Roseanna M. White is an author whose books I have enjoyed for quite a long time. I especially love the way she makes her characters so human and vulnerable while also strong. “A Name Unknown” is the latest novel I have read and I loved every page. Rosemary Gresham’s character was conniving, thieving, sentimental, witty and totally engaging. Her counterpart, Peter Holstein, was characterized humorously as an inattentive, shy, bookworm.
The era in which the story takes place had so many options to write about and I think that Ms. White hit upon the perfect plot. Before WWI, England was a hotspot for treason and espionage and political sentiment ran high. Rosemary’s reason for going to Kensey Manor was to supposedly to categorize Peter’s extensive library. But her real reason for being there was to get the goods on him. Peter needed to prove his loyalty to England and the crown and needed help doing that. Whatever else Peter was involved in was there for Rosemary to glean for herself. I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game these two played and the supporting characters portrayed in the book were convincing and appropriate. I am anxiously waiting for further novels in this series, Shadows Over England, set in my favorite genre.
I received a complimentary print copy of this book from LitFuse.com.
“Catching the Wind” by Melanie Dobson is a very fascinating novel. Dietmar Roth and Brigitte Berthold were childhood friends back in Germany in 1940. Dietmar was three years older than Brigitte at the age of 13. Of course Germany was under Nazi rule at this time and everyone was tense and scared. One afternoon, the children were together playing when they heard screams and ran home. Just in time they hid as they saw the Gestapo taking away their parents. Dietmar ran to the window in his home and saw his mother mouth the words “RUN!”. He grabbed Brigitte and they ran for all they were worth, finally making their way to Belgium. Although Belgium was also under German rule, they were able to escape to England where they were parted and sent to various locations. They were thought to be British children and were being evacuated to escape the Blitz. They were never reunited.
Seventy years later, Quenby Vaughn is doing an article on English aristocratic families who collaborated with the Germans during the war. Some provided safe houses for German soldiers who were infiltrating the public and sending messages over wireless to Germany apprising them of troop locations and air fields. Sabotage was part of their plan. They thought Germany would win the war and they wanted to be ready to accept German rule as a friend to the invaders.
Lucas Hough, a lawyer representing Daniel Knight, seeks Quenby and requests that she meet his employer for a job. Quenby is not interested until Daniel, alias Dietmar Roth, tells her of his past life. He is searching for Brigitte, not knowing if she is dead or alive, but to reassure himself that he finds out about her before he passes away.
Little did Quenby know that along with searching for Brigitte, she will uncover information that her investigation into treason among the higher set also includes Brigitte’s past life. I was SO interested in the chapters dealing with the involvement of so many of British aristocratic members and their savagery. The years gone by have made searching for Brigitte a definitely difficult task, but I was pulled into the story by the intriguing manipulation of the story line by Ms. Dobson. What a great read! My only criticism is that the ending was not as satisfying as I’d hoped. In fact, I was a little disappointed because I did not think it altogether fit the story…a little too contrived, I think. However, I would highly recommend this book because my observations may be very different from another reader.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
“The Highland Commander” by Amy Jarecki was a fast-paced historical romance thriller. I marveled at the situations that the heroine, Lady Magdalen Keith, got herself into. During this time in history, England and Scotland are beginning unification. Scotland’s ships are now flying under the Union Jack and there is treason and espionage abounding. Lady Magdalen’s father, a Scot, is a Member of Parliament who is loyal to James Stuart, brother to the Queen of England. His loyalty is seen as treason in the eyes of the English and he is taken to the Tower of London to be tried for his “crime”. Lady Magdalen travels to London to see to his release.
She is constantly involved in one problem or another and it seems that the dashing First Lieutenant Aiden Murray is always in the vicinity to rescue her. He is the second son of a Scottish lord who supports the English, although Aiden disagrees.
This story is non-stop catastrophe after catastrophe which certainly keeps the reader engaged throughout the book. I think that the author has written a very good story and has included historical facts which bring it to life. Well done.
I received an advance reader copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing in return for my honest review.
I love reading an action-packed political thriller and I found it in “In Sheep’s Clothing”. L.D. Beyer has written a page-turning, fast-paced novel that will have you speculating and wondering throughout. The story opens with the President of the United States committing suicide while skeet-shooting with a number of Secret Service agents. It seems that someone has blackmailed him not to seek re-election. He obviously saw no way out of his dilemma. Matthew Richter is one of the President’s agents and feels in some way responsible that he could not stop what happened.
