Roseanna M. White's excellent series about an aristocratic family trying to escape the curse of the Fire Eyes diamonds concludes in A Lady Unrivaled.
Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All
Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won't wait for peril to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.
Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those intent on destroying them all?
Earlier this year, I read White's The Reluctant Duchess. I was enthralled in the story, even though I hadn't read The Lost Heiress, the book that sets everything up. I was able to follow along fairly well, once I got the gist of things. With A Lady Unrivaled, though, I think readers would be at a significant disadvantage if they had not first read at least the second book in the series, as the Fire Eyes and events from The Reluctant Duchess play a major role in the story.
As I began reading this book, I was immediately drawn to both Ella and Cayton, and I could tell they would be a perfect match. However, the book did seem to move slowly in the beginning, and it took a very long time for any movement to be made in the Ella-Cayton romance (beyond lingering looks and internal reflections). That said, once the romance progressed, it was very satisfying! The action picked up near the end of the book, as well, and I found myself flying through the pages.
One of my favorite aspects of the novel is the relationship between Ella and Cayton's daughter Addie. It's so sweet! Also, I appreciated how things ended up for Lady Pratt, a woman who had been an antagonist in previous books but who became much more sympathetic in this novel.
A Lady Unrivaled is a novel full of romance, intrigue, danger, and mythology. It's a very satisfying conclusion to White's Ladies of the Manor series. 4 stars.
Buy the book.
Read my review of White's The Reluctant Duchess (5 stars).
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of nine novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Roseanna lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."