Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Lady Unrivaled

A Lady Unrivaled
Ladies of the Manor, Book 3
Roseanna M. White
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-0764213526
September 2016/416 pages/$14.99

Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All

Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won't wait for peril to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those intent on destroying them all?

Read an excerpt.


Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of nine novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Roseanna lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at her website.


Roseanna M. White quickly vaulted onto my must-read author list with this series. Intriguing characters and an equally compelling story combine to make this final book completely mesmerizing. The search for the Fire Eyes Diamonds, the thread which connects the series, continues in A Lady Unrivaled, but the captivating tales of Lord James Cayton and Lady Ella Myerston are able to be fully enjoyed by readers new to the series. White's delightful writing style occasionally caused me to pause and reread a passage simply for the sheer enjoyment of the wordage. My only complaint is that it ended too quickly! A sigh-worthy book, A Lady Unrivaled is a must for your Fall Reading List.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Roseanna White and Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Reluctant Duchess


1. A Lady Unrivaled is the final book in the Ladies of the Manor series. What can readers expect? Will those who are new to the series be able to follow along?
In this final installment of the Ladies of the Manor series, readers will finally discover the conclusion to—and the history of—the mysterious jewels that have been a theme throughout the books. Though readers who are new to the series will have to rely on the short explanations within the book to understand the jewels and how they’ve wreaked havoc on the previous books’ characters, they’ll find a brand new story in this one too, that requires no introduction: the love story of Lady Ella Myerston, the redemption of Lord James Cayton, and an interesting look into the villains’ world through the eyes of a broken ballerina sent to spy on them.

2. What new elements did you introduce in A Lady Unrivaled that you most liked?
I found so many things to love in this story! For starters, Ella is very much like me—more so, perhaps, than any other character I’ve written. Her eternal optimism, her way of clinging to hope, is how I go through my days. I loved having her seek adventure everywhere, and find it more often than not in the pages of a book. But I also loved delving deep into my moody hero, Cayton, who is trying so desperately to be the man God wants him to be, the father He wants him to be. Cayton is an artist—though he’ll never admit it in public—so I also got to explore my love of art. But I think one of my favorite elements in this one is Kira Belova—a Russian ballerina who is playing the part of spy. She brings a very new outlook to the story, and I loved learning about the Russian culture of the day that would have shaped her.

3. What are the spiritual themes of A Lady Unrivaled?
Faith is always a crucial aspect of the story arc for me. In this one, all my characters had lessons to learn. Ella has to learn to trust the Lord’s guidance even when it seems irrational—which is difficult for her, since she thinks she has bad judgment because of a previous mistake. Cayton has to learn to accept the gifts that God wants to give him, and the second chance He offers—which amounts to forgiving himself, ultimately. And Kira has to realize that faith is more than just a thread through the tapestry of life—it’s a choice one has to live out every day.

4. What sets this book and series apart from other Edwardian or English-set novels?
I have always been a fan of books set in the British Isles. But I also recognize that readers like characters they can relate to, and the very-proper social expectations of pre-World War I England can sometimes seem alien to modern American readers. I compromised by having those expectations as they would have been, but then having characters who defy them. Each book in the series has at least one character from outside England, who brings new perspectives and challenges the social norms. And whose differences often lead to the adventure and mystery that flavor the series.

5. What’s coming next for you, now that the Ladies of the Manor series is complete?
I’m excited to continue writing in the same world, but focusing on brand new characters. A Lady Unrivaled ends in the spring of 1914, just before Europe plunges into war. My new series, London Shadows, will take place in Great Britain during that first year of the Great War. The new mysteries and adventures will be seen through the eyes of an unlikely band of heroes—a family of thieves from the dirty streets of London. There will be art and literature and mystery and suspense . . . and of course, plenty of romance. The series will launch in July of 2017 with A Name Unknown.


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