In some areas, I have pretty decent willpower. I eat healthy. I exercise. I stick to a budget. I work on my goals every day. You know, all those good habits.
You know when all my willpower goes out the window?
When I’m reading a good fiction book.
Then, all bets are off. I lose all self-control, and I can’t help myself. I simply must. keep. reading.
Knowing this about myself, and realizing my family kind of needs me to be productive most of the time, I try to reserve my fiction reading for the weekends. Or vacations, car trips, etc. Because I know that once I start an engrossing book, I won’t want to put it down.
Such was the case for An Hour Unspent, the third and final installment in the Shadows Over England series by Roseanna M. White. However, I broke my “weekends only” rule and started it on a Monday night … and finished it on Wednesday. Yikes. (In my defense, I read a significant chunk during a power outage Tuesday night, so I mean, what else was I going to do?? #guiltfreereading)
Needless to say, I enjoyed the book. It was engaging, heart-warming, and even spiritually encouraging. And I can’t wait to tell you all about it in this review so you can go out and read it for yourself.
Just don’t plan on getting much done while you do. 😉
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Here is the synopsis from the back cover:
“Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge–and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger–and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.”
One of the aspects of Roseanna’s books that I most appreciate is her interesting plot lines. These aren’t bland, cliche, or predictable storylines that you’ve read 100 times in Christian or romantic fiction. The plots in her books are unique and engaging, and the relationships are lovely and multi-dimensional.
I’ve mentioned this before in previous reviews, but I also enjoy Roseanna’s writing style. The dialogue isn’t cheesy or stilted, and the flow of the words gently carries the reader through the story with hardly a bump or bounce. I had several moments when I forgot I was even reading a book, which I think is a true sign of a great writer.
Finally, I was personally encouraged by the recurring themes and messages of God’s master design in our lives. One quote, in particular, best exemplified this theme and spoke to my heart: “If one viewed God like a master clockmaker, then every cog, every gear, every spring was important.” I loved that image of God as a clockmaker, carefully and masterfully putting every piece in place so that the clock will work as it was designed to do, and I loved the way she wove it throughout the book.
My one and only complaint was that a lot of the book was dedicated to leading up to the biggest conflicts and pivotal moments of the plot and relatively little was spent on their resolutions. As a result, the ending felt a bit too rushed and easy to me.
But that’s just my opinion, and it didn’t in any way ruin the book for me. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a well-written, clean, engaging read.
Just make sure you start it on the weekend. Or any other day you don’t mind not getting anything done. *wink*
Thank you, Roseanna and Bethany Publishing House, for the opportunity to be on this book launch team and for the complimentary copy of the book. I loved it!
About the Author:
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary.
Being educated at St. John’s College (the Great Books School) taught Roseanna to ask questions, to value conversation, and to never accept the simple answer without exploring it for herself. She and her family make their home in the mountains of West Virginia where she and her husband both grew up. Roseanna is a member of ACFW, a frequent speaker at writers events and small groups of readers, and an unabashed email addict.
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