His Vice-President, David Kendall has taken the reins of the country. Matthew Richter has been assigned to this president as well. He takes his job very seriously and is highly motivated to keep this new leader safe.
President Kendall has chosen a man for his Vice-President who seems to be on a different wave-length than Kendall. Tyler Rumson has been in politics for years and has used his influence to garner people whom he can maneuver to do his bidding. He wants to be President…badly. He is determined that David Kendall will not run for re-election. When he finds out the opposite, Rumson calls in his markers. He has to do something to stop the President.
In a spectacular event, Air Force One crashes on a flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C. What caused the crash? Did anyone survive the crash? Was it terrorism or sabotage? Was Matthew Richter able to do his job in keeping the president safe? Do not start reading this book unless you can finish it in one or two sittings. You will NOT be able to put it down.
I loved the way Mr. Beyer develops his characters and keeps the reader in suspense trying to decide who the bad guys are. The Matthew Richter Thriller Series will now be on my reader list.
I purchased a Kindle print copy of this book from Amazon.com. No review positive or otherwise was required – all opinions are my own.
A novel set in 1917, just before the United States’ entry into the Great War, “A Love Transformed” by Tracie Peterson tells the story of a young woman living in New York. Clara Vesper has just been informed that her husband Adolph has been murdered in an apparent mugging. With two young children, she is stunned to find out that she does not inherit her husband’s estate. She has been the silent designing partner in a jewelry firm specializing in sapphire pieces which she designs and her husband and brother, Otto pass off as their creations. In order to get away from her domineering mother and pushy brother-in-law, she flees to Montana to live with her aunt and uncle on their ranch where she spent wonderful times as a teenager. Also at the ranch is her first beau. He is recovering from an accident and she is coerced into caring for him.
After a while, sinister things start to happen. Not only does her mother find her, but travels to the ranch to pressure her to return to New York and marry Otto. Otto is involved in another trade…espionage. He and his cohorts are smugglers and are involved in treason against the United States with Germany. I enjoyed the book from this prolific author. Ms. Peterson has written many novels, a few of which I have read. I have liked each one.
I received a print copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest review.
Congratulations and “bravo” to Allison Pataki, whose first novel “The Traitor’s Wife”, is a wonderful work of historical fiction. This was an excellent book in all ways. I didn’t think I would be interested in the influence that Peggy Shippen, Benedict Arnold’s wife, had on his traitorous actions against the Revolutionary Army, but I was entranced from the beginning chapter. The story as told by Peggy’s maid is all the more intriguing from her viewpoint. Everything about this novel is exciting and incredibly well done. I was shifted back and forth between Clara’s story and the dramatic actions of Peggy Shippen both before and after her marriage to Benedict Arnold.
I hope Ms. Pataki is immersed in writing her next novel because I eagerly look forward to a new historical fiction offering by Allison Pataki.
I received a free print copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
I read “The Smuggler Wore Silk” by Alyssa Alexander in one day. I kept turning pages and saying to myself, “I’ll just read to the end of this chapter”. However I just kept on reading because this book was one you can’t put down because you just have to see what happens next.
The story takes place during the Napoleonic wars between France and England. Grace Hannah is a ward of her uncle, but is treated more like a servant and is considered a non-person because of her parentage. She is involved with the smugglers who use the caves and tunnels to store the smuggled goods that go in and out of England. Smugglers are one thing, traitors are another. Grace and the smugglers find that someone is trying to smuggle out troop information from the War Office. They don’t know whom to trust and want no part of treason.
Julian Travers, Earl of Langford, is also known as the Wandering Earl. He uses the cover of travelling on the Continent and London to mask his real duties as a spy. However, he has been compromised by a traitor and is in danger of being retired. He is given one last mission and that is to find out if Grace Hannah is guilty of treason. Since his ancestral home is in Devon, he is the perfect man for this assignment.
The action and adventure of this novel was very entertaining. I truly was interested all the way to the end. I would highly recommend this book.
I was sent a free advanced reader print copy of this book by Night Owl Reviews in return for my honest assessment of the book.