A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England, #1)
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?~ A Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick ~

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England, #1) Details

TitleA Name Unknown (Shadows Over England, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 4th, 2017
PublisherBethany House/Baker Publishing Group
ISBN-139780764219269
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, Christian, Fiction, Historical Romance

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England, #1) Review

  • Sarah Grace
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 SHINING stars!*NOTE: please excuse the fangirly review; believe me, I tried to write something professional and coherent . . . but it didn't work.* Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all. This. Book. This is simple loveliness. From the cover, to the characters, to the writing style, to the history . . . just all of it! Ms. White is an incredible author. This is exactly the kind of book and kind of writing style I LOVE to read, and would read all the time. (Only problem is, I'd run out of books. :/) Her poe 4.5 SHINING stars!*NOTE: please excuse the fangirly review; believe me, I tried to write something professional and coherent . . . but it didn't work.* Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all. This. Book. This is simple loveliness. From the cover, to the characters, to the writing style, to the history . . . just all of it! Ms. White is an incredible author. This is exactly the kind of book and kind of writing style I LOVE to read, and would read all the time. (Only problem is, I'd run out of books. :/) Her poetic, yet down-to-earth writing style is so lovely and engaging, and the history she mixes in throughout is neither dull nor boring, but really quite fascinating. I love a book that can teach me something without detracting from the story. The salvation message was woven through brilliantly, and even made me cry. Sometimes the faith message ends up feeling shoe-horned in, but not so in this case. Just lovely! The characters were literally the best ever. Rosemary was witty, sweet, smart, and flawed enough to made her perfect. I was so attached to her character in only a few chapters, that I just HAD so see how her story ended. I felt her pain, her joys, her frustrations. And then Peter. OH MY WORD! I am not the kind of person who gets a crush on every nice fictional (or real, for that matter) guy, but I'm just going to admit it: I kinda have a tiny eensy weeny crush on Peter . . . He has a stutter, and can hardly speak; is a writer and gets so lost in his fictional words, that he can hardly be disturbed, even if you were to shout fire. (Which believe me, did happen and it didn't work. :P) He's just so incredibly NICE and polite and chivalrous; his relationship with God, and his faith throughout the book was just beautiful and inspiring. And, *cough cough* he has a cleft in his chin . . . I MEAN WHAT EVEN!?! But anyway; I shall stop going on about him now. He's just the perfect character - because he wasn't perfect. Of course, the secondary characters, like Penrose (HA! He's hilarious and annoying all in one!), Mrs. Tegue, Treeve, the other servants, Mr. V, Willa, Barclay, Georgie . . . all of them were so fantastic! The story was just amazing. The mystery was intriguing and fascinating, and that plot twist at the end . . . WHOO! You basically had to completely rearrange your view on the story. The romance was SO beautiful! Slow, sweet . . . perfection! The action was fun, and helped to keep my interest. And the ending . . . *cackles* (view spoiler)[SHE STOLE A HOUSE!!!! *giggles gleefully* And his name. :D :D :D (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[And Barclay's reaction to finding out she married Peter, and that he was actually Branok Hollow . . . HILARIOUS! <3 (hide spoiler)]All in all, this was an amazing book! I did dock 1\2 a star, because it did get slightly boring in the middle, and I kinda lost interest. But the rest was amazing, so don't let that scare you off! ALL Y'ALL! Go find a copy of this book and READ IT! Content: There was basically nothing. A few sweet, pure kisses, a bit of mild attraction (not graphic at all!), and a bit of action, guns, punches thrown, that kind of thing. All very mild. I'd recommend this for ages 15-16+ for interest level.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it! I have a soft spot for books and writers in fiction, and this story, centered around a too-full home library in need of organization. Be still my heart! Add to that a stammering, kind-hearted hero, whose quiet thoughtfulness might just be able to dent our heroine's tough exterior. The story is so deftly layered as far as plot goes that it's difficult to talk about my favorite parts because of spoilers! I loved the intrigue brought on by Rosemary's assignment. I loved seeing her grow I loved it! I have a soft spot for books and writers in fiction, and this story, centered around a too-full home library in need of organization. Be still my heart! Add to that a stammering, kind-hearted hero, whose quiet thoughtfulness might just be able to dent our heroine's tough exterior. The story is so deftly layered as far as plot goes that it's difficult to talk about my favorite parts because of spoilers! I loved the intrigue brought on by Rosemary's assignment. I loved seeing her grow as a person and learn to let her walls down. :)I can't wait for book two!
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  • Jazzy
    January 1, 1970
    HERE’S MY REVIEW! https://atragicwonderland.blogspot.co...b e a u t i f u l - t h i n g s the characters - y'all know how much these cinnamon rolls mean to me in a story. If an author is planning on including anybody in their story (I mean I guess you'd have to... unless it was a story all about landscape and bushes *shrugs*), they better be warned that they either have to go big and dangerous or go home bc this girl doesn't do weak little characters with no backbone and no voice, okay? Okay... HERE’S MY REVIEW! https://atragicwonderland.blogspot.co...b e a u t i f u l - t h i n g s the characters - y'all know how much these cinnamon rolls mean to me in a story. If an author is planning on including anybody in their story (I mean I guess you'd have to... unless it was a story all about landscape and bushes *shrugs*), they better be warned that they either have to go big and dangerous or go home bc this girl doesn't do weak little characters with no backbone and no voice, okay? Okay... can we just appreciate HOW PERFECT THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY ARE IN THIS STORY? LITERALLY.Rosemary is L.I.F.E. goals. SHE'S:a thief / passionate / loving / arrogant / outspoken / strong / extroverted / and so very, very empathetic (when she deems it a good time to be) / quick to actThe one thing that really drew me into loving her character was her passion. She saw something that needed to be changed, and with all her power she tried to change it; she didn't just sit back and hope for someone else, more capable to come along and do it, no! There was this energy within her that just compelled her to do things that she didn't necessarily want to do, but it needed to be done and so it was. Sure, she had her flaws. She's messed up and mislead... but that's the beauty of humanity, right?Her voice was so strong, she was so stubborn it was SO invigorating, it made ME want to step up and do something to change the world, even if it was small... she had this way about her that was just so exciting, I couldn't wait to see what she did or said next. Everything had a point to it, there's no such thing as stuff-n'-nonsense with Rosemary. She was straight to the point and hard-headed and IT JUST CLICKED WITH ME BECAUSE I'M SO LIKE THAT. She's just that person that will be the first to speak up, the first to act, the first to accuse, and the first to throw a punch (even if it's with her untamable sass). Peter was a Cinnabon, allow me to protect him forever amen.curious / intelligent + simple at the same time / passionate, but