Sunday, September 25, 2016

Review: A Lady Unrivaled

A Lady Unrivaled
By Roseanna M. White
Ladies of the Manor #3
Bethany House, 2016


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 it 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 to destroy them all?

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My thoughts

The Cotswolds, Ralin Castle, March 1913

I fell in love with Roseanna M. White’s writing in the previous Culper Ring series and she has continued to expand her abilities with the Ladies of the Manor stories – and simply impress with her superb prose and enchanting storytelling. A Lady Unrivaled is a top-notch romance with a touch of suspense and a few surprising twists. Historical detail is fascinating, the English countryside setting is vividly conveyed, characters are totally believable and full of charm and wit.

While this is Ella and Cayton’s story, it was so good to see Brook & Justin from The Lost Heiress and Brice & Rowena from The Reluctant Duchess. Each story can stand alone, but I recommend reading the series in order for a more fulfilling experience.

I’ve been drawn to Lord Cayton and Lady Ella throughout the series. Ella is charming, witty, mischievous, and courageous in the way she puts the safety of Brice and Rowena above her own. Cayton is a memorable hero – flawed, in need of redemption from the guilt of his past. As this story begins, he has repented and is striving to be the man God wants him to be – yet, like many of us, he finds forgiveness easier to seek than to accept personally. Cayton’s daughter, Addie, quickly captures the hearts of those around her, and mine as well.

I loved how Ella refuses to tolerate Cayton’s brusque moods and a sweet friendship begins to develop. Their growing relationship and unwilling attraction to each other is precious and there are some quite swoon-worthy moments.

Entwined throughout the series are themes of greed and betrayal – desire for the rare red diamonds, Fire Eyes. A third point of view is added in A Lady Unrivaled, that of Kira Belova – Russian prima ballerina and mistress to the diamonds’ buyer. Kira adds depth to the story and gives us a glimpse of Paris.

The conclusion to a series can sometimes be a letdown, but Ladies of the Manor started out strong and kept getting better. Roseanna always weaves a spiritual thread into her stories, subtle and inspiring. I greatly enjoyed A Lady Unrivaled, as well as the whole series, and eagerly await Roseanna’s next novel.

Highly recommended.


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 a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to Edwardian British romances. She makes her home in the breathtaking mountains of West Virginia.


Thank you to Celebrate Lit and Bethany House for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



Roseanna is giving away a complete set of the Ladies of the Manor Series PLUS a special surprise straight from England! Click on the link below to enter. (US addresses only for paperbacks; an international winner is eligible for digital gifts, though!)

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