About the Book
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 it.
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Guest Post from Mindy Houng
“But perhaps if one viewed God like a master clockmaker, then every cog, every gear, every spring was important. If one was out of line, no matter how small and insignificant, the entire device would fail.”
Roseanna White never fails to deliver high-quality, well-researched, and intensely gripping inspirational historical romance. This book is number 3 in the Shadows Over England series and can definitely be read as a stand-alone, though I highly recommend the other two books for background stories of Rosie/Peter and Will/Lukas and just for the sheer joy of reading such well-written novels. The dialogue in this book is quite clever and witty. There is great history, such as women’s suffrage movement in England and the birth of watch making from clock making, weaved into the fabric of the story. There is a good dose of intrigue and suspense and World War I espionage expertly mixed into great writing, intricate plot, and vividly memorable characters. There is even an intimate look at poverty, orphanhood, and racism that is still relevant today. The romance in the book is tender, the theme of faith and sacrificial love is real and down-to-earth, and emotions are so raw yet eloquent that quite a few scenes in the book made me cry.
I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of Barclay until this book. But he has changed dramatically since the beginning of the series and his noble character shines clearly in this story as he realizes whom God wants him to be. He’s an incredible man – resolved to turn away from his life of thievery, resourceful, intelligent, devoted to his family, so so tender and loving, and exquisitely sweet even if a little too overprotective. He has such a big heart and Evelina can’t help but fall in love with him. Evelina is a polio-surviver, brilliant, stubborn, and independent yet unsure of who she is. As the daughter of a renowned clock and toy maker, she feels like one of her father’s automatons. When one of her father’s ingenious designs brings the Navy’s attention and Barclay to her family’s door, sparks fly even as they all become entrenched in the dealings of war.
I really enjoyed the roles that Rosie/Peter and Willa/Lukas had in this book and loved being the witness to their happy unions. The mysterious V – Barclay’s boss – actually reveals himself in this book and we learn about who he was and who he is now, which is so satisfying. And it’s incredibly fun to see how Barclay actually steals an hour from the Big Ben!
I am so sad that the series has come to an end. It would have been wonderful to read about each and every one of Barclay’s adopted siblings… but there is a new series on the horizon so I’m waiting in anticipation for the first book!
I received a copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
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. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com
Guest Post from Roseanna
Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.
That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.
The founder. The caregiver. The leader.
I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.
It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.
There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.
It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!
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To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway