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The Widow of Rose House was a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish! The setting, the characters, the mystery and the paranormal - it all added up to a delightful read that, I am happy to say, has made it onto my Favorite Books of 2019 list. One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was the beauty in the descriptions. I had no trouble at all envisioning the different scenes in the book, picturing the characters having their conversations (their expressions, they body movements), because it was all written colorfully with enough characterization to satisfy without drowning the reader in it. The hero was especially animated, and I loved how careful the author was in creating his character. With his quirks, it could have come off as very childish and unappealing, but instead he's a hero I think we all wouldn't mind having at our side.
Alva Webster, aspiring authoress and recent homeowner, is at a loss for how to handle her current situation. The workers who were supposed to help restore her home have fled the scene with no explanation, a strange yet utterly handsome man won't stop bothering her about using her home for his research into the paranormal, and a man from her past has reentered her life in a most malicious fashion. After spending the last 18 months in the papers for her alleged sexual activities, the last thing Alva needs is drama in her life. But no matter how hard she tries, she cannot escape it, and with all of the chaos, love may just tag along for the ride as well.
Before we get into all the feels I have for Alva, let's talk about Professor Samuel Moore. The bumbling yet sensual, the brilliant yet naive hero of this novel. It was interesting how I felt about Sam at first, because I literally put down my Kindle, looked at a point in the distance, and asked the universe, "THIS is our hero?" Because honestly, he seems way too innocent and unassuming to be strong enough to handle that title within such a serious story. But the author proved me wrong time and time again as Sam's many layers were revealed as I progressed through the book. He was such a sweetheart, a man who looked at someone for who they are, not how much money they had or their status in society, which was a rarity in those days. Still is, to tell you the truth. I felt him capture my heart as soon as he professed to Alva his respect for her, even in the face of her refusal to allow him entrance to her home. He saw past her defenses to the woman beneath, and it was really refreshing. Alva was a strong woman who had been through so much, and I wanted to give her a hug and strangle her parents all in one breath, to be honest. Society's treatment of her, and especially her own family's callous dismissal of her identity as a person, was so appalling, and I think that's why her character will resonate with so many people. I'm sure all of us have, at one time, felt dismissed by someone or rejected by society through no fault of our own, and Alva was us in so many scenes. I was inspired by her determination to remain on her path, even when presented with many obstacles. She was resolute in the face of adversity, and I loved her character for it!
For a debut book, Diana Biller set quite a high bar for herself! This is a book not to be missed, and this is an author not to be ignored. I cannot wait for the next book she produces!
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**
About the Author
DIANA BILLER lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their very good dog. THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE is her debut novel.