ABOUT THE BOOK:
A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel
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.
Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller is a 2019 St. Martin’s Griffin publication.
My kind of ghost story!
Alva Webster has returned to New York amid scandalous rumors swirling around her after the death of her estranged husband.
Ready to put the past behind her, she purchases Liefdehuis, and old mansion she intends to refurbish, then feature in a book about interior design.
The house, unfortunately, has a reputation for being haunted. This scares away the workers Alva needs, so she eventually succumbs to the overtures of one Sam Moore, an attractive man who is interested in studying the potential paranormal activity in the house.
The chemistry between Alva and Sam is undeniable, but Alva has dark secrets in her past that makes her wary of romantic entanglements.
Meanwhile, it would appear there really is a ghost, prompting intensive research to uncover the truth behind the haunting.
If my memory serves, I added this book thinking I would read it for Halloween, but I never got around to it. Now, over a year later, I’m finally pulling it up to the top of the TBR pile.
While this would be a nice book to read at Halloween, any time is a good time for a spooky ghost story. I had forgotten the premise of the book at first, but soon found myself immersed in the history, the mystery, and the red-hot attraction between Alva and Sam! Whew!
This book surprised me! I didn’t have any expectations one way or another, but this book turned out to be more than I bargained for! The author painted a vivid historical portrait of the time period, created a spine-tingling atmosphere, with shades of Gothic horror, added compelling commentary on mental illness, and provided a wonderful love story to cap it off.
Although this one was a bit steamier than I usually feel comfortable with these days, I really, really liked this story!!
Tackling the TBR list is turning out to be a whole lot of fun!!
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