A Name Unknown, by Roseanna M. White

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

She’s Out to Steal His Name. Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins who helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets–instead they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary is beginning to question whether she can continue in this life when she’s offered the challenge of a lifetime–determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. After all how does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moves ever closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown–so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstep pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth–about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

First Thoughts:

This is the first in a new series by Roseanna M. White. I presume, from the series title, that it will all be set in the lead up to World War One.

My Take:

It’s May 1914, and Rosemary is waiting to meet a contact regarding a job. In the next couple of pages, the reader is given plenty of information leading to questions such as: Who is Mr. V? How did Rosemary manage to steal a document from the British Museum of all places? What is her history anyway? During the course of the book, some answers will be revealed while others remain mysteries.

It’s difficult to have sympathy for a criminal. White does her best to make Rosemary and her ‘family’ likeable people. They justify what they do and claim to only steal from those who can “afford to lose a bit.” A gang of child thieves is reminiscent of the group from Oliver Twist, although their leader is a sharp contrast to the notorious Fagin. I didn’t think much of Rosemary’s skills either as it seemed she made a number of rookie mistakes, such as revealing contradictions in her backstory. I definitely couldn’t see how the required happy ending would arrive: She’d either be successful and ruin Peter, or she’d fail and probably sent to jail. The resolution is somewhat mind-boggling, and changes what I thought was the premise of the series.

So, what works in A Name Unknown to make it a worthwhile read? Take away the thievery aspect, and there’s a very good tale of suspense. I was fascinated by Peter’s story. Who were his father and grandfather? How did the family have a royal connection? Why is Peter now being targeted with a series of suspicious events? Is it due to anti-German sentiment or something else? Who’s behind the maliciousness? The story builds slowly but the tension, when I experienced it towards the end, was unexpected. Once I felt that, I knew there was no putting down this book until I’d read the very last page.

Thank you to Bethany House and Litfuse for my complimentary copy of A Name Unknown, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

This review is part of a Litfuse Publicity Book Tour

Have you read A Name Unknown? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Author Q & A

Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)

Publication Date: 04 July 2017

Page Count: 432

Read more on:   Roseanna M. White’s Website   Bethany House’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

Grounded Hearts, by Jeanne M. Dickson

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?

 

First Thoughts:

I’m unfamiliar with Ireland’s role in World War 2, so I’m hoping for a novel that’s informative as well as entertaining.

My Take:

When Dutch Whitney parachutes into an Irish bog, he has two thoughts on his mind: the fate of his crew, and getting back to the fight. But County Clare is a long way from safety, and he’s injured. He’s fortunate to stop at the isolated cottage of a nurse and midwife who can tend to his wounds and who has a car he can “borrow” – if he can get it running.

Grounded Hearts Jeanne M. DicksonI have mixed feelings about Grounded Hearts. I felt the plot plodded for the first two-thirds and I didn’t feel the rising tension I expected. I was waiting for Dutch to be discovered, but nothing in my emotions screamed “Danger!” I did grow increasingly annoyed with each appearance of the lecherous – and ambitious – army reserve officer investigating Whitney’s whereabouts. I couldn’t connect with Nan: her Catholic beliefs left her feeling guilty for much of what she did, while my opinion of her republican background was colored by my own experiences of growing up in England during a time of IRA bombs.

One aspect I did make note of was how Nan and Dutch changed. Nan was a lonely woman who eventually found herself surrounded by friends eager to help her. Dutch saw how his military actions could impact innocent civilians just trying to get on with their lives. While helping her ‘flyboy’ escape north, Nan was able to escape from her recent, tragic, past. The title might be Grounded Hearts, but these were two hearts that took flight.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Waterfall Press for my complimentary copy of Grounded Hearts, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

This review is part of a Litfuse Publicity Book Tour

Have you read Grounded Hearts? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Waterfall Press (an imprint of Amazon Publishing)

Publication Date: 13 June 2017

Page Count: 348

Read more on:   Jeanne M. Dickson Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

The Captain’s Daughter, by Jennifer Delamere

book cover The Captain's DaughterPublisher’s Overview:

London, 1879

Forced to Leave All She Loves Behind, She Seeks a New Life in a City Bursting with Opportunity, But Fraught with Danger

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don’t catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided–until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

First Thoughts:

This is the first in a new London-based series by an author I don’t recall reading before.

My Take:

Let me first say that, although I don’t usually judge books by their covers, I love the back cover of The Captain’s Daughter. It’s of a rural English station made of brick and there’s a steam train pulling in. Growing up in Britain, I did a lot of traveling by train and that illustration took me right back to some of the stations on my journeys.

The cover isn’t the only aspect of this novel that grabbed me. It was delightful to find light opera composers Gilbert and Sullivan within its pages. The plot features HMS Pinafore and includes the debut performance of The Pirates of Penzance. Members of Pinafore’s cast become Rosalyn’s friends. As far as I can tell, the story stays close to known historical facts about Gilbert and Sullivan’s productions, including a copyright performance of Pirates with which Rosalyn gets involved.

I found The Captain’s Daughter difficult to put down. Yes, I was frustrated by the love triangle in it because I wanted Rosalyn to wake up but that just made me want to continue reading. It’s a great start to a new series and I’m looking forward to reading the next book when it comes out.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House for my complimentary copy of The Captain’s Daughter, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

This review is part of a Litfuse Publicity Book Tour

Have you read The Captain’s Daughter? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)

Publication Date: 28 February 2017

Page Count: 352

Read more on:   Jennifer Delamere’s Website   Bethany House’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com