Thursday, July 27, 2017

"A Name Unknown" by Roseanna M. White

Last year, I read the last two novels in Roseanna M. White's Ladies of the Manor series, and I knew then that I definitely wanted to keep reading her novels. When the first book in her new Shadows Over England series came up for review, I eagerly requested it.

A Name Unknown is a long book (clocking in at more than 400 pages), and at first it looked a bit intimidating. But the story is so good that I really just flew through the pages!

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

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 are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moved 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 doorstop 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, though, and 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.
Release date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

Rosemary Gresham isn't your typical Christian fiction heroine. Street-smart and savvy, Rosemary and her "siblings"—all former street urchins like herself—make their living by stealing from the rich, sometimes in elaborate heists. And they see nothing wrong with it—they have to live, right?

When Rosemary's shadowy employer Mr. V sends her to find evidence of Peter Holstein's loyalties, she assumes it will be a quick job, and she'll be able to return to her family with more money than they've ever seen. What she doesn't anticipate is the state of Holstein's library (think "Hoarders") or the character of the man himself, which causes her to rethink her ideas about life and faith.

I loved the way that Rosemary and Peter gradually got to know one another, and especially the use of letters to do so, even though they saw each other every day. I also enjoyed the mystery of who was out to get Peter and the identity of Mr. V. Those revelations set up the rest of the series, which I'm eager to continue!

I also enjoyed the glimpses of historical figures: Prince Edward visited Peter at one point in the novel, and I felt like White really captured the essence of the man who would later become king, only to abdicate in order to marry Wallis Simpson.

I did find some of the time jumps in the book to be a bit confusing—sometimes a couple weeks would pass between sections of a chapter, and dates would've helped me to track with the story. Also, sometimes something that seemed momentous in Rosemary and Peter's relationship would happen, but the next chapter would start days or weeks later, and I felt like I missed out on the repercussions of whatever had happened between them.

That's really only a minor annoyance, though, and it keeps this book from getting 5 stars from me, but A Name Unknown still gets my hearty recommendation! I'm definitely looking forward to more novels in White's series. 4 stars.

Buy the book.

Follow the tour:
July 18: Faithfully Bookish
July 18: These Splendid Sentences
July 18: Bibliophile Reviews
July 18: Neverending Stories
July 19: Bookworm Mama
July 19: Seasons of Opportunities
July 19: Blogging With Carol
July 20: A Reader’s Brain
July 20: Genesis 5020
July 20: Just the Write Escape
July 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
July 21: Fiction, Faith, and Fun
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 21: Connie’s History Classroom
July 22: Bigreadersite
July 22: Fiction Aficionado
July 22: Avid Reader Book Reviews
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
July 23: Inklings and notions
July 23: Moments Dipped in Ink
July 24: Pursuing Stacie
July 24: Cordially Barbara
July 24: Reflections of my Bookshelves
July 24: Zerina Blossom’s Books
July 25: God’s Little Bookworm
July 25: Blossoms and Blessings
July 25: Live.Love.Read.
July 26: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot
July 26: Margaret Kazmierczak
July 26: The Fizzy Pop Collection
July 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 28: With a Joyful Noise
July 28: Have A Wonderful Day
July 28: Christian Bookaholic
July 29: Thoughts from Mill Street
July 29: Raining Butterfly Kisses
July 29: Karen Sue Hadley
July 29: Faery Tales Are Real
July 30: His Grace is Sufficient
July 30: History, Mystery & Faith
July 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
July 31: Reader’s cozy corner
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Artistic Nobody
July 31: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate
Read my reviews of White's Ladies of the Manor books: The Reluctant Duchess (5 stars) and A Lady Unrivaled (4 stars).

To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

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 over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Guest Post from Roseanna White

It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.

I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.

Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and it turned out deliciously.)


100 grams butter, cold and diced
225 grams all-purpose flour
¼ heaping teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice
100 grams superfine (caster) sugar
4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.

In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. 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."


  1. this really sounds interesting. sounds like a book that I would have trouble putting down I will need to try this recipe. thanks
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

    1. It really is a great book, Lori! I'm thinking I might need to try the recipe, too, with a few modifications for my gluten-free lifestyle :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thank you for the review which confirms the fact that I definitely want to read this book.

    1. I'm glad to hear you say that, Kay! I hope you enjoy it!


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