A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)
Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of SuspenseRosemary 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?

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1) Details

TitleA Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJul 4th, 2017
PublisherBethany House
ISBN076421926X
ISBN-139780764219269
Rating
GenreChristian Fiction, Historical, Romance, Christian, Adult Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Fiction, European Literature, British Literature, Adult, Womens Fiction

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1) Review

  • Olivia
    June 11, 2017
    This has to be one of the prettiest book covers I've seen!! I don't fangirl over that many bookcovers, but folks this one is GORGEOUS!But the story itself will blow you away. It's unique and held my attention on every page. I loved both Peter and Rosemary, but Peter...*sighs happily* One of the best hero's I've read ;) There were several twists at the end that I didn't expect, and added to the excitement in the last couple chapters.Spiritual content was great...not very much at the beginning, bu This has to be one of the prettiest book covers I've seen!! I don't fangirl over that many bookcovers, but folks this one is GORGEOUS!But the story itself will blow you away. It's unique and held my attention on every page. I loved both Peter and Rosemary, but Peter...*sighs happily* One of the best hero's I've read ;) There were several twists at the end that I didn't expect, and added to the excitement in the last couple chapters.Spiritual content was great...not very much at the beginning, but very profound as the book went along, especially one particular scene with Rosemary...no spoilers, I promise ;)The sweetest of all was the romance! It moved at just the right speed, and there was really only one kissing scene that was slightly-detailed. I expected much more, so it was a nice relief from the normal fiction out there.The setting and threatening of war was fantastic! LOVED it ;) And the scene with Prince Edward, and all the British-ness throughout...absolutely smashing! Only one complaint to the British accuracy--the term "pants" was used instead of "trousers" :PThis author has raised herself to my possible favorite author list! I CAN'T wait for book 2!!
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  • Natacha Ramos
    July 24, 2017
    The concept of this book is interesting, but I think I enjoyed more the idea than the final product.For some reason, I couldn’t be drawn into the story and I found myself skipping some paragraphs more than once. Maybe there were too many unnecessary details, or it might have been that the focus of the novel wasn’t something very appealing to me: history, legacy, inheritance.However, I think the last few chapters were better; they got my attention a bit easier because they highlighted what I assu The concept of this book is interesting, but I think I enjoyed more the idea than the final product.For some reason, I couldn’t be drawn into the story and I found myself skipping some paragraphs more than once. Maybe there were too many unnecessary details, or it might have been that the focus of the novel wasn’t something very appealing to me: history, legacy, inheritance.However, I think the last few chapters were better; they got my attention a bit easier because they highlighted what I assume were the most important aspects of the story.Besides, I really enjoyed Peter. He was my favorite character. I loved him most of the time, his sincerity and even his struggles found a place in my heart. I liked to learn things from his viewpoint.Rosemary and Willa were fine as well. Nevertheless, the rest of the characters were not very important to me, and sometimes I couldn’t tell the difference between one and the other.It’s not a bad book. It’s well-written and all, but I believe it had way too much to digest all at once and that didn’t help to keep me interested.**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own**
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  • Caitlyn Santi
    July 19, 2017
    I loved Roseanna M. White's Culper Ring series, but hadn't had the pleasure of reading any of her books since finishing that series. When I read the description of this one, something about it drew me in! So needless to say I have been looking forward to A Name Unknown for several months, and I was not disappointed! I liked Rosemary from the very beginning and loved watching her journey. And Peter, oh my goodness, I fell in love with him instantly, he was just so amazing (definitely one of my fa I loved Roseanna M. White's Culper Ring series, but hadn't had the pleasure of reading any of her books since finishing that series. When I read the description of this one, something about it drew me in! So needless to say I have been looking forward to A Name Unknown for several months, and I was not disappointed! I liked Rosemary from the very beginning and loved watching her journey. And Peter, oh my goodness, I fell in love with him instantly, he was just so amazing (definitely one of my favorite heroes of 2017!) Plus, the writer in me could totally relate to Peter's "writer's brain" moments, loved that!I loved that the romance developed a bit more slowly than some romance novels, I felt the pace fit the story perfectly!Like I've come to expect from this author's novels A Name Unknown had a fabulous cast of supporting characters, I very much look forward to the next book in the Shadows Over England series! I loved this book, and had a great time reading it! Such a wonderful novel that I highly recommend! I received an ebook copy of this book from Netgalley. No review required. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
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  • Renee
    July 25, 2017