not impulsive / introverted / writer / hermit, by all meansPeter was just amazing. He was this precious burrito that was just filled with love and exotic wonder that left people thinking he was loopy. And, Y'ALL, he had a speech problem which made him soooo cute, literally cannot contain how precious and pure he is. Seriously. Can we just take a moment to appreciate his shy qualities, his thoughtfulness, his inability to communicate... gracious, let's just all build a wall around him and protect from this cruel world who would DARE to speak ugly about my baby. Being a writer, I can relate to Peter as well. WHICH WAS JUST DANDY. Him being literal gold, I just couldn't not love everything about him. I mean. HE HAD A BEHEMOTH LIBRARY. CAN I GET AN AMEN??? The dude was mega introverted and it was just so great. And the way he handled situations... he's such a quiet thinker, but he takes in all the little details he can calculate the entire event with such discernment, he is just SO COOL. And yet everyone in the book was so convinced he was just this dumb person that couldn't think for himself... and he wouldn't fight back. I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU PETER, DON'T YOU WORRY MY PRECIOUS CHILD.And while I can go on about the rest of the characters, I do believe I still have the rest of the review and write and who knows how long that will take if I talk about EVERYTHING I love about this book??? AND SOME? Priorities, my people. We are a civil community here and there will be order.the plot- This was just all glorious. The plot of this book was just... so fun and it was thrilling but not too heavy, and I was kept guessing and wondering, but not frustrated. I have a lot of love for this story, not only because of the characters (although I adore adore adore them too). It felt driven and I could tell that the author had a lot of passion for the story in and of itself.A group of street rats. A search in a library. A hermit writer with secrets. Political theft.It's beautiful, is it not?IT IS.england- I'm such a sucker for stories in other countries, especially Europe (who doesn't??), so THIS beaute basically settled so perfectly with me, it's kind of creepy. Kind of. OH, and how it was showing things that lead up to WW1, that was pretty cool. I've read a lot of WW2 books so this was a bit new for me, but y'know what? I loved it so... :)the family elements- These characters were hardcore when it came to family. Didn't matter what kind of family they grew up in, especially Rosemary and her siblings. They loved so hard and were extremely loyal but with a realistic flare of siblings rivalry and it was just so relatable and sweet and I can cry just thinking about them. the sass- Let's be honest. I probably enjoyed this entire book because of Rosemary's (and the occasional Peter's) sassitude. It got lit, y'all xDoh the beauty of luv- the romance. The romance was bloody adorable and I cannot contain myself any longer *squeals* IT WAS EPIC AND SWEET AND JUST GREAT. It was great. Because.... because you have Rosemary, outspoken, determined, hardheaded, and just Rosemary... And then you had sweet, kind, gentle, dear, dear Peter. AND IT WAS MAGIC. It was literally gold. I can't tell you how many times I screamed because of their cuteness. And it was a pure kind of cuteness that was..... AGH. the spiritual message- THIS MADE ME CRY. LITERALLY. I WAS CRYING. Well, not throughout the whole thing, but more than one part brought me to tears. I loveloveloveeee the message portrayed in this story, especially with Rosemary. I can relate to her SO MUCH, so this really hit core for me. How the Lord just shaped her and guided her, it was so beautiful. So sweet and tender and heartbreakingly beautiful. I'd give this 19,438 stars just for how well God's love was portrayed. just all the people were amazing. there were so many leads and elements that just GAH befuddled me in the best way bc mystery the writing was really really great- This was a HUGE thing for me. I adored the writing, which is weird for me to say about a Chris-his-fic novel. But I'm not kidding you, I could read these books for ages -- errrm mebbe -- and not got tired of it. And now I think it's safe to say that this book was just perfect and you should really just go read it now. Because I don't have an "Ugly things" list for you. Other than it ended, but y'know. - c o n c l u s i o n -This is a wonderful novel that will change your life. It had an epic storyline, endearing characters, a thrilling mystery, and amazing vibes (and a hilarious sass level). I enjoyed this book so much, it will probably always be on my favorites shelf because #perfection. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES!Uhm.And how, pray tell, does one heal from such DEVESTATING PERFECTION?!?!RTC, luvs ;)
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  • m a r y l i z
    January 1, 1970
    What does one say about perfection?This book is a winner, friends. Even by looking at the cover, I had the feeling this book was going to be good (because duh, any book with books on the cover HAS to be good).But the cover was just the beginning.../ / / Lovely Things: Hahaha...haha...ha.Do you even want to get into the infinite reasons why I love this book???- Rosemary. First off, you know a book is good when you have to devote separate categories for each character. I haven't done this in a whi What does one say about perfection?This book is a winner, friends. Even by looking at the cover, I had the feeling this book was going to be good (because duh, any book with books on the cover HAS to be good).But the cover was just the beginning.../ / / Lovely Things: Hahaha...haha...ha.Do you even want to get into the infinite reasons why I love this book???- Rosemary. First off, you know a book is good when you have to devote separate categories for each character. I haven't done this in a while, BUT THESE CHARACTERS ARE SO WONDERFUL THAT I HAVE TO.Rosemary is a complex character with intricate motivations. She's a thief, and she's been charged with the job of a lifetime: to steal someone's very name. She heads out to Peter's estate with the intent of proving him a traitor to Germany. Of course, Interesting Things happen when she has to put on the facade of being a librarian in order to work there. *winks*Rosie's just one of those characters you have to love. Sure, she has her rough edges--boy, does she--but that's what makes her so real. She's spunky, witty, opinionated, often blunt. But also soft-hearted, compassionate, and loyal. As one character so perfectly puts it, "Delicate when it suits you. Strong always." (TRUTH)Not to mention she's just hilarious all around and lands a pretty solid punch. ;)- Peter. *cue the flailing* If ever there was a character I would marry...it would be Peter Holstein. NOT EVEN KIDDING.(Now if only he were a little younger. *grumbles because he's thirty* XD)Peter is so. darn. nice. Don't get me wrong, I looooooove me some snarky antiheroes...but there's a part of my heart that will forever adore the sweet, gentlemanly type. And Peter perfectly fits that role. He has a stutter (which, frankly, is really endearing); he has a MASSIVE, SWOONWORTHY LIBRARY; and he writes. HE WRITES. *cue more flailing*He's considered by most to be a recluse, and the popular opinion is that he's a German sympathizer. (Ughh. Really, people? Just because of his name?) Due to the imminent threat of war, he realizes that his heritage could cause quite a few problems for him if he doesn't find a way to prove his loyalty to Britain. Not only that, but if anyone finds out he's the famous adventure novelist, it may tarnish his reputation as a writer. Allllll the complex motivations, folks. *rubs hands together*Over the course of the book, my heart just is completely lost to Peter. What with his teasing banter with his friends Gryff and Rosemary, his sweet interactions with sweet Elowyn, his caring concern for...well, everyone, and his wonderful faith in God, he's just THE BEST.Of course, he has his flaws--namely never paying attention to people when he's writing (#relatable) and getting a little irritable at times. Haha! But he really is one of my new favorite characters. HE'S JUST A PRECIOUS LITTLE HUMAN BEAN AND I LOVES HIM.