Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Review ~ The Number of Love (The Codebreakers 1) by Roseanna White

Paperback368 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together. 

My Review
4 STARS!!!

“Don’t be absurd. One is never greater than twelve.”
“It is when you love the one.”

There is much to like in this first offering of the new The Codebreakers series set in WWI England. The Number of Love is filled with interesting characters, some I liked more than others. Drake Elton is one I very much like. He is a protector by nature with a determined personality, a sharp wit and is not afraid to take risks. I loved how he cared for Dot’s wellbeing and was sensitive to her anxiety issues, always showing kindness and patience. Some may think he was being overprotective but who knows you better than a sibling, right? Only in this case, it took someone who doesn’t relate to others well, thinks in numbers, and shows very little emotion to enlighten him to the strength that was within his sister.

Margot De Wilde is like no young woman Drake has ever met. A friend of Dot’s, she has the ability to look at people and circumstances unencumbered by emotions. Margot was definitely a character I had a hard time connecting with but people are worth getting to know. It takes time and patience. Not everyone has the ability to verbalize their feelings. It’s much harder for some but it doesn’t mean they don’t feel. You have to put aside self and enter into their world, looking for ways to connect with them because in the end you will find a person who very much feels things deeply and has incredible insights on life.

White is adept at drawing detailed word pictures and always has me believing I have been transported back in time and place. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to fans of historical fiction and especially those who want to know more about The Codebreakers in Room 40. I especially enjoyed the author notes at the end of the book clarifying what was actual history. I want to know more about this time in England’s past.J

I wouldn’t normally do this but I emailed the author to ask her why she chose to make her characters Catholic and she graciously answered me saying that in Belgium during this time, something like 98% of the people practiced Roman Catholicism. Margot is from Belgium and it was easier to make the Elton’s RC as well, in order to avoid the whole “Can we get married, belonging to different churches?” question.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


  1. What a lovely review! Believe it or not I could definitely relate to Margot, who lived inside her head, like I do, much of the time. I share your wonder over the way Roseanna White brings her characters to life, her books are gifts to my shelves1

    1. I always look forward to Roseanna's books. She writes deep story.


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