    Apparently, Roseanna White has read every review I've ever written and decided that she should write a book featuring my ideal hero. Kidding. While I don't have an "in" with Ms. White, Peter is definitely top shelf book boyfriend material aka Renee's Dream Man. Can every romance hero be the nerdy author dude with an endearing stutter and the owner of an estate in Cornwall in which resides a huge, messy library? Yes, please.Okay. Now that I've gotten the squeeing out of the way...the serious stuf Apparently, Roseanna White has read every review I've ever written and decided that she should write a book featuring my ideal hero. Kidding. While I don't have an "in" with Ms. White, Peter is definitely top shelf book boyfriend material aka Renee's Dream Man. Can every romance hero be the nerdy author dude with an endearing stutter and the owner of an estate in Cornwall in which resides a huge, messy library? Yes, please.Okay. Now that I've gotten the squeeing out of the way...the serious stuff. This book is quite hefty. I love a juicy story that takes up the space of two books on my bookshelf, and A Name Unknown is definitely what one might call a tome. I'll admit, the plot is a teeny tiny bit sluggish and I wasn't sure if things would ever progress between Peter and Rosemary, but the wait is worth it. I'll tweak a theme in this story and say, "With great patience, comes a great reward." Literal sparks do fly!A Name Unknown is Christian fiction, so of course there's some mention of faith and even a conversion near the end, but it works with the storyline. It's not heavy-handed, which I appreciate. I like the style of Ms. White's writing here and am excited to read what happens next for the rest of Rosie's family! Bring on Willa's story, please! ~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~*I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*
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  • Melanie
    July 18, 2017
    A Name Unknown was a great introduction the White's new series. I really liked the characters and the whole premise. I loved the writing style, it was easy to read and very engaging. I liked the romance and seeing the characters grow closer together. I didn't know how things would end up, mainly because there was a lot standing in their way, but I couldn't wait to read more and find out.The setting was great and I am eager to read the next book to see what happens next. I really grew to love Ros A Name Unknown was a great introduction the White's new series. I really liked the characters and the whole premise. I loved the writing style, it was easy to read and very engaging. I liked the romance and seeing the characters grow closer together. I didn't know how things would end up, mainly because there was a lot standing in their way, but I couldn't wait to read more and find out.The setting was great and I am eager to read the next book to see what happens next. I really grew to love Rosemary's family, even with their thieving ways, because I could empathize with them. All in all, I recommend A Name Unknown. *I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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  • Amy
    June 10, 2017
    Cornwall. We could just stop right there, and I'd pick up this book. One of the most beautiful counties in England, found at the tip of the South West Peninsula, Cornwall is a mix of rich and mysterious history. It's Daphne du Maurier country after all. Though you won't find any smugglers in this story, you will be richly blessed with an abundance of stunning cliffs, and a landscape that is like nothing Rosemary Gresham, a career thief, has ever seen before. Orphaned at 8, and forced to survive Cornwall. We could just stop right there, and I'd pick up this book. One of the most beautiful counties in England, found at the tip of the South West Peninsula, Cornwall is a mix of rich and mysterious history. It's Daphne du Maurier country after all. Though you won't find any smugglers in this story, you will be richly blessed with an abundance of stunning cliffs, and a landscape that is like nothing Rosemary Gresham, a career thief, has ever seen before. Orphaned at 8, and forced to survive on the streets of London, she is a self proclaimed street rat. Discovered by a kind hearted pub landlord at 9, she with 'Uncle' Pauly, gradually discover more like her and they quickly become a family. Not by blood, but bound together in a desperate need to survive. She's been recruited by the mysterious Mr V. Promised a pay out the likes of which they have never received before. All she has to do is travel to Cornwall, to the estate of Kensey, home of Peter Holstein and find the evidence to prove him a German traitor. Posing as a career librarian, she is given the job of organizing his library. His lawyer Gryff Penrose is suspicious, and certainly should be. Peter however is far more trusting, distracted by worries of his own. With the onset of World War 1 looming, he knows he must find the documentation to prove him a British Citizen. But with a rich and powerful German legacy, he is afraid that his future is doomed. There may be nothing he can do. "He needed towering trunks and limbs today, to remind him that there was Someone always over and above him" Peter has strong faith, and I loved how often he looked to his beautiful surroundings in his efforts to connect with God, to find his peace. I can relate to that. There's something about being surrounded by His creations that grounds me.Heavily disliked by the villagers, it's interesting to me at what a powerful link Rosemary had the potential to become. Is it really necessary to be liked by all those in your circle, no, but in this case, Peter needs every single person to support him as possible. He may be a Gentleman, but his status was irrelevant with war knocking on the door. Peter is un hurried in his grasp of this, and I loved this line - "A clear conscience before the Lord was more important than the respect of his neighbors." "No matter our name, our title—we cannot be but who we are. Underneath.” Considering the secrets both of the main characters hide behind their names, and one quite literally, the title of this book is perfect. I love this cover, in fact, it's rare that you get a cover that so personifies the story within. This is Rosemary, hands down! I found it interesting as I read about Peter's thought process as he approached his writing, and I did wonder if the author, Roseanna White was giving us a glimpse into her own writing world. Take a look at the acknowledgements! Fantastic fresh start to a brand new series that is so very different from her last (and thoroughly enjoyed by me), but set to give us a whole collection of characters to fall in love with and become addicted to!! I'll admit I wasn't sure the author could give us yet more amazing, but she certainly has. Her research is impeccable, and as an English lass, I can't tell you how appreciative I am when American authors correctly use our language, dialect & slang. Thank you to Bethany House & Netgalley for the eARC. This is my honest review.
