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.
An Hour Unspent is the third and final book in Roseanna M. White’s Shadows Over England Series and it is just as excellent as the first book, A Name Unknown (check out my thoughts about A Name Unknown here). A Song Unheard, the second book in the series, is waiting in my Kindle app, as I type, to be read as soon as I have a chance to get to it. Just to let you know, reading them out of order did not hinder my ability to understand or enjoy An Hour Unspent; rather it served to make me even more ready to go back and read A Song Unheard. On to the good stuff!
My heart was already involved in this makeshift family of former thieves from being introduced to them in A Name Unknown. An Hour Unspent only served to make me fall more in love with them. There wasn’t a character among them whom I didn’t wish I could meet and spend time with by the end of the book. How I would love to have been at the table for one of their gatherings of extended family and friends at Pauly’s. Just beware that if you take a chance on this series, this family will draw you in, make you want to be one of their own, and you’ll wish you didn’t have to say goodbye.
Okay, so I am not typically one to have a “book boyfriend” list, but if I did Barclay Pearce would, without a doubt, be on it. I’ve noticed that the heroes who tend to make me swoon the most are ones that remind me of my husband. Not that my husband’s a thief (well, maybe of my heart 😉 ), but there are so many traits in Barclay Pearce that are the very ones that made me fall in love with my husband and make me so thankful he’s mine. He’s all about taking care of his family, he is patient, kind, laid back, observant, intelligent, confident, he knows what it means to love sacrificially and he does it. If that list right there doesn’t make your heart swoon, Barclay Pearce himself will. He’s the real deal. He’s what a real man should be, and I love to find those kinds of heroes in the books I read. My husband is my own real life hero and he’s proof that those kinds of men exist outside of fiction. At times, I found Evelina to be a bit frustrating, but I loved what Barclay took the time to see in her and how he helped her grow and begin to become who she was meant to be. Hmm, yet another similarity Barclay Pearce shares with my husband. 🙂 (Carrie of Reading is my SuperPower, if you’re reading this, I nominate Barclay Pearce as a contender for one of your future book boyfriends lists! 🙂 )
And y’all, there was a kiss scene that took place in this book, that was just, well . . . whew! A “be still my heart” kind of scene. So completely sigh worthy that it had me melting right there on the spot. I dare you to read it and see if you don’t melt right there, too! (Carrie, I think I’m going to have to nominate that kiss for one of your book kiss posts! 🙂 ) (For those of you who might be concerned, the scene was not, in any sort of way, inappropriate, just so you know! It was very tastefully and romantically and sweetly done!)
Every aspect of this story—from what it means to be family, to mystery, to spyish parts, to romance, to loving people who others won’t, to eyes being opened to real need around them, to surprising discoveries, to hurting people beginning to find truth, to broken hearts encountering hope—simply every part of this story was masterfully done. I don’t know how Ms. White does it, but with each book she writes, she writes such realistic characters (both physically and emotionally) who grow and change in a real and meaningful way. She writes stories that engage and that speak to hearts, and in the Shadows Over England Series, a lovely family that I am sad to say goodbye to. If you want a book that will do those things for you—engage you, speak to you, and make you not want to see it come to an end, then this book and this series are the ones for you!
Blog Tour and Giveaway Info
Y’all, Celebrate Lit’s got the inside track on this one and will be hosting a blog tour for An Hour Unspent starting October 30 (that’s just a day away)! Click here to check out where the blog stops will be to see what others think about this marvelous book and for info about a giveaway that will go live when the book tour does.
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.