"The Widow of Rose House is close to perfection and any lover of historical romance will adore this debut." - Smart Bitches Trashy Books
It’s 1875, and Alva Webster is ready for a fresh start. After three years of being pilloried in the presses for fleeing her abusive husband, his sudden death allows her to return to New York where she is determined to restore a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. She is decidedly not supposed to fall in love.
But when a haunting at her new home threatens her careful plans, she must seek help from the eccentric and brilliant and - much to her dismay - very handsome Professor Samuel Moore. Alva doesn’t need more complications in her life, especially not a convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam. Unfortunately, Sam 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.
Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeously romantic debut by Diana Biller, with an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers as she starts over and finds true love.
"A chemistry-fueled debut with a bit of a ghost story, great for readers of gothic romance." - Booklist
"Biller mirrors Wharton's genius for revealing the emotional gold lying beneath the Gilded Age, which motivates the novel's massive romantic turmoil." - Bookpage (Most Anticipated Romances)
Biller's complex and intriguing debut, set in 1875 New York City, follows Alva Webster, a widow with a dark secret that has nothing to do with the salacious rumors about her that have been splashed all over the newspapers for the past two years regarding her departure from her abusive husband and his subsequent death. After purchasing Liefdehuis, an old mansion she intends to renovate and use as inspiration for a home decorating manual, Alva is annoyed and skeptical when she learns that it's supposedly haunted. Prof. Samuel Moore, an extremely handsome inventor, wants to study the house in order to learn more about its apparent ghost, but she scorns him and his fanciful notions at first. The book is part romance, part ghost story, and part period piece with just enough modern sentiment on the topics of feminism, mental illness, and abuse. The plot isn't particularly original or complicated, but the work is well worth reading for the tender and sometimes downright erotic connection that develops between Alva and Samuel. Readers who care about well-drawn characters and don't mind a predictable story will appreciate this window into late-19th-century New York.
Historical romance meets paranormal to give readers an amazing gothic tale!
One of my favorite bloggers, Natasha is a Book Junkie, recently talked in her Facebook group about reading this book and how amazing she thought it was. I take what Natasha says to heart, and Diana Biller has taken a couple of my favorite tropes and melded them into one fantastic story!
This is my first time reading a historical romance combined with some paranormal and I absolutely loved it! This book is categorized as Gothic Romance, which I admit is a trope I am not familiar with, but will be one that I plan to research thoroughly now that I've had a taste!
I truly felt for Alva, her life has been less than glamorous even though she comes from a very prominent family. And her married life was even worse, so she has really had no guiding light through it all, having to rely on her own inner voice to make decisions.
Sam was so refreshing as a male character. He was such a good man. That was what Alva thought of him, he was a good man. He bore no pretenses and he was scatterbrained and couldn't seem to match his socks, but he stood up for what was right and he helped those who needed a hand, and he knew exactly what he wanted, and he wanted Alva.
Even though there is a paranormal element in this story, it isn't a creepy book, and in fact the ghost story per se doesn't really come to a head until the end of the book. The majority of the story centers around Alva and her journey to restoring her name that has been besmirched, and how Sam helps her to see what her truth worth really is.
There are plenty of entertaining secondary characters that come along for the ride. This story moves at a steady pace and I found myself not being able to put the book down until I turned the last page. I'm highly impressed that this is Ms. Biller's debut novel and I very much look forward to seeing what she has in store for us in the future!
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance review copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
A fun and lively read.
This story centers around Sam, the bright oblivious professor and Alva the wronged widow. Alva has been abused and wrongly accused and Sam comes to her rescue. There is a major supernatural force at work along with past evil, there is romance, humor and steam. Enjoyed this story immensely, not my usual read, put at the top of your TBR.