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  • Lori Parrish
    June 9, 2017
    I very much enjoyed this story.I love the historical settings of the novel and how Roseanna did her research. She has a certain talent for storytelling and I have a certain talent for "losing" myself in her books. I did enjoy meeting new people and making new friends with the characters in the book.I liked Rosemary and I didn't. I like her because she had a way of bringing out the truth in oneself and others. "Everyone tells lies", she said.I didn't really like how she went about certain things I very much enjoyed this story.I love the historical settings of the novel and how Roseanna did her research. She has a certain talent for storytelling and I have a certain talent for "losing" myself in her books. I did enjoy meeting new people and making new friends with the characters in the book.I liked Rosemary and I didn't. I like her because she had a way of bringing out the truth in oneself and others. "Everyone tells lies", she said.I didn't really like how she went about certain things and ways. I liked her because she had guts to do what needed done.Peter is a different story.I think he is or has a mysterious side to him.(I didn't want to give much away).I liked how Rosemary overlooked his stuttering and "worked" with him in his library. I've always wanted to be a librarian. I think I would be in hog heaven with a library like Peter Holsteins.I could imagine myself getting lost in this particular library. All in all, I thought this was a fabulous book. I love to "time travel".I received this book for free. These are my own words and no compensations were received
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  • Tricia Mingerink
    July 11, 2017
    I knew as soon as this book released, I was going to buy it. Roseanna White has become one of my favorite Christian fiction authors for her ability to write Christian fiction that is both fun, entertaining, action-packed, and spiritually uplifting. I was even more excited when I discovered this book had also released in audiobook with the narrator Liz Pierce, who had also narrated Roseanna White's previous series and did an excellent job with that one. This book didn't disappoint. Both the main I knew as soon as this book released, I was going to buy it. Roseanna White has become one of my favorite Christian fiction authors for her ability to write Christian fiction that is both fun, entertaining, action-packed, and spiritually uplifting. I was even more excited when I discovered this book had also released in audiobook with the narrator Liz Pierce, who had also narrated Roseanna White's previous series and did an excellent job with that one. This book didn't disappoint. Both the main guy and girl are unique, especially for Christian fiction. Rosemary is a thief from London's streets, and she's all kinds of tough and smart and broken. Peter is such an adorable, bookish, quirky gentleman. And, thanks to what he does for a living, I got a lot of laughs and "I can totally relate" moments. My only two disappoints? 1). The next book isn't out yet. 2). I really, really, really want to read a Brannock Hollow novel even though they don't actually exist.
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  • Katherine
    July 2, 2017
    A Name UnknownShadows Over England #1Roseanna M. White 434 pagesPublisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 4, 2017)ISBN-10: 0764230417ISBN-13: 978-0764230417This book is the first in the Shadows Over England series about orphans and street kids who have grown up pick pocketing and stealing from England's finest. They have formed a family and take care of each other. Rosemary is one of the oldest sisters who is away on a job, and Peter Holstein is her "mark". She is hired to steal information abou A Name UnknownShadows Over England #1Roseanna M. White 434 pagesPublisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 4, 2017)ISBN-10: 0764230417ISBN-13: 978-0764230417This book is the first in the Shadows Over England series about orphans and street kids who have grown up pick pocketing and stealing from England's finest. They have formed a family and take care of each other. Rosemary is one of the oldest sisters who is away on a job, and Peter Holstein is her "mark". She is hired to steal information about him that could very well harm him as the country is on the verge of war with Germany. If she can prove him a traitor to the crown, she will earn more money than her family generally sees. Will she complete her mission, provide for her family, and satisfy her intimidating boss even if it means ruin to a man who is good? Rosemary is a character that is hard not to like, since she steals to provide for her family. Not just for the sake of stealing. She is smart and caring towards those less fortunate. When it comes to the upper crust of England though she is weary and has judged them all to be rude and self serving. When she first meets Peter he is rude in some ways, which only confirms Rosemary's prejudices. Peter is a very private gentleman who's family roots are German. He is so private that his some of his neighbors mistake this as rudeness, and looking down upon them. However Peter is kind, maybe secretly so as he lives out his faith and life as a write of popular adventure novels. He is often thinking of story lines and is distracted because of it, which people see as rudeness.I really liked this book! It was fun to read and the story moved at a great pace. It has some suspense and twists. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read the rest of the series.Would I read it again? Yes.Would I recommend it? Yes.This is a clean read.4.5 stars! I really liked this book!1 star – didn’t like it2 stars – it was OK3 stars – liked it 4 stars – really liked it5 stars – it was amazingFind more book reviews here under Peasreads.Amazon reviews Katereviews. I received this book from NetGalley. I was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions 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.”
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  • Hayden
    July 10, 2017
    Okay, all books have flaws. We all know that. But every once in awhile we get sucked into a book so completely that we either don't see the flaws, or we simply don't care. For me, A Name Unknown was one of those books. It just has so much to love about it (not to mention possibly the prettiest cover Bethany House has released this year.) I mean, the premise of this entire series had me waiting on the edge of my seat as soon as I heard about it. Each book follows one member of gang of now-grown s Okay, all books have flaws. We all know that. But every once in awhile we get sucked into a book so completely that we either don't see the flaws, or we simply don't care. For me, A Name Unknown was one of those books. It just has so much to love about it (not to mention possibly the prettiest cover Bethany House has released this year.) I mean, the premise of this entire series had me waiting on the edge of my seat as soon as I heard about it. Each book follows one member of gang of now-grown street children who use their expert thievery skills to help during WW1.*does happy skip*A Name Unknown kicks this series off to a promising start. From the oh-so-flawed-but-still-likable Rosemary Gresham and the adorable reclusive adventure novelist Peter Holstein, to family history research and spies, this book was basically a patchwork quilt of story elements that I happen to particularly love. Like all patchwork quilts, some bits were better sewn together than others, but the final product is still completely cozy. Lots of fun, and a definite recommendation for any reader of Christian fiction. In the meantime, I'll just be over here impatiently waiting for the next two books.I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Megan