- The people. Yes, I know I just talked about two people very in-depth. But this deserves being mentioned separately. The people that populate this novel are so alive. Roseanna White certainly does an incredible job with breathing life into this novel. Rosemary's family. The villagers. The household staff. The royal family. They're all so real and marvelously done!- THE BOOKS. YES, PRECIOUS. ALL THE BOOKS. I about died of happiness with the library stuff, all the writers mentioned, and the bookish discussions. It was bookdragon heaven.- The plot. *points up to blurb* Need I say more?- The themes. This is really important to me as a reader, to have books that stick with me after I read them. WELL. A Name Unknown certainly does just that. Rosemary's journey to faith is incredibly poignant, and it brought me to tears at a couple points. This is probably one of the best-handled faith arcs I've read. Ever. I'm having a hard time thinking of one that was more touching or masterful.- The rich detail. The author obviously did her research! I loved all the British dialogue (er, most of it), the beautiful descriptions, the entire feel of this book. It legitimately FELT like I was in early-20th century Britain. ME LOVES IT.- The writing style. Yeah, while we're at it, let's just mention that Roseanna's writing style is perfect. Because it is, people. It is. She somehow manages to write a story that doesn't get you lost in the details yet still paints gorgeous pictures. I will admit, I'm a wee bit jealous of Roseanna's mastery of showing vs. telling. This is a book I will undoubtedly reread just to get a glimpse of perfectly engaging writing.- The romance. OH MY GOODNESS. These two = the most darling couple. I know, I know...I say this quite a lot. ;) But I love Peter and Rosemary together so much! They complement each other perfectly, offsetting each other's qualities and helping each other see/correct their weaknesses. Not only that, but their romance is NOT based off externals.Something which I always find extraordinarily refreshing. They don't have an insta-love story either. They start off a little rockily, but slowly become friends over the months they know each other.(The short version: they are precious.) Not So Lovely Things: - You thought you were actually going to see something in this section? WELL, THINK AGAIN.- (Okay, I lied. :P) Some of the British terminology got a little old, and I felt that the plot wound down a bit too quickly. BUT that honestly didn't detract much at all from my enjoyment of the book! Just a few personal preferences./ / /CONTENT: Lots of British "cursing." (Blazes, blighted, blasted, dratted, etc.) I don't personally consider it swearing, but it might bother some people. Characters share one semi-detailed kiss and three or four undetailed ones near the end. There are two kisses on the cheek, one kiss on the hand. Also brief mentions of mistresses a couple times, though nothing is gotten into. I would probably recommend it those 14 or 15+, mostly just because of the depth of writing/little bit of romance.I think it's safe to say that I love this book. AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL. *glitter explosion* This author has made an impression on me, and it's a good one. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. 5 stars!
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  • R.F. Gammon
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come!!!!!!!
  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    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. For other content, there were some "blasted" and other similar forms of the word....used much too often (1. because I don't like the words since they are euphemisms and 2. because repetition can get tiring ;))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" :PI'm looking forward to the rest of this series!!
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  • Allison Tebo
    January 1, 1970
    RTC.
  • Victoria Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Review coming soon. . .//R E V I E W//“If he was a spy, he was a master of it. And if he wasn’t...what in blazes was he?"This book was a delightful throwback to an age of fiction that most would consider long past. With its quaint verbiage and flowery descriptions, one can detect an echo of literature from the time of the classics. White obviously appreciates the literature from a bygone age and by setting her book in London in the early 1900’s, she captured that time period quite well within he Review coming soon. . .//R E V I E W//“If he was a spy, he was a master of it. And if he wasn’t...what in blazes was he?"This book was a delightful throwback to an age of fiction that most would consider long past. With its quaint verbiage and flowery descriptions, one can detect an echo of literature from the time of the classics. White obviously appreciates the literature from a bygone age and by setting her book in London in the early 1900’s, she captured that time period quite well within her writing style as well as the story.The descriptions and world-building were worked in such a way to give the reader the entire satisfaction of seeing nearly everything with clarity, without muddying the rest of the story. This did make the book to seem a bit long by today’s standards, but because I was enjoying it so much, I didn’t mind in the least.The characters were delightful, quirky, and flawed, as they should be. Rosemary was headstrong, and had quite a bit of wit about her that kept me, and the other characters, on their toes. Peter was wonderfully kind and chivalrous, but with enough flaws to make him not only realistic but loveable. I was happy to find that Peter wasn’t the stereotypical male love interest in the respect that he was perfect and therefore desired her respect. And Rosemary’s frustration with him was often so relatable, that I felt torn between the characters.“Don’t wait around for life to happen to you, Peter. Give it a good chase.”The mystery/suspense side of the story was a bit tricky to comprehend and a certain plot twist really threw me for a loop and made me have to rethink the entire plot to get it right. I love it when a book can do that. Catch me by surprise.The Authoress obviously did a fantastic job with her research. The amount of history within this volume was so interesting that I not only learned quite a bit, but was also enjoying my history lesson. Thank you, Miss White. There were many details about the early rumblings of WW1 that I never knew. This mixed with the mystery, intrigue and the slight flavor of a spy story was enough to keep me turning page after page.Messages of loyalty, morality, family, friendship, trust, and conviction abound throughout this book and the way that Roseanna M. White portrayed Rosemary’s struggle with the salvation message was delightful. Nothing felt forced, and it flowed naturally with the story.“Look, Mr. Holstein. We’ll all stand with you - but in order to do so, you got to stand too. For yourself.”One of the reasons I had to dock half a star was because, while the writing was stellar in many respects, there were a few hiccups to the research that pulled me out of the story. One reason was just a few pieces of dialogue that sounded too modern for the time, but hardly anything to complain about considering the rest of the book. The only other reason for the half star off was the plot seemed to move a bit slow for me. The beginning didn’t grab my attention right away, but I am glad that I kept reading it! The treasure trove of story that followed more than made up for any slow start.All of that being said, White’s attention to detail, historical setting, loveable characters and the intriguing plot has me beyond excited for book 2 in the Shadows Over England series! Thank you, Miss White, for bringing us some lovely, classy stories to read!Content: Nothing graphic took place in this novel. A kiss is described in a pure way and there is a bit of fighting that goes on at several points. A punch or two are thrown and someone is threatened with a gun.
