. This book is an absolute gem!

Abby Benton is a struggling artist. Her paintings are excellent, but she does not have enough steady work to keep the rent paid and the pantry stocked. Her heart and soul are dependent upon her art, but unfortunately it cannot pay her mounting bills. After entering a portrait contest, she writes to uber-successful business magnet Victoria Myers to be her muse. Ms. Myers accepts Abby’s request to paint her and this is where the story begins.

Victoria is basically a first-rate a$$hole the entire time Abby is trying to paint her likeness. She’s either being verbally dismissive or she’s on the phone. Our spitfire artist doesn’t let her get away with it, she tears the businesswoman a new one, and they take parting shots at each other as Victoria goes on her way. These confrontations play out on Abby’s canvas, and let’s just say, Victoria Myers ends up looking like the Lucifer himself, but the painting is really good and becomes quite popular. Chapter One!

So the story really takes flight with both of these ladies being royally pissed off at each other. TENSION!!! Guess what else? Both of these women are gorgeous, smart, witty, and can throw out a zinger with the best of them. Life continues to throw these two together, and a set of unusual circumstances force Victoria to hire Abby to travel with her on a six month traveling business trip. Talk about throwing two lions in a den together.

These two verbally spar throughout the book. They both respect each other, but miscommunication and a variety of secondary characters make troubles continue to arise. The mounting tension is palatable and you can feel each of our protagonists about to burst. I loved that the author kept these two ladies apart romantically well into the book. The pressure of hiding their attraction to each other was what made the book stellar (I am a sucker for angst, when it’s done right). I also liked that fact that both Victoria and Abby were resilient, clever women with backbones and strong opinions. There is no weakling here, one is rich and one is poor but neither put much stock into it.

All in all this book is great. I highly recommend it. You will not be wasting your time on this one, but you may need the biggest Americano you can get your hands on the next morning. This book made me read well into the night and if Monday mornings aren’t hard enough already, self-induced sleep deprivation doesn’t make it any easier.

4.5 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Bella Books

Piping Her Tune
by Maggie Brown