Cover Image: The Reluctant Glamour Girl

The Reluctant Glamour Girl

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

Novella set during WW2 featuring legal secretary Polly who reluctantly gets caught up in escalating anti-American sentiments.  Bit rushed in parts but OK.
Was this review helpful?
Full of action and intrigue this is a spy thriller set during WW2. which gripped me from the beginning. For me it is a novel which would translate well to the screen. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys spy stories.
Was this review helpful?
WWII Spy vs Spy
This is an exciting, novella-length WWII story. The plot is spy vs spy inside the USA. Nazi infiltrators are threatening the US war machine and the FBI recruits a young secretary to infiltrate their ranks. The action is non-stop and the story is very realistic. I am going to read more of this author's work. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-arc of The Reluctant Glamour Girl.

This novella provided a mysterious and thrilling looking into life as a double-agent during WWII in Atlanta. Polly Morgan is simply a secretary living in Atlanta. She has worked hard with no improvements for the past two years until one day the head secretary takes a weeks vacation. This gives Polly the chance to not only meet her boss but work for him. During that week Polly falls for her boss and becomes willing to do pretty much anything for him. This includes becoming a spy for the FBI to try and seduce a Nazi on American soil.

As a novella this story still felt a bit off to me. There was too much build up (almost 50% of the story to my recollection) and then the action of the story felt a bit rushed. Still Burke told the story well and wrapped up loose ends as well in under 200 pages.
Was this review helpful?
Was just okay. Was written good but the story itself was slow for me. Had to put it down many times.
Was this review helpful?
A pleasant, easy read, it evokes the war years in content as well as style of writing. It covers the dangers of espionage at a high level in a simple style whilst concentrating on the budding relationship between our two main characters,
Polly Anna stands in for her boss as Edmund’s assistant whilst she is on leave and her skills and competence are immediately realised. Whilst their relationship is finding its feet, Edmund persuades Polly Anna to work for the FBI and attract the attention of German sympathisers in the US. The role isn’t as straightforward as it appears though.
Was this review helpful?
This is set during WW 2.  Polly Anna Morgan is a newly promoted secretary at a law firm.  She's enjoying single life during the war with her roommate and working at the USO.  Her new boss, Edmund, has other plans for her - he has ties to the FBI and is looking for a beautiful, intelligent woman to help "entertain" the leader of the American Nazi party to learn of their plans stateside.  Polly learns of a plan to sabotage two US shipyards and is kidnapped after being outed as working with the FBI.

It's a strange story but entertaining.  Some parts are a bit far fetched to believe and the ending wraps up quickly.

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a temporary, digital ARC in return for my review.
Was this review helpful?
This one was a slow burner for me, put it down a few times did a bit of housework then came back to it.  Around the last 2/3 it became more interesting and intense so was pleased I continued on with it. Overall ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
WWII Atlanta, Georgia, 1943.Polly Morgan has been living in Atlanta for two years, working as a file clerk.  When Edmund Harbry, junior law partner needs a temporary executive secretary for a week, it is Polly who gets the position.  One week later, the job is hers...full time.  With her eyes on her boss, she becomes enraptured, yet he has other plans for Polly, involving espionage.  Secretly he works with the FBI targeting Nazi saboteurs.  He needs an attractive young woman to infiltrate the American Nazi Party.  This is the core of the novel and could have been an interesting book.  Instead, it skimmed the surface, leaving many questions behind.  The how and why her boss became involved in the first place.  What about Polly?  Can any young and beautiful woman without any spy experience, even begin to know how to handle things?  Especially a naïve woman!!  The book was easy enough to read, it had the "feel" of the times when it came to the setting, but the characters were not well fleshed out. I love historical fiction and have read many books about WWII (they are flooding the marketplace), but this novel was just about average.  My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A different take on the average WWII spy story and one set on the homefront. A 1940's movie comes to mind with the jargon and the song references while a love story is simmering in the background.
Was this review helpful?
This novella is about Polly who ends up getting uprooted from her usual quiet life in Atlanta living with her roommate Elle during the late 1940’s and becomes a spy for the F.B.I. Polly takes a temporary position as Edmund Harbry’s secretary while his actual secretary is gone for a week. She ends up being offered a full-time position since Mr. Harbry was quite impressed with all her secretarial skills. Polly starts to wonder if her boss is involved in something after he has a bunch of weird secret meetings and has her send a bunch of odd telegrams to people. It turns out Edmund is involved with the F.B.I. and he wants her to accompany him to meetings and attend Nazi parties to try and gain intelligence about potential threats to America. Polly ends up courting Fritz, the most prominent Nazi leader and biggest person of interest for the F.B.I., at a party. Through her escapades, she overhears juicy plans that the Germans are sending secret agents out to sabotage shipyards across the U.S. She ends up getting drugged before she can contact the F.B.I., dragged to Savannah, there is an intense showdown, and a happily ever after. 

I feel like this novella has a lot of potential. It was a slow build in the beginning but became stale at about 32-54% of the way through. The last 30% was intense, and I enjoyed those plot events, but I feel there are multiple glaring issues. Polly’s character is supposed to be an average 1940’s woman. I found her often reminding me of Vice Principal Strong Woman from South Park. It was so in your face though at times that it was hard not to cringe. Her protests did not always feel authentic either, especially given her feelings for Edmund Harbry. Polly’s responses to events and other characters were too present-day, not the responses of someone who was given proper etiquette lessons in the 1940’s. 

The last 30% of the novel felt like it went from impulse engines to Warp 9 suddenly, and the abrupt pacing shift resulted in too many questions that went unanswered. Things like, “how did Edmund Harbry get involved with the F.B.I. in the first place?” remain unanswered. Out of the many female spy books set during World War II, all of them had basic training in things like self-defense and how to fire a gun at some point in time in the novel. None of that happened here, which leads to some of the plot events (Polly getting kidnapped, dragged to Savannah, and put in an incredibly dangerous scenario) seem outlandish as she has no base knowledge to get out of that scenario. Her knowing how to suddenly pick a lock felt way too convenient and was a failed attempt to address this situation. Some of Polly’s comments about how she wished she would have killed certain characters also felt very alien as I had no idea if she even knew how to fire a gun. 

My last hang up with this novella was it felt too smooth for a spy story, especially given Polly’s complete inexperience. I could buy the “I’m a cute girl at a party, come talk to me” bit since the F.B.I. had her wired to record any potential important conversations, but there were hardly any hiccups. I feel like an average person, who receives absolutely no training from the F.B.I in anything, and who constantly voices how much she does not want to be a spy, has a very easy time gathering critical pieces of information, and getting out of incredibly dangerous situations. The lack of hiccups really took a lot of believability out of the novella for me. If this novella has some more editing, I think it could be an incredibly interesting story.

Thank you to the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?