Monday, July 24, 2017

Roseanna M. White: A Name Unknown

By Kelly Bridgewater

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?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Roseanna M. White weaves together a tale with a thief and a novelist who wants to keep his families good name. Novels that are set in London capture my attention right away. The time period is also an important part of world history. The synopsis for this novel sounded very interesting, and I couldn't wait to dive in. While the majority of the novels was well-written, I had some issues with the plot.

The writing was clear and concise. As for the descriptive language making the setting, I had no problem visualizing the messy library with stacks and stacks of books and papers piled everywhere. White does a good job at allowing me to see the house and the property and getting lost in the chaos. 

As for the time period, the novel says it is written during World War I, but to me, it felt like a Regency era novel. Peter only owned a carriage and still lived on an estate in the outskirts of town. It didn't feel much like the World War I novels that I have read. This might be why the novel didn't feel right to me.

The plot is unique and different. I enjoy watching a thief try to figure out she was going to complete her job as she fell in love with her employer. The plot moved pretty normal for a historical romance. There is romance and the building of characters while the plot progresses to its climactic moment, which is usually the show down in the last ten percent of the novel. This is typical of this time of novel.

Rosemary is a brave woman who is willing to go into a house and do whatever it takes to support her family. She is an orphan who steals to support her fellow orphans, not for selfish gain, which makes her admirable in my book. On the other hand, Peter is hoping to clear his family name by searching for documents to his families' estate. He is scatterbrain man who needs to settle down in his life.

Overall, A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White is a luxury read for those who enjoy Regency novels, even though the novel is labeled World War I, which I disagree with. The plot is original and different with strong characters. A great addition to any historical fans bookshelf. 

I received a complimentary copy of A Name Unknown from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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