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?
When this book came up for a tour with Celebrate Lit I KNEW I had to read it. What’s not to like? Set in England at the cusp of World War I a London street orphan meets a reclusive friend of the King. Two worlds collide sorta thing with intrigue and sass thrown in for good measure. Intrigue on both their parts, sass most definitely is all Rosemary. It’s more than just a romance at a time of impending war. But it’s also more than just a romance. Peter has a hard time expressing himself in person. He’s also got a pretty big secret, bigger than just his lineage; though that’s a big deal to him as well. Rosemary steps in to find his history but ends up finding a whole lot more.
I loved Rosemary. She’s spunky, sassy but at her core she’s got a great heart. She puts those she loves first. And what she lacks in knowledge and experience she makes up for in confidence and a willingness to do whatever it takes. Even when she’s not confident she’s confident she’ll figure it out as she goes. I think we could all use a little bit of that in our lives. I think the moment that she found her faith, being comforted by someone who never trusted her and made her existence at the Manor miserable, was a defining moment. How can she keep herself and her family safe AND do what she knows is right? Peter, however; dear sweet adorable lovable Peter. He is only confident about his faith, his loyalty and his childhood bestie. Oh and his ability to write. His letters with Rosemary every day bring faith to her. And grow their relationship in a way that is lost today. Peter is the perfect male lead, strong where it matters and so solid in his faith that anything can be overcome. And does.
I’m really struggling with reviewing this book without revealing all sorts of plot points and spoilers and secrets. The ‘mystery’ get me guessing right up to the reveal and you know that always adds to my rating, not that there’s an option above 5 stars. Rosemary and Peter and the entire cast created a seamless life and environment that I was able to relax into. I loved this book however, LOVED it. I am desperate to read the next book in this series. I know I’ve said this a few times lately but seriously you have to read this book. I’m grateful that it now sits on the bookshelf where I can return to it over and over when I want to.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and Net Galley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
About Roseanna M. White
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring.
Being educated at St. John’s Collete (the Great Books School) taught Roseanna to ask questions, to value conversation, and to never accept the simple answer without exploring it for herself. She and her family make their home in the mountains of West Virginia where she and her husband both grew up. Roseanna is a member of ACFW, a frequent speaker at writers events and also small groups of readers, and an unabashed email addict.