    July 17, 2017
    Review to come
  • maryreads
    May 28, 2017
    How to express in words how much I enjoyed this book?If only I had spontaneous words that are able to cut to the point like Rosemary, or maybe more thoughtful compelling written words like Peter would suffice.But no. After finishing this book I'm left speechless and fully satisfied. For the characters. For the journey. For the truth neatly woven within these pages. *sigh*Rosemary Gresham has had to struggle with life in the streets after losing her parents at such a tender age. Circumstances hav How to express in words how much I enjoyed this book?If only I had spontaneous words that are able to cut to the point like Rosemary, or maybe more thoughtful compelling written words like Peter would suffice.But no. After finishing this book I'm left speechless and fully satisfied. For the characters. For the journey. For the truth neatly woven within these pages. *sigh*Rosemary Gresham has had to struggle with life in the streets after losing her parents at such a tender age. Circumstances have made her believe she can count only on herself and her small close-knit "family" of orphans to provide for each other. Other than making her wary of rich and snobbish people, the events surrounding her life have closed her mind to believe that she can only be a thief - so the best thief she will be.Peter Holstein was raised in completely different circumstances filled with material possessions, travels and devoted parents. His family immigrated from Germany a long time ago and have ever since considered England to be their true home. However, the threats of war have blinded people to believe they can judge where ones loyalty lays simply based on their last name.Rosemary’s path crosses with Peter’s when an anonymous benefactor proposes a huge sum of money that will keep her family from worrying for a considerate time if she poses as a librarian and finds proof of where the Holstein’s allegiance is truly put. Rosemary believes this is a pretty straight forward task, even though she has to steel a name and not exactly a material object as she is used to. However, she is about to find out that the challenges she will face are much more than she bargained for.The historical events were intriguing. The mystery captivating. The romance swoon worthy. And the friendship shined brighter than all. I thought it was a breath of fresh air how Rosemary and Peter’s courtship was built steadily and in the perfect pace. Peter’s world is about to be turned upside down with a mysterious quirky librarian who brings more noise than he enjoys and is not afraid to face him head on due to his manners, but will also open his eyes and help him find the courage that can be found within him. Rosemary, in turn, will find herself baffled and confused by this generous and compassionate stranger who does not fit the mold she has built for rich gentleman or even that of a spy acting against his own country. Also, she will be challenged to start questioning by what name does she truly want to be known? And is it truly possible to hold on to the hope and goodness that shines through Peter’s character?With enough twist and turns to catch me by surprise and a perfect set of secondary characters, this book had me up until crazy hours in the night. The ending had me bursting with joy for the tangible and incandescent love overflowing from the pages. It was a perfect beginning to a series that promises to be special. *Many thanks to Bethany House for providing me a copy through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
    May 22, 2017
    4 1/2 stars TOP PICK
  • Emily
    July 20, 2017
    Rosemary Gresham is one of the best, if not the best, thief in England. She grew up on the streets and that was the only way to survive. So when she is offered the highest-paying job she has seen this far, she takes it. She must infiltrate Peter Holstein's home and determine whether he really is a spy for Germany (he's half German, and it is 1914) as everyone thinks. So Rosemary moves into his estate manor as the librarian, sorting through his mountain of scrambled papers and books and spying ev Rosemary Gresham is one of the best, if not the best, thief in England. She grew up on the streets and that was the only way to survive. So when she is offered the highest-paying job she has seen this far, she takes it. She must infiltrate Peter Holstein's home and determine whether he really is a spy for Germany (he's half German, and it is 1914) as everyone thinks. So Rosemary moves into his estate manor as the librarian, sorting through his mountain of scrambled papers and books and spying every chance she gets.I loved A Name Unknown. It was quirky and historical. It made me laugh and yet feel grief for the characters' losses. A beautiful story through and through, and perhaps my favorite of the three of Roseanna M. White's books I have read. It takes place just before World War I begins. I never realized how much racism (is there a better word?) against the Germans existed even before the war. But international tensions were certainly high. It makes me fear a little for the events the characters must experience after the book ends. The war that killed an entire generation of men ... Yikes. Still, the romance was sweet throughout the story. Rosemary and Peter had a rocky start to their relationship at the beginning with the potential for everything to blow up in their faces because of the subterfuge. The possibilities made the story that much more interesting. And yet, Rosemary was a terrible spy. She just couldn't keep herself from sharing personal secrets to the man she liked, enemy or not. It made the romance succeed, but still. She may have made a terrific thief, but the spying required her to take on a false identity for an extended period of time, which she was not good at. I can say many more things about this book, but there isn't space. I truly enjoyed it and will perhaps read it again someday. I recommend it to those who love sweet historical romances. I received a complementary copy of this book. All opinions are my own, and I did not receive compensation of any kind.
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  • Tia
    July 12, 2017
    Love, love this story and Peter.
  • Raechel
    July 22, 2017
    Review to come!