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  • Shantelle
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness, gracious! I'm crying...Roseanna M. White is one of my new favorite authors, I think. She pens historical fiction with such grace and unique-ness. A Name Unknown, book one in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND series, is an interesting, humorous, and heart-touching tale - with a nice amount of suspense.Set in the Edwardian era, this novel follows the adventure of Rosemary Gresham, who's been a thief nearly all her life. In order to care for her mismatched family, she must prove that Peter H Oh my goodness, gracious! I'm crying...Roseanna M. White is one of my new favorite authors, I think. She pens historical fiction with such grace and unique-ness. A Name Unknown, book one in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND series, is an interesting, humorous, and heart-touching tale - with a nice amount of suspense.Set in the Edwardian era, this novel follows the adventure of Rosemary Gresham, who's been a thief nearly all her life. In order to care for her mismatched family, she must prove that Peter Holstein is guilty. She must uncover his secrets and steal his good name.... But what happens when he proves a friend? When happens if he steals her heart?A Name Unknown was a thick book, a little slow at points. But ultimately, so lovely! Rosemary is posing as a librarian. Peter is a novelist. It's simply grand. ^_^ I loved watching their friendship develop and grow. Laughing with them in their banter. Learning to trust. To love. To have faith.Peter is a completely endearing character. His stutter and how he deals with it makes him both admirable and sweet. He has a tender strength that I adore. He isn't perfect by any means, but he is a godly man with a heart that is true. Watching a studious, gentlemanly, dear man such as himself fall for the broken thief that is Rosemary was utterly precious. *smiles*And Rosemary! I quite liked her. And had such a grand time with her on this adventure. The lessons. The growing. The danger and drama. Rosemary is a feisty thing, but ultimately longs for what we all long for - love.Her family. ^_^ I believe the second book in this series is to be about Rosemary's "sister", Willa, and I'm ever so excited for that!It was just a well-done book! Had me guessing and wondering. Chills prickling over my skin because of the nefarious characters lurking around. Trying to figure out how this could work out alright. Loving journeying with these lovely people, even as World War I looms on the horizon. And THAT ENDING. It all came to a conclusion so dramatically, beautifully, and sweetly. And I just wanted to cry. *happy tears* It made my heart ache in a sweet way. Oh, such a tender tale of faith and love.A Name Unknown was a wonderful book, all around, but the ending truly made it for me. I eagerly await the next book in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND, A Song Unheard!I received a copy of A Name Unknown from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Rachelle Cobb
    January 1, 1970
    This is Roseanna's best book yet. Having read all of her other titles, I don't say that lightly.At first I was a bit hesitant about Rosemary because of her occupation; I wasn't sure how she would do as a heroine. Boy was I wrong. Not only is she compellingly genuine, she's conflicted about her occupation--and eventually her faith (or is it lack thereof? No spoilers!).Although the hero, Peter, struck me as weak early on, I quickly warmed up to him. After all, he's a writer and book enthusiast wit This is Roseanna's best book yet. Having read all of her other titles, I don't say that lightly.At first I was a bit hesitant about Rosemary because of her occupation; I wasn't sure how she would do as a heroine. Boy was I wrong. Not only is she compellingly genuine, she's conflicted about her occupation--and eventually her faith (or is it lack thereof? No spoilers!).Although the hero, Peter, struck me as weak early on, I quickly warmed up to him. After all, he's a writer and book enthusiast with a cluttered library. What's not to love?Rosemary soon comes to the same conclusion. The author weaves a story that, although this book is thick, I didn't want to end. From intrigue, a slight mystery, the threat of danger, and surprising twists of betrayal, this book has it all and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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  • Amanda Tero
    January 1, 1970
    I tried really hard not to fan-girl over this book. I have enjoyed all of Roseanna White's books that I've read so far. This was no exception. I did figure out the main plot and resolution fairly quickly, but the tale was so exciting that it kept me turning pages nonetheless.I loved Peter's stutter. I found it unusual and it added a lot to his story. I also appreciated how he was portrayed as good, yet he had his annoying faults. And... I loved what he did. Let's just say I could fully identify I tried really hard not to fan-girl over this book. I have enjoyed all of Roseanna White's books that I've read so far. This was no exception. I did figure out the main plot and resolution fairly quickly, but the tale was so exciting that it kept me turning pages nonetheless.I loved Peter's stutter. I found it unusual and it added a lot to his story. I also appreciated how he was portrayed as good, yet he had his annoying faults. And... I loved what he did. Let's just say I could fully identify and grinned at all of scenes in which he was doing this activity.Rosemary was a great character who was raised in the ghettos of London, stole for a living, yet was not so set in her ways that she was a horrible person.The Christian theme was woven throughout the story, but it seemed a little weak for me. For example, I know that a person doesn't have to say a specific prayer to be saved, but it was like, "Do you believe?" The character said yes. She was told, "Welcome to the family!" No prayer was said. That just seemed odd.The romance was hidden until the ending, and then it kind of had a lot with the feelings and emotions. Yet overall, I found it to have less romance than White's other books that I've read.*I received this book from CelebrateLit and happily provided my honest review*
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  • E.F.B.
