Sunday 14 September 2014

Code Name Nanette (The Amazon Queen (Book 1)) by M.E. Dawson

Title: Code Name Nanette
Author: M.E. Dawson
Series: The Amazon Queen (Book 1)
Read Type: eARC from AQ Press
Stars: StarStarStarStar

You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon UK and Amazon US
You can find out more about the author on Goodreads
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Book Blurb

"I AM NANETTE. I BREAK ALL THE RULES. Fifty years ago, during the war, I was a spy for the British government and helped save the world. Maybe nobody today remembers that I even existed, but I'm still here. Deal with it."

SEXY, SASSY, AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING. Inspired by real women who helped save the world, "Code Name Nanette" is a quirky, erotic, character-driven homage to the British and American female resistance fighters in France during World War II, who loved and fought behind enemy lines as intensely as their male counterparts, but whose names and achievements remain largely unheralded to this day. It opens a window into the hearts and minds of women who take on new roles and risk everything for love, freedom, or just plain adventure. The result is more than a history lesson. It's a revealing and touching triumph of courage, love, and hope against all odds.

JOE PARKER WILL NEVER LOOK AT WOMEN, YOUNG OR OLD, THE SAME WAY AGAIN. Six months earlier, he would have laughed at the suggestion he'd find himself drinking Canadian whisky in Montreal at one o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, much less doing it with a little old woman who used to be a spy and loved telling erotic stories. But letters Joe discovered in his grandmother's basement have set him on a quest to uncover his grandfather's identity. When they lead him to Nanette, a retired British agent who served with his grandmother in France during World War II, his life will change forever.

WAR ALWAYS GETS PERSONAL. Wars are not epic adventures involving the monumental achievements of larger-than-life heroes. They are bloody, devastating confrontations fought by discrete individuals who are swept up in the tides of history and forced to make personal life-and-death decisions on a daily basis. Each has a story. Most of them never get told. This is Nanette's.

CONTENT ALERT: EROTIC, R-RATED MATERIAL. Telling this story honestly required the inclusion of scenes involving sex, violence, and harsh language.

Author Bio

Like Nanette says, “It’s complicated.”

M.E. Dawson’s life has been a series of right angle turns, each leading to new adventures and distant horizons never before contemplated. They’ve taken M.E. across America from job to vocation and from hearth to home, imparting lessons at every turn, most notably the lessons Nanette teaches Joe:

Ultimately, it’s how and who you love that counts and, as Nanette says, when it comes to that, “Your heart and your body don’t play by anyone’s rules. They love who they love and want who they want, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Nanette is M.E.’s thank-you gift to fate for the education. Enjoy!


I received a copy of this novel from AQ Press in return for an unbiased review

Strong language: Some
Drugs: None
Violence: War, some graphic
Sexual content: Several scenes

I originally reviewed a copy of this novel in June, a large part of it, much of which I had issues with has since been rewritten, for what I think I a greatly improved book. Any confusion in this review is due to having edited it to cover the changes better.

A young man, Joseph, is looking for the name of his grandfather from an elderly spy who worked with his grandmother during the years when his mother would have been born. This led to him hearing a deep and evocative tale that leave the reader reeling from emotions.

We got into the meat of the story straight away, via several chapter long flash backs in person, whether it was the story of Nanette or Regina, aka the Queen, Joseph's Grandmother.  These were written very well and were immersive to the point that I forgot to take notes in some cases for the duration of several chapters! These scenes felt very real and believable, the research was in depth. You could feel the author's enthusiasm for this plotline.

The characters were much the same. They popped off the page, like they were in front of you at times. I felt great care and attention had gone into these, especially mixing the fact that they were French, but making it easily understandable for an English speaking audience. I always felt I had enough pre-knowledge of what the situation was like in that area, what protocols were etc without ever having an info dump shoved in my face.

I did feel a couple of the bad guys, going under whatever name they were using for that division could have used a bit more attention. They felt a bit careless in the writing, almost as if the author knew she would kill of leave them behind a couple of pages later so didn't want to spend the time making an emotional connection.

There were multiple sex scenes, most of which drew the plot along, but a few I felt were not used to their full potential to develop the plot. Originally I felt some to be gratuitous, but I think this has been reduced a bit, leaving just enough to affect Joseph as Joseph he listened (and more often than not squirming in his seat for one reason or another)!

The timeline jumped back and forth every few chapters, giving us a view of Joseph as he tried to reconcile the Grandmother he knew with the spy he was learning he knew so little about. I thought the relationship he developed with Nanette was very sweet, almost like a second chance at getting to know his Grandma.

The 411

I thought this was a lovely book, although it was about the was a D Day, it also covered life, love and loss. I was sad to end it, despite the touching and fitting way it was done.

I give this book 4 stars

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