  • Jordan
    July 16, 2017
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am definitely guilty of judging a book by its cover. A Name Unknown has a gorgeous cover, and having read Ms. White before, I had no doubt the inside would be just as wonderful.Rosemary is a thief, having been forced into this line of work after being orphaned at a young age. As she learned to survive, she managed to find others like her, and together they've formed their own little family, brought together by their desire to look out for each other a I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am definitely guilty of judging a book by its cover. A Name Unknown has a gorgeous cover, and having read Ms. White before, I had no doubt the inside would be just as wonderful.Rosemary is a thief, having been forced into this line of work after being orphaned at a young age. As she learned to survive, she managed to find others like her, and together they've formed their own little family, brought together by their desire to look out for each other and to work as a team to pull off jobs. Rosie is one of the best, and when a big job comes her way, she immediately accepts. All she has to do is pose as a librarian and prove that a man is a German spy. Easy enough, she thinks, until she sees the mess of the man's library. Easy enough until she realizes that Peter Holstein is a good man. Easy enough until she begins to fall for Peter and has to choose whether to finish the job and protect her family or to save the reputation--and possibly the life--of the best man she's ever known.Peter Holstein has the ear of the king and the mind of a scholar, but his tongue refuses to obey him. His stutter has led him to isolate himself from the villagers, and his perceived snobbishness on top of his German heritage has placed him under suspicion of being a German spy. Although he was born an English citizen, Peter can't definitively prove his loyalties without the paperwork buried somewhere in his mess of library. So when a librarian shows up on his doorstep eager for the job, he hires her. But the more he learns about Rosie, the more he falls in love--and the more questions arise. Between finishing his manuscript and trying to clear his name, Peter has a lot on his plate, but it's the mystery of Rosie and her past that keeps him up at night.As the world is launched into war and secrets are revealed, Rosie and Peter must learn to see the truth in one another in order to unravel the web of lies surrounding them before it's too late.I loved this book. The setting, the premise, the pure Britishness of it all--fantastic! Rosie is such a complex and fun character. She's survived a tragic past and made the most of it, and although she's a thief, she views herself as a Robin Hood figure of sorts. She'd do anything to protect her family, even putting herself at risk, but she's good enough at her job to keep from getting into too much trouble. That changes, though, with her new job, where she has to pose as a librarian to find proof that Peter Holstein is a German spy. I loved Rosie's cleverness and her perseverance in getting the job done despite truly lacking the skills for it. She knows what she has to do, and she doesn't let terrible handwriting or iffy German slow her down. What I really loved about Rosie, though, was her spirit. Rosie is such a spitfire, and I loved that she challenged Peter on his aristocratic views. Her world is very different from his, and she makes clear how society treats the poor and downtrodden in a way that really makes Peter as well as his friends think twice. There discussions were a great way to show the differences and inequalities in the classes during the time period without really knocking the reader over the head with the concept. I also loved that Rosie isn't afraid to fight her own fight, whether verbally or physically. She can certainly hold her own, and she's not afraid to put someone in their place when they deserve it. Peter, on the other hand, is Rosie's opposite in almost every way. Born into privilege, he's never known true hardship, but I was so glad that he wasn't at all a spoiled aristocrat. Instead, Peter is inexhaustibly kind and giving; he's so willing to help others, but he's afraid to openly do so because he's mocked for both his speech impediment and for his family history. It was really sad to see the attacks on Peter simply because of his last name, but it felt quite accurate for the time period and the atmosphere of impending war. Peter manages to work around it, though, by anonymously providing funds or supplies when needed and through his novels. I loved that Peter was a novelist, and it was so much fun to see his story unfold, especially once Rosie herself became a character in Peter's latest book. The progression of 'Rosie's' character in his novel showed how much Peter began to notice Rosie as his feelings for her began to change, and it was fun to see Peter's writing process as he reworked the plot and the characters.I really liked Rosie and Peter together. They bring out different sides in one another, and although they get on each other's nerves from time to time, they slowly begin to understand what makes the other tick. Their relationship felt natural, and they worked throughs their ups and downs so that their inevitable happily ever after truly felt deserved.I also really liked the way faith was handled. It played a major role, but it didn't feel shoehorned in or overwhelming. Peter is open about his faith from the start, and Rosie is open about her lack of it. But as Rosie begins to realize the true source of Peter's goodness and his light, she begins to rethink her position on God. Rosie's gradual acceptance of faith and her eventual acceptance of Christ was well-written, and I loved that she had absolutely no second thoughts about giving up her life of crime as she knew it wasn't godly. The ending has a nice twist, and I loved the reveal about who exactly Rosie had been working for. I do wish there'd been more details on how Mr. V had found Rosie, but I'm fine with the mystery of it. Spies and shadowy government agents are supposed to be secretive, after all. And of course Rosie and Peter got their happy ending, but I really loved Rosie's reveal to Barclay that she'd won the bet, as well as the reveal that Peter was Brannock Hollow. Rosie's family is a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the next book(s).Overall, A Name Unknown is a wonderful read. There are spies, thieves, and princes, and it's mostly set in a library, which is fun. Rosie and Peter are both complex, flawed, but likable characters, and their banter made me laugh a lot. The time period and the setting are described both visually and in terms of atmosphere, and the secondary characters are a lot of fun in their own right. I'm looking forward to Willa's story next, and I hope we get more stories after that--I could do with a book for every one of Rosie's siblings!
