cover image Saving Mrs. Roosevelt

Saving Mrs. Roosevelt

Candice Sue Patterson. Barbour Fiction, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-63609-089-4

Set in Maine, near Franklin Roosevelt’s Campobello home, this intriguing installment in the Heroines of WWII series will appeal both to romantics and history buffs. Shirley Davenport, like her brothers, worked her father’s lobster boat. Unlike them, she was sidelined when America entered WWII. They enlisted, and, anxious to do more than sew and write letters, Shirley jumps at the chance to join the SPARs, an all-female Coast Guard reserve unit, even though it means defying her father’s wishes. During training, Shirley becomes attracted to Capt. Leo Webber (he of the voice like “butter and maple syrup” who also “studied his Bible as faithfully as he studied military tactics”) and connects with Alma, a Black woman SPARS who faces prejudice within the unit. When threats against Eleanor Roosevelt’s life are uncovered, the Coast Guard brass concoct a plan to invent an illicit relationship between Webber and Shirley, dishonorably discharge Shirley, and send her home undercover to ferret out the terrorists. Shirley endures her parents’ disappointment and plenty of small-town gossip—and soon suspects her German-immigrant best friend’s family may be involved in the plot against the first lady. Webber, meanwhile, is reassigned (Shirley “sent a prayer... that God would protect him, wherever he might be”), and Shirley finds support in Alma as foes are exposed and Webber returns to help win the day. Patterson brings in well-researched background on the SPARs without slowing the plot. It’s a fun little escape. Agent: Linda Glaz, Hartline Literary. (Dec.)