Title: A Name Unknown
Author: Roseanna M. White
Series: Shadows over England, book 1
Major Themes: Mysteries, Romance, World War I
Synopsis: Sent to figure out which side a man is on politically, Rosemary soon realizes there’s more than just politics going on inside the manor’s walls.
I’ve heard a good amount about author Roseanna M. White over the years. And I’ve loved what she’s done with different book covers—she’s an amazing graphic artist that way! So when I saw one of her books available in exchange for review a while back, I thought I’d see if her writing was as good as her beautiful covers. And, not much later, I was thrilled when A Name Unknown appeared in the mail—I couldn’t wait to read it!
The writing definitely lives up to the cover. It’s beautiful. Weaving real places and fascinating plots with rich, believable characters, this book was a joy to read. Although some of it was predictable, the wording and story were lovable enough that for the most part, it didn’t bother me. Even now, nearly a year later, I still remember the reading experience fondly. It was that good!
With war about to break out in Europe, England is scrambling to figure out who it can trust and who it can’t. When someone raises questions about a certain person’s true loyalties, they must figure out whose side he is on—so they send in Rosemary to find out. However, deeper than his loyalties are the secrets he’s been hiding all these years. Will Rosemary be able to fulfill her job without getting caught up in everything else? Can she successfully play the part she is given—even though she has no training in the job she’s been assigned?
My initial impressions of the book were less than favorable, though, which I find amusing to look back on now. Although I know I had full rights to be annoyed, I still chuckle at the fact that I remember A Name Unknown with fondness—and look forward to rereading it one day! The main thing that annoyed me was the romance in it, I think, but maybe that’s a mental barrier I had to work past. I don’t know. The circumstances in which I read the book were quite stressful, so I’m sure that had something to do with it.
I loved the mystery, fell in love with the characters, and couldn’t wait for more with them. The plot was quite original, with multiple strands that all pulled together into one delightful story (although I originally complained about its predictableness, it was delightful to watch the story unfold, too). In all, I really enjoyed this book, despite its drawbacks, and would recommend it if you want an easy, entertaining read with a dash of history on the side.
I requested a review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: Unfortunately, I didn’t take very accurate notes of this book. However, based on what I remember and on the following books in the series, the word “blast” is used fairly frequently in the book. Also, being a romance, there are kisses at different spots through the book. The one I noted most was a couple pages in in chapter 25. Chapter 27 has a fairly intense scene with shooting.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults