With danger creeping ever closer, do their dreams still matter?
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, including keeping an eye on a talented engineer working as a clockmaker. But not until he rescues the man's daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly dreamed and worked for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end their engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clock 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 deeper into war, the race is on for any technological edge, and Evelina's father's ideas have captured the attention of many - perhaps too many. As danger seems to encroach from every side, it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.
Roseanna M. White has quickly become one of my favourite authors. She won me over with A Name Unknown, the beginning of her "Shadows Over England" series. That novel was the introduction to Barclay Pearce and his family of thieves. The first two novels in this series were of his sisters, Rosemary and Willa, and I was so excited for this novel - An Hour Unspent - to come out and tell the story of Barclay himself. Other than knowing that he held a fierce love for his adopted siblings and is an excellent thief, Barclay's character and background always held a bit of a mystery. An Hour Unspent peels back those layers and the result is as intriguing - albeit heart-breaking - as expected. It's hard not to cheer for Barclay and that he be able to embrace his own sort of happy ending. And it is his story that best concludes this wonderful series.
Set in a time when the world is in turmoil, the setting itself lends a healthy dose of tension and many possible avenues to introduce more than a few mysteries and dangerous situations. From the constant threat of zeppelin raids, to the ever-present worry if the person next to you is a spy, life in a time of war was not an easy feat. It makes it hard to continue a life of normalcy when your windows are covered in black crepe and the presence of soldiers in the streets is a common occurrence. And while living in these conditions would be hard enough for an ordinary citizen, Barclay goes one step further in enlisting in active service for the Crown. His former skills as a thief come in handy on his various missions for the Crown, and he is ready to employ those skills yet again as he meets with Mr. Manning to investigate his latest invention that promises to greatly aid England in the war effort. Throughout his various visits with Mr. Manning, he becomes more than intrigued by the clockmaker's lovely daughter, Evelina. The attraction proves to be mutual, but before their relationship can take flight, someone goes missing under mysterious circumstances, and it is up to Barclay to launch a rescue mission on the other side of the battle lines before it is too late.
The combination of history, romance, and suspense collide in An Hour Unspent. The plot is nothing short of intriguing and the romance can only be described as sweeping which result in a fantastic read. I will be eagerly anticipating Ms. White's next work, The Number of Love, book one in her new series, "The Codebreakers", scheduled to come out in June 2019.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.