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 who just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?
Amid 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 themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.
I enjoyed reading The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White, set in London in 1917 during WW1, and the first book in The Codebreakers series. Margot is a fascinating character with a mathematically brilliant mind. She thinks in numbers, sees patterns in the numbers, and is a valuable resource for the British Navy in the war effort because of her ability to crack codes.
When the story opens, Drake is a British Navy Officer who’s working undercover in neutral Spain where his grandfather lives. He’s intrigued by his first meeting at Admiral Hall with the aloof Margo, and he later discovers Margo is his sister, Dot’s, new best friend.
I appreciated how Margo and Drake’s unconventional romantic relationship develops, from acquaintances to friends to something more. Margo is young, and her education in her native Belgium was disrupted by the war. She wants to go to university, and is not at all interested in marrying and having children. The back story for Margo’s family leaving Belgium for England is explored in her brother’s romance story, A Song Unheard.
I love reading historical romances that include real life historical settings in the story. Margo works in London at Admiral Hall in Room 40, which is a secret location where intelligence officers and codebreakers examine intercepted telegrams and other communications to discover the real messages behind the encrypted words.
Danger is lurking around the characters, and the suspense element in the story kept me turning the page, wanting to know what happens next. I found the codebreaking elements in the story intriguing and insightful. I recommend The Number of Love to historical romance readers who like WW1 English settings with a suspense subplot and a relevant faith element in the story.