    January 1, 1970
    I had never read a Roseanna M. White book before, but after A Name Unknown, I think I'm hooked, at least on this series. This book was equal parts fun, sweet, exciting, and mysterious.There was little to nothing I didn't like. I'm seriously thinking hard to try to remember if there was anything that bothered or annoyed me and... hmm... There may have been a teeny tiny writing thing or two that, while not technically "wrong" did make my inner editor pause and wonder if there would have been a bet I had never read a Roseanna M. White book before, but after A Name Unknown, I think I'm hooked, at least on this series. This book was equal parts fun, sweet, exciting, and mysterious.There was little to nothing I didn't like. I'm seriously thinking hard to try to remember if there was anything that bothered or annoyed me and... hmm... There may have been a teeny tiny writing thing or two that, while not technically "wrong" did make my inner editor pause and wonder if there would have been a better way to phrase that. There was also one moment where the hero, who, at that point, was definitely developing a crush on the heroine, and was wondering what the heroine's secret was, and he thought something along the lines of, even if her secret was that she'd murdered someone, he probably couldn't hold it against her because she probably would have had a good reason for it. Now, this was a very silly crush-induced thought, and I'm 99.9% sure he didn't really mean it. But it was a brief moment where I was thinking, "Whoa there, Lover Boy, time to tap the breaks a bit." :P I mean, it wasn't something that took away from the story for me, but I do feel it's a good idea, even when our hearts are crushing hard on someone, to still use our brains and be on guard about what we're thinking.On to the good things:Rosemary: I loved her and her "family" so much! She was a strong female character in the right way because she was not just one stereotypical thing. She had hopes and fears, she was smart, but not all-knowing, she did somethings well, and made mistakes with other things, she was both scrappy and fragile, confident and unsure. SHE WAS HUMAN. I also loved that, while she was a thief, her thievery was not justified, and yet, we also understood why she and her family ended up doing what they did with their lives, and we were given a reason to root for them to find a better way to live. Whether or not they do find a better way is for me to know, and you, potential reader, to find out. ;) (view spoiler)[If you really want to know...They do. (hide spoiler)] An extra thing I liked about her was that she was actually the same age as me. This probably doesn't seem like much, but as someone who is in her 20s and still enjoys more YA than adult books, I don't read a lot of heroines my age, so I just found that kinda fun. :)Peter: Oh wow. Maybe one of my favorite romantic leads in a long time. I mean, I typically aim to only read things with decent, upstanding men as the romantic lead, (Prince Smarmy, Brooding YA Hero who may or may not sparkle in the sunlight, and Superbuff Alfa Male all get on my nerves, not to mention some of them seem to romanticize abusive relationships, so I don't read thoss), even then not all of the good ones are necessarily MY type. Peter, on the other hand, was definitely my type. Oh yes. :) What a sweet, wonderful, (though not perfect) guy! He is a shy, bookish writer who is kind, generous, and a godly man, living out his faith in all aspects of his life. He was described as handsome, but not blindingly so, and I really appreciated that that was not the first thing the heroine noticed about him. Or the second. Or the third. In fact, she didn't think much about him being handsome until they started falling in love, which happened naturally and slowly as they got to know each other, so, YAY for a total lack of insta-love! Oh, another thing it's good to know about Peter is that he actually has a stutter, and I appreciated that he had this "flaw" that gave him a challenge to overcome and that made him that much more of a unique individual.I also liked and related to Peter as a fellow writer. While I don't get so engrossed in my writing that people have to speak to me multiple times to get my attention, I do sometimes get ideas and HAVE to write it down, like he does. My stories also tend to come to me in a similar way as they do for him, which was cool. I also wish that when I'm having trouble expressing myself (for me, because of shyness, or just being better at expressing myself through writing than verbally) that I could go write it down and hand it to the person like he does. :P I thought it was nice that his friends and staff understood him well enough to let him do that when he (because of his stutter) was having trouble getting something out.Some random other characters/things I liked/found interesting:Gryff: Gryff and Peter had a really good friendship and I liked how he was supportive and protective of Peter while also pushing him to challenge himself and overcome difficulties.Elowyn: She had only a tiny roll, but wow she was cute. XD I especially liked the little mention of her at the end.Mrs. Teague: Also very protective of Peter, unfortunately to the point that she was unreasonably unkind to Rosemary at the start, but I liked that she was able to recognize her fault and even reach a point of comforting Rosemary in a moment of difficulty.Mr. V: Sneaksy, tricksy hobbitses... And that's all I can say about him without spoilers!The faith: I loved the way the author wove faith into the story without making it some kind of murky, generic, spirituality, but also didn't include it in a way that felt like she was outling the entire gospel message for the reader. As I said above, Peter lived out his faith in everything he did. He was kind to people even when they weren't kind to him, and there were a lot of people who were unkind to him, but he also didn't hesitate to stand up for someone who was about to be hurt. He shared his faith with everyone willing to listen, speaking (er..writing) to them in an understanding way, answering their questions and having discussions with them. By contrast, we have Rosemary, who apparently believes in God but doesn't believe He is kind or good, and we see her struggling with this, asking questions, and slowly coming to a point where she has a new kind of faith.The story: Though technically a romance, I was refreshed to see that the romance actually didn't take 100% precedence. This story is set just before the beginning of WWI and there's lots of intrigue surrounding that. As the synopsis says, Rosemary is hired to prove Peter a German traitor. Meanwhile, Peter is trying to prove himself a loyal Englishman in the face of derision and active threats from those who have deemed him guilty until proven innocent. In trying to figure out who was threatening him, there were a couple things that really surprised me and had me excited to read more. And the twist at the end, while I can't say it shocked me, was still really great. I knew something had to be revealed in relation to that part of the story, but never did manage to figure it out so to finally be told was gratifying, and I loved how things worked out from there. I'll also say I learned some historical things I didn't fully understand before, like why, exactly, the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand was the push that made the proverbial dominos start to fall. (Even my parents never understood that one, despite being well versed in other historical subjects, so I was finally able to clarify that for them.)So, all in all, it was a really great read from an author who was new to me and now has a new fan. :)4.5 stars.Content advisory for those who want to know:This is technically adult novel but is a lot cleaner than many secular YA novels. I think it would be appropriate for older teens who are interested in the subject matter.Sexual content: Some attraction between adult individuals. Two cheek kisses: One as friends and one sweet romantic one. An instance of wondering what it would be like to kiss the other person for real. An instance of wanting to kiss the other person and then not doing it. An actual kiss that is described, but more in metaphorical terms than physical ("It was fire" and stuff like that) and having their arms around each other. Some non-described kisses between a married couple.There's a brief mention of a man we never get to know having a wife and a mistress and pretty much everyone knows it. It's implied (only implied, not stated) that men of Peter's station don't get romantically involved with women of Rosemary's station unless they make them a mistress. It is then reasserted that Peter is not that kind of man, and it is once again clear that this is because of his Christian faith.Violence: Nothing graphically described. A rock is thrown through a window. A fire is intentionally started. Someone is (view spoiler)[ shot with an arrow (hide spoiler)] in the shoulder and there is brief mention of blood. People are threatened with guns and shots are fired. (It's not stated whether or not anyone is hit.)A criminal gets punched in the gut by way if being apprehended. Someone gets punched in the face because they were threatening to hurt someone else. Two other individuals get rammed in the gut by another person: One in an attempt to escape, and the other in defense of another person. A drunk man nearly attacks a woman but is stopped.Language: Mention of a woman who is hurt, "mumbling and grumbling and growling words no lady should know.” Uses of words like blighted, blasted, and blazes.Other: Mentions of drinking both at a party and in pubs, and some drunk individuals (minor characters) make unfortunate choices. I don't recall the main characters ever getting drunk.