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  • Christian Fiction Addiction
    July 9, 2017
    Witty dialogue, intrigue, and stellar characters combine to make "A Name Unknown" a truly outstanding historical fiction novel! Rosemary and her ragtag family of former misfits trying to creatively eke out an existence in London just before World War I all make for a winning cast of characters, and Rosemary herself stole my heart from the first chapter. Despite her thieving ways, you just can't help but like her, and see the heart of gold that lies behind her actions. And the ever awkward Peter, Witty dialogue, intrigue, and stellar characters combine to make "A Name Unknown" a truly outstanding historical fiction novel! Rosemary and her ragtag family of former misfits trying to creatively eke out an existence in London just before World War I all make for a winning cast of characters, and Rosemary herself stole my heart from the first chapter. Despite her thieving ways, you just can't help but like her, and see the heart of gold that lies behind her actions. And the ever awkward Peter, with his mysterious family history and his empathy-inducing stutter, makes for quite the likeable and admirable guy. The manner in which he leads others towards a faith in God is beautiful to behold, and is something we should all strive towards! I love the natural way that the author weaves Rosemary's own faith journey into the story, providing moments that feel real and natural and are just tender to behold. Not only will readers be entertained by the mysterious elements of the story and the fun and interesting romance that sparks between Rosemary and Peter, but they will also be treated to some wonderful moments of faith as well. I think my favourite part of this story was coming to the oh-so-satisfying conclusion and realizing that this is only the first book in what promises to be a solid series. I'm not sure how I'd missed the fact that this is book one in the Shadows over England series, but when I began the novel I had no idea I'd get to return for more in future books. Let's just hope the wait isn't too long, because I'm looking forward to what is in store for these intriguing characters. Fans of historical fiction books should definitely add this book to their "must read" list this summer. They will certainly be glad they did! I award this story a very solid rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
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  • Kav
    July 19, 2017
    Clever concept brilliantly executed and I'm in a euphoric tizzy because this is the first in a new series. A kind of Dickens meets Austen with a healthy dose of Downton Abbey thrown in.Rosemary is such a complex character. Charming and intelligent and fiercely dedicated to her self-made family of orphans picked off the London streets. As a child she survived by her prowess as a pickpocket; as an adult she's graduated to more refined thievery. She's a chameleon who can fit in anywhere so it isn't Clever concept brilliantly executed and I'm in a euphoric tizzy because this is the first in a new series. A kind of Dickens meets Austen with a healthy dose of Downton Abbey thrown in.Rosemary is such a complex character. Charming and intelligent and fiercely dedicated to her self-made family of orphans picked off the London streets. As a child she survived by her prowess as a pickpocket; as an adult she's graduated to more refined thievery. She's a chameleon who can fit in anywhere so it isn't a stretch for her to take on the persona of a historical librarian. Squeeeallll. Yes, I said librarian. I do so love stories that glorify my chosen profession. :-)Dear, sweet Peter is an atypical hero and I so love that about him. I'll let you discover his eccentricities for yourself, but though his demeanor might not always show it, he possesses a warrior's heart. Peter looks for the good in everyone, even though his German name is causing unfounded prejudice in his Cornish village. Cue the political intrigue and the reason Rosemary enters his household under false pretenses.I'm still swooning over the snappy dialogue -- especially when Rosemary gets her Cockney dander up. Hysterical. She's an enigma that Peter can't quite grasp. She finds his mysterious ways at odds with his gentle kindness. No matter how hard she digs, Rosemary can't find any dirt on Peter...until she discovers the most astonishing secret of all!The dynamics between these two are sublime. Especially as Peter gently leads Rosemary to Christ in the touching inspirational thread that weaves its way through the story. This book has it all -- romance, humour, intrigue and the wonder of new found faith.Book provided courtesy of Bakers Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications.
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  • Maureen Timerman
    July 7, 2017
    The author gives a glimpse into the life of those that are unseen in London, those that have fallen through the cracks, the street urchins, and the year is 1914, and war is looming.One of those urchins has grown up to be a professional lock picker, pick pocket, and now a librarian, huh? Yes, she is being paid megabucks, at least for her, to be a librarian for a wealthy recluse, and of German ancestry, and that is why Rosemary is there.The recluse is Peter Holstein, and he has many secrets, but h The author gives a glimpse into the life of those that are unseen in London, those that have fallen through the cracks, the street urchins, and the year is 1914, and war is looming.One of those urchins has grown up to be a professional lock picker, pick pocket, and now a librarian, huh? Yes, she is being paid megabucks, at least for her, to be a librarian for a wealthy recluse, and of German ancestry, and that is why Rosemary is there.The recluse is Peter Holstein, and he has many secrets, but he sure does seem to be a loyal Englishman, but why is he constantly in a room typing? Then we have some people, these exist everywhere and at any time, that feed on hate and evil, they are here and causing all kinds of problems.With her family, and you will be surprised at the use of the name family, depending on her Rosemary takes her job to heart and tries to find out if Peter is loyal to Germany. What she finds is going to surprise everyone, and then there is more to come, things are not as we perceive, and surprises abound.Loved how we are brought into the time and period of just prior to WWI and watch as known events unfold in their everyday life. Keep reading there is a lovely epilogue at the end, and enjoy!I received this book through Lit Fuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
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  • Kelly
    July 5, 2017
    The front cover caught my attention, the back cover teased me, and the book kept me on my toes and warmed my heart. Each character Ms White brought into the story had their place and every one was well developed. The plot kept me reading, wondering if Rosemary would complete her task, who was Mr. V, what would Peter decide to do? Such a nice surprise when Rosemary decided to finally put her faith in the Lord and who was there to witness to her and dry her tears. Great read!
