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Free on 30th Mar 24 - 3rd Apr 24
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Introducing the Virtues and Valor series part 1 of 7 serialized stories that tell the tale of a daring rescue and escape. Each part is told from the perspective of a different heroine, and each heroine is inspired by a true WWII heroine.

The Third Reich Seeks to Extract the Information She Alone Knows

MARIE GILBERT and her elder brother flee from Vichy France after the Gestapo arrest her father for suspicion of aiding Jewish children to escape the oncoming fascist front. Once in London, Marie is recruited into an experimental all female cohort dubbed the Virtues, a collection of seven extraordinary women with highly specialized skills.

Known only by her code name, TEMPERANCE, she is trained to operate a wireless radio and returns to her beloved France. With a new identity, Marie clandestinely communicates vital intelligence directly back to Headquarters but unwillingly attracts the attention and apparent adoration of a handsome but ruthless Nazi officer, Oberleutnant LEOPOLD SCHÄFER.

As the H-hour to execute their daring mission draws ever closer, Marie plays a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the unrelenting and merciless young Lieutenant Schäfer and the Nazi soldiers under his command.

TEMPERANCE’S TRIAL is part one of seven serialized novellas entitled the Virtues and Valor series.

Seven valorous women — different nationalities, ethnicities, and social backgrounds — come together as a team called the Virtues.

In 1941 Great Britain a special war department assembles an experimental and exclusively female cohort of combat operatives. Four willing spies, a wireless radio operator, an ingenious code breaker, and a fearless pilot are each hand-picked, recruited, and trained to initiate a daring mission in Occupied France. As plans are laid to engineer the largest prison break of Allied POWs in history, the Nazis capture the Virtues’ radio operator. It will take the cohesive teamwork of the rest of the women to save her life before Berlin breaks her and brings the force of the Third Reich to bear.

Some find love, some find vengeance, and some discover the kind of strength that lives in the human heart when all they can do is rely on each other and their shared belief. Courage, faith, and valor intersect but, in the end, one pays the ultimate price.

Introducing the Virtues and Valor series by Hallee Bridgeman. Seven serialized novellas, each inspired by real people and actual events, reveal the incredible story of amazing heroines facing the ultimate test of bravery.

Free on 30th Mar 24 - 3rd Apr 24
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"A promising story of an all-female team operating in Occupied France during World War II."

Reviewer: .

Escaping from France in World War II, Marie Gilbert finds herself recruited by Major Charlene Radden. The Major is looking for new recruits for an experimental group of woman who would be working as a team in occupied France. She meets the rest of the group anonymously and they are only known by their codenames based on the Virtues. Each of them have different skills they will be utilising, but are also being trained to survive in Occupied France and be able to live and survive without drawing attention to themselves. When the times comes Temperance, as she is now known, is sent into France in the guise of a seamstress to pass messages back and forth between London and the local resistance. But complications come in the form of German Officer OberLeutnant Schafer, who takes a shine to her after she fixes a button for him. Despite this, Marie manages to stay undercover and continue to pass messages. But a large explosion in the area caused by the resistance brings extra attention to the area and Marie's cover is blown. Caught before she can flee, she is dragged to the local prison and beaten by the guards in order to find out what she knows. Can she survive to make her team aware or will Schafer, who is in charge of the prison, be able to break her first.

The first in the series following the "Virtues" and their actions in war torn France. As well as the historical nature of the story, it also has a heavy undertone of faith and hope driving the actions that each of the team are taking. The plot of recruit a group of specialists to carry out missions has been done often before, but this is not the same as the Dirty Dozen. Following only one of the team, it does help to give focus to Temperance alone, though other members of the group do make appearances through the story helping to give it wider feel and hinting at the other events going on. But by keeping it close to just Temperance, it grounds it in her thoughts and experiences. Reading through, I had a very good idea of both her fears of what she was about to do as well as her determination to carry it through. It is a story more about having the belief to do the right thing instead of an action story as one person in a terrifying situation where one wrong move will lead to torture and execution.

On the downside, it is a slow story, there is not as much set in Occupied France as I might have expected and the consistent necessity to mention faith at every turn starts to outdo it's welcome. I can understand someone's belief and it's impact on them, but after a while it loses impact for where it could be at its most impactful.

The book is well formatted and contains several sets of notes on the war, ideal for anyone wanting a little more understanding on the subject matter. There is a piece on the inspirations behind the group, which is well worth a read, and a brief look at the books upcoming in the series. Those brief synopses do lead to one of the biggest spoilers in the series, so if you don't want to know a major piece of information, stop reading at the end of the story and skip straight to the next book if you enjoyed it. There is also the start to the next book included at the end as a taster.

Overall, there is a lot of setup in this book for the series, slightly to it's own detriment, but it is well written and easy to follow. It certainly can be recommended if this is your kind of story.

Rating: 3

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