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Easily one of my favorite reads of the year. Find a comfortable chair and allow this story to draw you into the lovely setting of Cornwall, England.Roseanna White has introduced her readers to a lovely cast of characters in this new series. The series centers around a "family" that consists of a group of orphans that have relied upon thievery to survive. As the beginning of WWI is getting closer, the mysterious Mr. V has hired Rosemary Gresham to discover whether Peter Holstein's loyalties lie w Easily one of my favorite reads of the year. Find a comfortable chair and allow this story to draw you into the lovely setting of Cornwall, England.Roseanna White has introduced her readers to a lovely cast of characters in this new series. The series centers around a "family" that consists of a group of orphans that have relied upon thievery to survive. As the beginning of WWI is getting closer, the mysterious Mr. V has hired Rosemary Gresham to discover whether Peter Holstein's loyalties lie with England or Germany. Rosemary gains entry into Holstein's household by posing as a librarian. (I think the book cover is exquisite.)White's historical research is obvious in describing the political tension that prevailed in England at this pre-WWI time. The loyalties of those with German ties were questioned, even those of the royal family. I love the "sometimes feminine, but always strong" Rosemary. The witty banter between her and Peter provided many laugh-out-loud moments. Their friendship slowly develops as they work together to discover the truth of Peter's family past. Can they learn to trust each other, sharing secrets that will leave them both exposed to rejection? This story has it all: romance, suspense, espionage and some unexpected twists at the end. But I was most drawn to the delightful cast of characters, endearing for their strengths and flaws.This story caused me to laugh and cry, one scene in particular tugged at my heart. The thread of God's love and grace is not forced but woven seamlessly throughout the story. This is White at her best! I cannot wait to read the next book in this series!I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Natacha Ramos
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Tricia Mingerink
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Raechel
    January 1, 1970
    The cover alone makes this book a worthy addition to any bookshelf. But add in the amazing story, and you know "A Name unknown" is a definite keeper!The story pulled me in immediately, and I was drawn right into the world of these characters. There were many unique twists, and mysteries, and the history was woven beautifully into the story. But one of the best elements of this book was the heart of it - the Faith aspect. I was very pleased with it, and there were many places I marked down. It wa The cover alone makes this book a worthy addition to any bookshelf. But add in the amazing story, and you know "A Name unknown" is a definite keeper!The story pulled me in immediately, and I was drawn right into the world of these characters. There were many unique twists, and mysteries, and the history was woven beautifully into the story. But one of the best elements of this book was the heart of it - the Faith aspect. I was very pleased with it, and there were many places I marked down. It was gentle, and beautiful, and meaningful. To me, a Christian fiction's main theme should be revolved around a godly message - one that is filled with Christ, and I was ever so pleased to discover that in this novel. Personally, when I pick up a CF title, I don't want it to just be 'clean', I want it to be filling. And "A Name Unknown" was that.I loved the characters - Rosemary and Peter. Oh, Peter was just darling! I liked him right away, and Rosemary too. They were very different characters to be sure, but blended so well and balanced each other out. Rosemary a thief, and Peter a secret novelist. They both have so much richness to them!As a writer myself, I loved Peter and seeing his writing mind take over; how he'd get lost when thinking up a new idea - very relatable. :) And his overall love of books and letters! Be still my heart. ;) He was just splendid.I just really loved the characters - how real they were, and how they didn't always do what you expected. Life doesn't always go as expected, and that was portrayed so well in this book. Every page begged to be turned again, not left unread. If only I had an ample amount of time to read from beginning to end! But still, I savoured this book for the time it took me, thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. And set right before WWI broke out - a very fascinating time to read a novel in. So yes, I can definitely recommend this one! Fellow booklovers, you will fall in love with "A Name Unknown"!
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    "A Name Unknown" by Roseanna White is the first entry in her new "Shadows over England" series. If you love books (and if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you do!), then you have to read this book! It's a book about books—a lot of books in a huge, messy, unorganized library! To top it off, our main characters are a writer and a woman pretending to be a librarian who helps this writer sort out said library. The story is very well written with a great plot. The opening sentence grips you and pull "A Name Unknown" by Roseanna White is the first entry in her new "Shadows over England" series. If you love books (and if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you do!), then you have to read this book! It's a book about books—a lot of books in a huge, messy, unorganized library! To top it off, our main characters are a writer and a woman pretending to be a librarian who helps this writer sort out said library. The story is very well written with a great plot. The opening sentence grips you and pulls you into the story. Ms. White inserts humor into the way she writes as well, bringing a smile to my face as I read about the banter between our main characters and the way they think. This story takes place right before World War I, and our hero is of German descent, living in England. What he has to deal with really made me think about what it would be like to be a German living in England during that time and the difficulties they would face. There is also a great faith element in the story.I absolutely love our main characters, Peter and Rosemary! They are so well developed and not cliché. Peter is the one with the huge library which needs organizing and he is also a writer. I appreciate that Ms. White wrote his character with a stutter. So not only does he have to overcome the difficulties of being a German in England during that tumultuous time in history, he also has a stutter to deal with. He can write, but it's hard for him to speak what he's thinking. This book goes back and forth between the two characters’ points of view. I sometimes don't like when this is done, as I get more bored with the male point of view. I feel that Ms. White really fleshes out Peter's story though, and I especially enjoyed seeing what the mind of a writer is like. Rosemary is also a fun character, who is a thief pretending to be a librarian. There is great chemistry between the two characters!This book is one of my favorites of 2017 so far! The plot and characters are so well done and the ending is excellent with many surprises. It blew me away with such a great conclusion to a wonderful book!Content and Rating: I give this book 5 stars! It is a clean read. I want to thank Roseanna White, Bethany House Publishers and Celebrate Lit for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
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  • Rachel McMillan
    January 1, 1970
    okay! and then you want, of course, a slick and sophisticated slow-burning romance set in Edwardian Cornwall featuring a thief -turned- librarian and a stammering author with royal connections who may hold secrets to the axis retaliation in the looming war? RIGHT? yes. So then we have A Name Unknown which features not only some of Rachel's favourite tropes ( tortured reclusive misunderstood stammering author, two lost souls who connect through words and leave letters to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! okay! and then you want, of course, a slick and sophisticated slow-burning romance set in Edwardian Cornwall featuring a thief -turned- librarian and a stammering author with royal connections who may hold secrets to the axis retaliation in the looming war? RIGHT? yes. So then we have A Name Unknown which features not only some of Rachel's favourite tropes ( tortured reclusive misunderstood stammering author, two lost souls who connect through words and leave letters to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ) but also possibly my favourite hero of 2017. Peter Holstein is certified Rachel Catnip! I love that he is just too lovely and tweed-clad for the real world --- and the stammer in his voice is ironed out in his writing. There is a lovely Barney Snaith type twist to this set amidst a bubbling world on the brink of war against the lush tapestry of Cornwall. Rosemary Gresham, our intrepid heroine, was a tad more difficult for me to fall for --- but I think that was a conscious decision on the part of the author to show how she ---due to necessity and complicated past-- wants to keep the world at bay. And it is all "a rose by any other name.." because names and titles and connections and noms de plume are a huge motif here. But mostly, Peter. I am in this for Peter bless his tweed and his accent and his spectacles and his awkward way with the world and you should be in it for Peter, too.
