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All Is Fair


A young lady is pulled out of school and into a secret wartime mission with a dashing American spy.

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Swoon Index

  • Heat

    6 (1 rating)

  • Tears

    6 (2 ratings)

  • Laughs

    7 (2 ratings)

  • Thrills

    7 (2 ratings)

Full Description

When Lady Mina Tretheway receives a telegram at boarding school, she doesn’t want to read it. In 1918, with war raging, she dreads telegrams, knowing they never bring good news.

At first she doesn’t understand the cryptic message. Then she realizes it’s written in code, and the message leads her home to Hallington Manor. When Lord Andrew Graham appears with a dashing young American, Lucas Mueller, Mina learns that the two of them must work together on dangerous project for the war effort.

Thinking Mina is just a spoiled aristocrat, Lucas tries to complete the project alone, fearing her inexperience will give them away. But when the project goes very wrong, Mina and Lucas are thrown together to complete the mission before more soldiers disappear into the darkness of war.


It was long, far longer than most telegrams, and it made no sense.

April 2, 1918


Your old father has a request. A friend has written that your cousin is ill. She needs you to come home to Hallington right away. Have your things sent as well. Get help from Mrs. Brommers if you need it. She will be glad to give it. To communicate with me, wire the Foreign Office if situation worsens. Best you don’t tell your cousin you are coming. We’re at Thornhill but don’t know for how long. Once home, let us know of your safe arrival. Play some of the old games with your cousin to keep you two challenged. Two are always better than one.


First of all, even though I had a cousin who lived at Hallington, Cousin Eugenia, I didn’t know a Mrs. Brommers nor had I ever heard of a place called Thornhill. Second of all, who was the “we?” My mother was in America helping out my uncle, whose wife was ill. Third, my father would never refer to himself as an “old father.” People often commented on how Reese Tretheway still looked much as he had in the days he was a valued secret agent for the British government, tracking spies across Europe.

The next to the last sentence made even less sense. My cousin Eugenia loathed games, refusing to play cards or even word games, though she knew more words than anyone I had ever met. It was also almost impossible to imagine Eugenia ill. The woman walked miles a day on her “nature rambles,” her stork-like figure a common sight to everyone for miles around. She never took to her bed for any reason.

A thrill of excitement ran through me. The telegram was strange because it was a cipher. It had to be. There was no other explanation. It must mean my father wanted me to do something important. I ignored the little nagging voice inside that told me how unlikely that was. I was sure if I deciphered it, I would have a job to do for the war effort instead of just rolling bandages and waiting to be old enough to train as a nurse. I didn’t even want to be a nurse. Whatever this was, it had nothing to do with nursing.

“Yes, I need to go home,” I said to Miss Climpson. “Right away.”


A Junior Library Guild Selection

"This is the sort of book you want to hide in your closet and read so that no one disturbs you until you're completely finished." —Samantha Hastings, author of The Last Word

"Amid spy intrigue, coded messages, fairly improbable escapes, a budding romance, and bold derring-do, our quick-thinking, thoroughly engaging protagonist triumphs and the plot never slows. Garretson reaches beyond adventure, too, providing a haunting nuance to the horrors of war through her heroine’s eyes. ... An action-packed, yet sobering journey into the war to end all wars." —Booklist

"Mina, a strong and likable heroine, complements both her privileged manor upbringing and the gritty wartime setting. ... Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the author’s research and the clever weaving of fact and fiction." —VOYA

"I love a good female empowerment book and our heroine in this novel has moxie, brains, and a good sense of humor. ... If you have someone new to [historical fiction] and/or a reader who adores the genre, All Is Fair would be an excellent book to put into their hands." —ExpatLibrary, Goodreads reviewer

“I love the writing style and you capture the era so very well. I love it so far and I can't wait to read more. Definitely a yay!” —Bookish Worm, Swoon Reader

“Great voice and engaging style. I like Mina already.” —Linda D., Swoon Reader

“I liked the suspense and the gradual revelation of all the secrets. It kept my curiosity high and kept me reading.” —LaLinsey216, Swoon Reader

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