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  • Kathleen (Kat) Smith
    June 1, 2017
    "Rosemary Gresham may have been a thief, but she was a thief who preferred to work in broad daylight." I love reading the first sentence in any novel. Most of the time it gives the reader some insight into how this novel will evolve and A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White is no exception. This is the first novel in the Shadows Over England series and one that I am sure most Edwardian Romance fans will absolutely LOVE! Rosemary Gresham is definitely a professional in her trade, that being one of "Rosemary Gresham may have been a thief, but she was a thief who preferred to work in broad daylight." I love reading the first sentence in any novel. Most of the time it gives the reader some insight into how this novel will evolve and A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White is no exception. This is the first novel in the Shadows Over England series and one that I am sure most Edwardian Romance fans will absolutely LOVE! Rosemary Gresham is definitely a professional in her trade, that being one of many thieves that prey upon those in the upper class, in order to not only make a living, but so they can put food on the table of a group of similar young thieves that work London's streets. Most of the time, they are hired out by those looking to gain some advantage or to resolve some slight that they feel needs to be recompensed and her group of wayward thieves is more than happy to assist. Her latest assignment is to prove Peter Holstein is not what he appears as he has the King's ear and many believe his ties with German began when his mother married his father and secured a place and a notoriety among the upper class in London. Now with the threat of war on the horizon with Germany playing a pivotal role, there are some that want to prove Peter's alliances, however innocent, do not lie with London. So Rosemary has been tasked to uncover proof that Peter is loyal to Germany and the price to be paid is so great, she would be a complete fool to pass it up. She blends into Peter's household under the guise of being a librarian hired out by one of Peter's contacts to help restore his former library to its glory again. As of yet, it simply remains a horder's paradise with more books on the floor and every available space than is on the overly full shelves. Peter needs her assistance to locate documentation about his family, but doesn't share the real reason why he needs that documentation. Is Peter truly a German spy living in the midst of London or is he simply an innocent man looking to prove his loyalty to London before war sets in? I received A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Net Galley. I absolutely love Rosemary's character because she can justify her shady dealings to help the local street urchins who are orphans and in need of help. She can read people perfectly and knows more about them than they initially share with her. She finds herself at odds the more she grows to know Peter and understands why his stuttering makes him a bit of a recluse in his small town. It gives way to suspicions by the local townspeople that Peter is truly hiding something and thus the need to prove where his loyalties stand in the face of a war on the horizon. I easily give this a 4 out of 5 stars and shows that sometimes our name is not all what people might be willing to believe.
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  • Sarah
    July 23, 2017
    A Name Unknown is the first book in a new series by one of my favorite authors and I was so looking forward to reading it! I’ve very much enjoyed Ms. White’s previous book, since first discovering her Culper Ring series, and have been eagerly anticipating this one. A heroine who happens to be a thief, looking to steal a man’s name? Yes, please! I just had to know how that could possibly work out! I can happily say that I enjoyed this book, though there were a couple things I might’ve changed.As A Name Unknown is the first book in a new series by one of my favorite authors and I was so looking forward to reading it! I’ve very much enjoyed Ms. White’s previous book, since first discovering her Culper Ring series, and have been eagerly anticipating this one. A heroine who happens to be a thief, looking to steal a man’s name? Yes, please! I just had to know how that could possibly work out! I can happily say that I enjoyed this book, though there were a couple things I might’ve changed.As always, Ms. White’s writing is excellent! I love her writing style, the way she describes things, how she brings her characters to life, and the unique story lines always found between the covers of her books. I do confess that it took me a bit to really get into the story, but once I did, I found myself rushing to the end. I don’t believe I’ve read any books set in England just before the start of WWI and I was fascinated by the history and the rising tensions regarding one’s nationality. It’s obvious the amount of research the author put into the story and I loved the historical background and details. And I quite liked the characters Ms. White introduced in this story. From Peter’s friends, to Rosemary’s family, to some of the town’s people. I’m very curious as to who’s story will be next and am hoping at least a few of these delightful people will be back!Rosemary Gresham is definitely a unique heroine! A thief, tasked with learning where Peter Holstein’s loyalty lies, she masquerades as a librarian. Despite her questionable employment, I liked Rosemary from the first. Her love for her family is obvious within just a page or two and I admired her desire to see them cared for, even if it meant doing something that began to rub on her conscience. I had to laugh at her quick wit and occasionally quick temper, as well as smile over her defense of those who can’t defend themselves. Rosemary is a survivor with a cynical outlook on life, until meeting Peter, someone who seems to be a genuinely kind person. I loved watching her forced out of her element and having to adjust her preconceived notions. Peter Holstein is an excellent hero for Rosemary. He is patient, kind, a willing listener, and someone who sees her for who she truly is. He refuses to let her hide herself. They are both very observant, occupational hazards, and note things about the other that they would generally prefer to keep hidden. I loved his quirkiness, his tendency to get distracted and completely ignore everything going on around him, his faith, and even his faltering speech, for it’s something that has made him a compassionate person. He defies Rosemary’s expectations of the upper-class, while she helps him see the world and his writing from another perspective. My favorite part of this story was either the romance between Rosemary and Peter, (which is so sweet!) or the faith woven throughout. Peter truly tries to live his faith and it plays into every decision he makes, and how he treats those around him. There is wisdom found within the pages of this story that touched my heart. My only negative comment was that I found part of the ending a bit contrived, with too many characters in play and a couple belated plot twists that I didn’t think necessary to tie up loose ends. Despite that, I did love the final chapter and was laughing and smiling as I turned the last page. My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book! I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Kristina
    July 18, 2017
    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 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).
