It’s been a while, friends! And I’m so sorry for that. September has been a busy month at work and along with some personal things happening lately, my blog has been on the back burner. However, I am here! And I’m ready to tell you how much I loved The Widow of Rose House!
A huge thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Content warning: flashbacks of physical abuse
Title: The Widow of Rose House
Author: Diana Biller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Expected release date: October 8, 2019
Genre: Historical fiction, romance
Length: 352 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.”
This book! Oh my goodness, I enjoyed it so much! My only complaint is that I didn’t really care for the ghost/haunting aspect of the story. I know it does wonders for bringing Alva and Sam together, but it almost felt like it was put on the back-burner because there are so many other things going on. I see how the ghost story ties in, though, as it seems to play off Alva’s fear of her past coming back to haunt her. To me, the whole hook was trying to get down to the bottom of Alva’s past, to know that she deserves better after what her parents and ex-husband did to her. I liked how she and Sam built their relationship despite some initial hesitation as well. I felt like Alva was brought into the fold of herself and others, surrounding herself by people who didn’t care much about her past, not in a negative way, but more like a “It’s in the past and now you should focus on your future.” We really see Alva’s heart in this book and how she tries to protect herself as a woman in a world that still aren’t nice to females.
However, I will say I wanted more sexy times between Sam and Alva. But, with her past, I can totally see why there weren’t many. If there’s another book, maybe we’ll have more. Please!!
I adored both Alva and Sam, and I really do think they deserve the world. I was enamored with Sam from the very beginning, too, and he’s absolutely wonderful for Alva, putting her insecurities at rest and simply loving her even when she thinks she doesn’t deserve it or him. Sam was basically a giant teddy bear who became very focused and one-minded. He didn’t care about society’s expectations, and I think that’s what really drew him to Alva. He is definitely the type of person Alva needs because she’s straining under the weight of her past (though she does a good job to hide it). He helps her work through these internal struggles and into places she wanted to keep to herself. I also really liked Sam’s family. They’re all scientists and have a quirkiness about them that is really endearing, especially how they accept Alva, no questions asked.
I flew through this book! Yes, there were some slow parts, but I kept reading because I wanted all the parts where Sam and Alva were on the same page. I really enjoyed how the author made us feel connected to both Alva and Sam. I’m definitely interested in reading more from this author as she combines two genres I really enjoy.