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  • Caitlyn Santi
    January 1, 1970
    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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  • Tammie
    January 1, 1970
    A Name Unknown is a Christian historical romance set in the Edwardian period on the cusp of WWI. The main character is a thief who accepts a job from a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. V. The job involves getting hired on by a man with German ancestry and finding information that will prove he is a traitor to England. I enjoyed reading about the time period a lot and I liked the characters of Rosemary and Peter. The slow buildup of the friendship and then romance that developed between them A Name Unknown is a Christian historical romance set in the Edwardian period on the cusp of WWI. The main character is a thief who accepts a job from a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. V. The job involves getting hired on by a man with German ancestry and finding information that will prove he is a traitor to England. I enjoyed reading about the time period a lot and I liked the characters of Rosemary and Peter. The slow buildup of the friendship and then romance that developed between them was one of the best things about the book. The Christian aspect of the book was well done as well and was nicely woven into the story. The only thing I felt was missing was actually being able to read the letters that Rosemary and Peter wrote to each other every day. I really would have liked if they had been included in the book. I think it would have given us as readers more insite into their developing friendship.This is the first of a series and I am interested in continuing on. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Bethany House for giving me a copy of this book for review.Review also posted at Writings of a Reader
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    What an interesting premise! Main character Rosemary Gresham is a professional thief and hired to learn information about suspected traitor Peter Holstein. This is another well done novel by Roseanna White. The novel is set in WWI England.
  • Elsie Stoltzfus
    January 1, 1970
    A Name UnknownBy Roseanna M. WhiteThis book simply didn't strike true to me. The story was interesting enough, but it seamed that many of the characters (including a professional thief!) were far too naive. Most of the characters are very likable, and a few of them are entirely believable. The plot was good for the most part, but the main plot twist took me by complete surprise, because it was, to put it plainly, far fetched. Again, it failed to convince. Still, I had a very fun time reading it, A Name UnknownBy Roseanna M. WhiteThis book simply didn't strike true to me. The story was interesting enough, but it seamed that many of the characters (including a professional thief!) were far too naive. Most of the characters are very likable, and a few of them are entirely believable. The plot was good for the most part, but the main plot twist took me by complete surprise, because it was, to put it plainly, far fetched. Again, it failed to convince. Still, I had a very fun time reading it, and I did keep me spellbound. My Rating: Three Stars
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  • Toni Shiloh
    January 1, 1970
    Love this book, the characters, the settings, everything about it! Can't wait to read book 2.
  • Schuyler
    January 1, 1970
    The premise grabbed me right away with its creativity--World War One (a favorite, because I write WW1 literature, and the time period isn't super common) a novel about London thieves, and a novel about spying, offered so much to enjoy. And guys, it's a really, really fun story. Definitely worth adding to your TBR this year.First: the characters and setting are effortlessly creative. I love the Cornish setting (hadn't really paid attention to that before or read books with that focus) and the mic The premise grabbed me right away with its creativity--World War One (a favorite, because I write WW1 literature, and the time period isn't super common) a novel about London thieves, and a novel about spying, offered so much to enjoy. And guys, it's a really, really fun story. Definitely worth adding to your TBR this year.First: the characters and setting are effortlessly creative. I love the Cornish setting (hadn't really paid attention to that before or read books with that focus) and the micro-level settings of the library and Peter's study offer so much fun. As a WW1 author myself, I loved reading about some of the historical details (did you know paper clips were around pre-WW1?) as well as the time where people were straddling electricity and non-electricity, carriages and motorcars.I loved Rosemary's background. It has a very Dickensian streak to it, with the London pub, the close sense of family, and the thievery that they resort to to stay alive. And Peter...Peter was my favorite. He's so kind, with the way he writes heartfelt letters to people, and so funny with his messy library and the way he shushes you when he has some novel inspiration he doesn't want to lose. I'm afraid this will sound like gushing, but it's not meant to be. It's just an honest love for a good fictional friend. I liked how Roseanna capture the perspective of a writer, because as a writer, I can resonate well with that. :)I also really appreciated the romance. Peter and Rosemary have a very natural, good progression from employer/employee to mentor/mentee, to Peter praying for her in a crisis, to friends. They exchanged thoughts and opinions and worldviews, and I really resonate with worldview exchange plus gentle kindness in moments of vulnerable distress, (those two things basically sum up why I love Peter Holstein's character). The character arcs are alive, feel very natural and real, and the relationships of the characters to one another and to God are so well-written, it made me really enjoy the book.The paperback edition is nice to hold and read. If you want a fun WW1 historical novel with intrigue and a dash of really well-done romance, A Name Unknown is the perfect choice. You can find it on Amazon. I can't wait for book 2 in this series!I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    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
    January 1, 1970
    A Name Unknown was a great introduction to 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 Rosem A Name Unknown was a great introduction to 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.*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above 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 and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So many reads lately seem to follow a typical pattern. This one was a bit different, and thus a refreshing change from the expected.This book combines the lives of rich and poor, and it gives a great view of both. The reader ends up with empathy for both, and I found myself, at least, understanding both sides of the coin.Rosemary is a terrific heroine. I really connected with her. She is torn in the direction of the right of her heart with the logic of her mind. I I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So many reads lately seem to follow a typical pattern. This one was a bit different, and thus a refreshing change from the expected.This book combines the lives of rich and poor, and it gives a great view of both. The reader ends up with empathy for both, and I found myself, at least, understanding both sides of the coin.Rosemary is a terrific heroine. I really connected with her. She is torn in the direction of the right of her heart with the logic of her mind. I find that a common dilemma.I loved that the hero had an infirmity, and that his looks, muscles, etc were not in the picture in what made him attractive or an excellent male lead.It has a tremendous plot, lovely story, and a faith theme that's strong and flows so smoothly through the book. This was a definite page turner for me! Several twists and turns and surprises await the reader. I had a terrible time putting it down. I highly recommend this novel, and it has earned a place on my forever shelves!I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Joleen
    January 1, 1970
