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?
I love Roseanna M. White’s books. She’s one of those rare authors I have found that I can trust. In fact, I always recommend her books because they have a genuine plot. The plot is never based on a secret that could be solved with one conversation. That said, I read what this book was about and was not thrilled. Then I reminded myself that I trusted Ms. White…so glad I did.
What I liked
Rosemary. I wasn’t sure if I would like a heroine who starts off the book as a thief with an intent to deceive, but, believe it or not, her reasons are sound. In fact, she’s almost too much of a do-gooder. I liked that she was not much afraid of anyone or anything, and she was one of those rare heroines who managed to speak her mind without sounding like a modern day heroine.
Peter. He was adorable. Again, I am a huge fan of the non-traditional hero. Peter is non-traditional. He has a stutter and so he’s not much of a speaker. He’s very gentle. And yet, there’s a strength and confidence to him that makes him an attractive hero. He knows who he is and isn’t try to prove it to anyone (not counting trying to prove his innocence).
Romance. They become friends first. The romance part of their relationship catches both of them off guard and to me, that’s the best kind of romance.
Plot. Again, White is able to handle the deception issue very well. There are even hints of suspense throughout the novel that has you a bit worried for Peter and Rosemary
Secondary characters. Rosemary has a huge family (which I believe the rest of the series will focus on). Somehow I managed to not only not get them confused, but to really care about them. Peter has a best friend and a whole town of people who know of him and none of it felt overwhelming. These people slowly become dear to Rosemary and to the reader as well.
Spiritually, Rosemary learns that God does love her and that even though bad things happen, that doesn’t mean that God isn’t there and isn’t listening.
What I didn’t like
I do wish that the deception plot was resolved sooner than it was. Nevertheless, once all was out, I did like the way in which it was handled.
Romantic Scale: 8
Overall, a very good start to a lovely series. I’m very much looking forward to the next one!
**I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**