A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England Book #1)
Book 1, Shadows Over England
Roseanna M. White
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Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?
Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.
But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?
First book in Shadows over England series!
A Name Unknown is the first book in Shadows over England series by Roseanna M. White. We are taken back to 1914 when tensions are on the rise throughout Europe (war has yet to break out). Rosemary Gresham is a thief in London who helps support her “family”. The group consists of twelve orphans who have banded together and become a family. Rosemary has done two previous jobs for Mr. V and now he is offering her a third with a handsome payout. Mr. V wants Rosemary to find documented proof of Peter Holstein’s loyalties. He is loyal to England or Germany? Peter is of German descent and has the ear of the King of England, George V. War is sure to be declared soon and time is of the essence. Peter has just returned home to Kensey Manor from London. He is happy to be away from the crowds and return to his writing. Peter needs important documents to be found in his library or what his friend, Gryffyn calls the cave. With troubling times coming, he needs the documents that prove his nationality (his loyalty). Rosemary arrives as a librarian to apply for the position Peter has available (to sort the items in the cave). As time passes, Peter’s character is revealed to Rosemary. He is a kind, Christian man, but few people get to know Peter because of his stutter. Will Rosemary find the documentation she needs to complete the job? Or will she find a far greater prize in Cornwall?
A Name Unknown is set in beautiful Cornwall. I thought the story idea was interesting (and the cover is just lovely), but the execution (for me) was lacking. The book starts out with a good pace, but then it slows down to a crawl. The story gets bogged down (too much detail), and I felt like I was sinking in quicksand (I kept looking to see if I was any closer to the end). A little rewriting and editing would have made a significant difference. My rating for A Name Unknown is 3 out of 5 stars. The Christian element is moderate (just the right amount). Peter is a Christian man who prays and leads by example (many people look up to him and correspond with him). I particularly enjoyed Rosemary finding comfort in the Bible and God (becoming a Christian). It was the best part of the book. The mystery element was not complicated, and I easily identified the culprit. The mysterious Mr. V was an intriguing figure, and I believe people will be surprised by his motives. The romance plays out slowly over the course of book and had an expected outcome. A Name Unknown does have a charming ending. A Name Unknown has some good elements, but I was not wowed. It needs some reworking to improve the flow and eliminate the extraneous (it is too long).
This is an incredible historical romance!
I was enthralled by the fact that this book in set in 1914 Edwardian England. This is a period that I have rarely seen novels written about. That means that it drew me into a new era for me. It captivated me.
I love both of the main characters. They are vastly different from each other and they both have very deep secrets that they are concealing. Though they both live in England their worlds are at opposite ends of the spectrum. They are so wonderfully well developed that I was able to connect with both of them from the beginning. I quickly found things about their lives to sympathize with.
The hint of mystery and suspense that flows through the book was well crafted. I was caught up from very early on in trying to figure out who Mr. V was as well as the identity of the person harassing Peter Holstein.
I’m already looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
I received a free eBook copy of this novel through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.
Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
A delightful read.
I seriously think that Roseanna has a time machine. She must travel back to each year and place that she writes about to give it such authenticity. A Name Unknown is beautifully crafted with raw and organic characters that will capture any historical fiction fan’s heart.
Books like this book are a once in a lifetime read, you will be transported in the time machine to the streets of London,with a charming Rosemary. I loved that she was a “librarian” as that is a profession I have held and loved dearly. She is strong opinionated character that at some points probably drove the author to talking out loud. I mean this as she flies off the pages into your mind,and certainly into Peter’s home and heart.One aspect this author always does perfectly is her research, I swear I could smell the streets, and the fog of London. I really loved the conflict for Peter of England v. Germany, his heritage and ultimately the outcome of Rosemary’s mission. The details were great and made me more curious for the time period. I was blown away, knowing that the book would amazing but didn’t know it would be so mind blowing that I would be speechless. Another highly successful new series for Roseanna M. White.
Other Books in This Series
- Category: Religious
- Published: Jul 04, 2017
- Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
- Seller: Baker Book House Company
- Print Length: 432 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Book 1, Shadows Over England