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  • Trish
    July 13, 2017
    A Name Unknown takes place in England in the days just before World War I. Rosemary Gresham has had a hard life growing up on the streets on London after her parents died. She was raised with a group of street urchins that she considers her brothers and sisters. Because she is a skilled thief, she is sent on an unusual assignment: to find out if nobleman Peter Holstein is actually sympathetic to Germany. She travels to Cornwall to work in the Holstein library and to gain his trust. To both their A Name Unknown takes place in England in the days just before World War I. Rosemary Gresham has had a hard life growing up on the streets on London after her parents died. She was raised with a group of street urchins that she considers her brothers and sisters. Because she is a skilled thief, she is sent on an unusual assignment: to find out if nobleman Peter Holstein is actually sympathetic to Germany. She travels to Cornwall to work in the Holstein library and to gain his trust. To both their surprise, a bond slowly forms between them and changes their lives.This is such a lovely and unique historical novel. I am interested in Edwardian England, and found this period just on the eve of World War I to be fascinating. The Cornwall setting was especially nice.I love that books and writing and a mysterious home library figure into this novel. There is a mystery involved, of Peter's lineage and family history, and it is really a page turner.I did not immediately like the character of Rosemary, but I came to find her sympathetic as the novel went on. Peter is such a remarkably kind, good character, and their friendship (blossoming slowly into a romantic interest) was beautifully written.A Name Unknown is the first in a series, Shadows Over England, and I am eager to read the upcoming novels. This is my first read by Roseanna M. White, but I plan to look for her other books. The combination of historical details, a slow building romance with a compelling mystery, and multi-dimensional characters makes A Name Unknown an engrossing read. I recommend it highly to fans of historical fiction, Christian fiction, and anyone interested in Edwardian England.
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  • Rachael
    July 11, 2017
    There is a lot to love about this book, not the least of which is the unpredictability. With a professional thief for a heroine, it's really a toss-up what might happen. Rosemary ended up a lot more bold than I was expecting--not in a I-don't-need-anyone's-help kind of way (though she is remarkably self-sufficient, except for remembering to eat), but in a speak-her-mind-to-anyone and feel-perfectly-comfortable-plopping-down-in-the-local-pub-and-boldly-making-friends kind of way. It had what I co There is a lot to love about this book, not the least of which is the unpredictability. With a professional thief for a heroine, it's really a toss-up what might happen. Rosemary ended up a lot more bold than I was expecting--not in a I-don't-need-anyone's-help kind of way (though she is remarkably self-sufficient, except for remembering to eat), but in a speak-her-mind-to-anyone and feel-perfectly-comfortable-plopping-down-in-the-local-pub-and-boldly-making-friends kind of way. It had what I consider the best kind of romance--where two people overcome barriers first to become friends, and from there advance to a romance. Peter really is a sweetheart; Rosemary pegs him perfectly when she loses her temper defending him. I could understand being peeved at his one-track mind and habit of shutting out the entire world, though. He's a great sweetheart of a hero.Having studied modern wars some, I enjoyed being able to keep up with the politics of this story as the powder keg that was Europe grows ever closer to exploding into war. It was fascinating to get a more personal view of the relational politics--how all the close familial relations between the major powers factored into it--and how the author makes the British royal family into real people, not just aloof state figureheads. I wouldn't call it particularly suspenseful, but it was a fascinating and spectacular book. I can't wait for the next one! Highly recommended!Thank you Bethany House for providing a free book; I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
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  • Hanna
    July 18, 2017
    Right off the bat the story was intriguing however as I slowly made my way further into the story I became less and less interested. Even at 150 pages I was still forcing myself to read. Another downer for me was that I never really fell in love with characters. Maybe that is just me, but I just thought Rosemary was if anything irritating. Peter was slightly more tolerable but I felt his stutter was meant to make him endearing, but was sometimes slightly annoying.Despite the negatives above I th Right off the bat the story was intriguing however as I slowly made my way further into the story I became less and less interested. Even at 150 pages I was still forcing myself to read. Another downer for me was that I never really fell in love with characters. Maybe that is just me, but I just thought Rosemary was if anything irritating. Peter was slightly more tolerable but I felt his stutter was meant to make him endearing, but was sometimes slightly annoying.Despite the negatives above I thought the setting in which this book took place in was very interesting. Also, the British slang and termonogly was quite fun to read. Oh and isn’t the cover is just darling!Moreover I would give this a 3/5, not my favourite yet still relatively enjoyable.I received this book from Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group in exchange for a honest review.
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  • Amanda Geaney (Christian Shelf-Esteem)
    July 14, 2017
    My review is coming in August—part of the Litfuse book tour.
  • Connilyn Cossette
    May 28, 2017
    Every new book by Roseanna makes me more and more of a fan. This is a unique premise with a complicated heroine and a multilayered, atypical hero (who just happens to be an author so I happen to relate to his writer-brain quirks). The beautiful message of grace was woven seamlessly into the story and I found tears in my eyes as the heroine finally connected with the Source of that grace. As usual Roseanna's historical research is fascinating and this well-crafted book kept me reading until the w Every new book by Roseanna makes me more and more of a fan. This is a unique premise with a complicated heroine and a multilayered, atypical hero (who just happens to be an author so I happen to relate to his writer-brain quirks). The beautiful message of grace was woven seamlessly into the story and I found tears in my eyes as the heroine finally connected with the Source of that grace. As usual Roseanna's historical research is fascinating and this well-crafted book kept me reading until the wee hours. I'll be impatiently waiting for the next book in this series.
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  • A Holland Reads
    July 4, 2017
    I thought this was a great start to a new series. The setting is perfect for a nice day of reading. I liked how she described each setting. It really made me feel a part of this book. Reading about Rosemary's life from where she came from to what she is doing "now" was interesting. I also liked getting to know Peter. Then to have their stories intertwine was a good way for this book to go. You can tell that the author had done her research as the historical details really come out in her writing I thought this was a great start to a new series. The setting is perfect for a nice day of reading. I liked how she described each setting. It really made me feel a part of this book. Reading about Rosemary's life from where she came from to what she is doing "now" was interesting. I also liked getting to know Peter. Then to have their stories intertwine was a good way for this book to go. You can tell that the author had done her research as the historical details really come out in her writing. I am looking forward to more books in this series.
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