    A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. WhiteYear: 1914Location: Cornwall, Southwest EnglandMain Characters:Rosemary Gresham: Street rat turned librarian Peter Holstein: Novelist of German descentGryffyn, Jenny and Elowyn Penrose: Peter's best friend, wife and young daughterMr. & Mrs. Teague: Gardener and housekeeper Barklay, Willa, Retta, Lucy, Elinor, George, Jory, Olivia, Nigel, Cressida and Fergus: Rosemary's brothers and sistersPauly: Pub owner and father figure to all of the aboveMr. V: Commissi A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. WhiteYear: 1914Location: Cornwall, Southwest EnglandMain Characters:Rosemary Gresham: Street rat turned librarian Peter Holstein: Novelist of German descentGryffyn, Jenny and Elowyn Penrose: Peter's best friend, wife and young daughterMr. & Mrs. Teague: Gardener and housekeeper Barklay, Willa, Retta, Lucy, Elinor, George, Jory, Olivia, Nigel, Cressida and Fergus: Rosemary's brothers and sistersPauly: Pub owner and father figure to all of the aboveMr. V: Commissioned Rosemary to dig up German sympathizer tiesMr. Jasper, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Pomeroy: Trumping up charges that Peter's a traitorCharacters, characters, characters. Like "locations" in real estate being the best selling point, characters in this story are fun, unique, poignant and heartwarming; totally selling me on this book, and listed among my 2018 favorites.Rosemary, self taught, outspoken, hardheaded, feisty, brave, determined, yet soft enough to be melted.Peter, with his endearing stutter is bookish, gentlemanly, wise, humble, kindhearted, generous and a man of great faith.Little Elowyn is sweet, charming and utterly taken with "uncle" PeterWilla, tough, street smart violinist, and the sister Rosemary is closest to in age and heartGood guys and bad guys are all so well written you can't help but sigh or sneer whenever they're around. Even Mrs. Teague who is fiercely loyal to Peter, and who makes no bones about how much she distrusts Rosemary, is a wonderful character. Synopsis for my benefit: (view spoiler)[Rosemary, now in her twenties, is a thief, and so is her whole family. All orphaned young in life, none related by blood, they became family through necessity, and all steal to live. Rosemary has been commissioned for a sizeable fee to find dirt on Peter Holstein, dirt that will prove he's a traitor to England with deep ties still to Germany. So she sets herself up as a librarian which Peter needs to organize the wretchedly disorganized library aptly called the cave. She pretends to be educated, having changed her cockney accent and (encouraged by her older brother) became passably well read. She has access to documents and books inherited by Peter's grandfather and father, who were German by birth. Peter's need for her to organize his library and find documents that prove just the opposite; to prove his British ties and parents' allegiance to England. What no one knows but his best friends, Gryff and Jenny, is that he's the mystery novelist, Branok Hollow. Rosemary is aware he's in his office typing all day, what, for all she knows, is correspondence because correspondence is the way he communicates, often even to her. They begin daily letters, which included requests for prayer and notes about faith, about which Rosemary was fairly ignorant. She is surprised often by his constant acts of kindness to all, including orphans and the impoverished, whom she assumes most people, especially the wealthy, consider the dregs of society, and to be overlooked, if not abused.Her heart is changing. (hide spoiler)]History: With Peter being friends with members of the monarchy, there is much to be learned in this story about the time leading up to the first world war, and it's done organically rather than in a history textbook sort of way. Loved it!Spiritual content: The gospel is shared by Peter through notes throughout the book. Then, surprisingly by the last character you'd expect, the gospel is shared at a time when both the presenter and the hearer were clearly lead by the Holy Spirit. Okay, I have to admit… I cried.Romantic content: A sigh-worthy romance grows between two polar opposites in an unforced, completely believable way. This is such a pleasing tale of faith, of hard lessons won, of deep suspicions, and of love. I highly recommend this book!
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  • Grace Mullins
    January 1, 1970
    THIS book.Strong heroine? Check. Sweet, realistic romance? Check. Faith Content? Check!I had read only a couple of Roseanna M White's before this one---which I liked, by the way. However, this one tops them both so that it shines in a brilliant, sun glaring light. (Not REALLY, so no worries. Eclipse glasses are not needed for the viewing of this book.)I loved the heroine of this story. She was witty, mentally strong, and street smart. She could take care of herself, and yet was still feminine. T THIS book.Strong heroine? Check. Sweet, realistic romance? Check. Faith Content? Check!I had read only a couple of Roseanna M White's before this one---which I liked, by the way. However, this one tops them both so that it shines in a brilliant, sun glaring light. (Not REALLY, so no worries. Eclipse glasses are not needed for the viewing of this book.)I loved the heroine of this story. She was witty, mentally strong, and street smart. She could take care of herself, and yet was still feminine. This is a balance that I think book heroines need to have more of, and Miss Rosemary Gresham is a prime example.  Also, her story of redemption was sweet. <3The hero, Peter Holstein, was also a pretty snazzy character. Honestly, I feel like I related to him in more ways than Rosemary. :-P He's a writer who gets sucked up into his own little world, and, as I'm a little familiar with this world, it was cool to read about his authorly quirks. These same quirks also kept him from being Mr. 100% perfect, and I liked that. Characters who are human need to have a flaw to seem real, and Peter would have been wayyy too perfect without his writing induced, distracted brain flaw. Also, the part with him having a stuttering disability was something I've never seen in a hero character, and made him all the more authentic. And perhaps more lovable because it made him an adorable fluffball of vulnerability that you just want to cheer on. :-)As for the overall story, it was an enjoyable story for me! I liked the subtle mysteries, and the included action scenes. The faith plot was also nicely put in, and made the story touching for me. Imagining the story without it would honestly make it not as good, in my opinion.I also think White has a wonderful writing voice that engaged me into a world that I could see without her overwhelming  me with too many scenery details. Her characterization is wonderful, and I like how she added in real British slang words that gave this story an extra bit of world building seasoning.I'm going to give "A Name Unknown" a rating of five, and am looking forward to its sequel, as well as trying more of White's other published works. :-D *Thanks to the author and publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.
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  • Janell R.
    January 1, 1970
    Ah, this was another lovely read from one of my favorite authors! I have come to expect quality writing, thought-provoking content, and a riveting story line from Mrs. White. I am happy to report this book was no exception.The main female character is no someone you can agree with through the whole book, yet she is certainly someone you can admire. Her point of view does lend food for thought, even though wrong is still wrong. The best part, of course, is how Peter Holstein is able to show her a Ah, this was another lovely read from one of my favorite authors! I have come to expect quality writing, thought-provoking content, and a riveting story line from Mrs. White. I am happy to report this book was no exception.The main female character is no someone you can agree with through the whole book, yet she is certainly someone you can admire. Her point of view does lend food for thought, even though wrong is still wrong. The best part, of course, is how Peter Holstein is able to show her an example of what true Christianity looks like even in the upper classes of society. Such loveliness! All the secondary characters were wonderful too, and can I just say, I want a story about Treeve.As for the historical part of the storyline? Truly fascinating! Mrs. White certainly did her research, and all the facts that came out about Peter’s family history, though they were, perhaps, made up, were ‘simply mahvelous’!As always, the spiritual content was very good, though, probably the one thing I disagreed with was the way Peter excused his irregular church attendance.For me this was definitely a 5 star read!Disclaimer: I received a print copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
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