ARC Review – The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller + Blog Tour

I was so excited to be asked to partake in the blog tour for The Widow of Rose House, which is a book that falls outside of my usual genre picks! But it was so worth it, and I am so tickled that I got to be part of the tour. Wait until you hear this synopsis.

In The Widow of Rose House, Alva Webster returns to the US from Europe after many years away. She’s newly widowed, but her marriage had been abusive, and there were stories about her spread far and wide in her absence. She decided to purchase a home in Hyde Park to fix up and feature in her upcoming book on design; however, the home she chose to buy is… well, haunted. All of the townspeople agree, but no one can agree on how many ghosts there are. After her only construction crew option quits because of the haunting, she’s forced to turn to the one person she’d been turning down – repeatedly – since they crossed paths right after her return to the States – Samuel Moore, of the renowned Moore family of scientists and inventors.

Professor Sam Moore wants nothing more than to study to hauntings at Liefdehuis, and he’s bound and determined to get access. Then he meets the home’s owner, and he is immediately enchanted by Alva Webster. He still wants nothing more than to study her house, but he also wants her to be in his life. As an eccentric and pithy scientist and inventor, Sam has a very interesting way of looking at the issue of falling in love, something he’s never really considered before. But he finds that whenever he looks at Alva, he’s found what he’s been looking for. Now he just has to convince her that he’s not anything like her horrible dead husband. Oh, and he still wants to study her house too, and the ghosts within both Alva and her home.

It’s the perfect historical romantic comedy for spooky season!

Book Jacket.Widow of Rose House

3 Things I Loved

  1. Sam. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve loved a none grumpy protagonist like I love Sam Moore in any romance book that I’ve ever read. He’s so wonderfully strange and funny and self-assured, and his feelings for Alva were so fun to read as he seemed to discover them. I hope this is going to be a series and we get his brother’s story next… I have no idea if that’s a thing, but I’d like it to be one!
  2. Alva. Alva Webster has some demons, let me tell you. And I thought she was very well-written and well-represented in the book. Some of her opinions didn’t entirely make sense to me, but hey! I still really liked her as a character. And let’s be honest – I don’t always make sense either.
  3. Liefdehuis. This house was truly its own character. I loved how the ghost was unlike any ghost story I’ve ever read before – it was smarter and the plot was so interesting, and it all centered on this house. Such a cool concept for a book about a haunted house.

Dislikes/Problematic Content

Aside from the usual “everyone is white and straight” stuff that I harp on a lot when I review romance, I didn’t come across any overt problems in the text. But I do have some trigger warnings I want to point out and there was one big dislike that I wanted to discuss.

So, triggers. This book has some. Alva was physically, psychologically, emotionally, and verbally abused by her late husband – her PTSD is nearly a character in and of itself. I thought it was well-written and characterized, but it still needs to be pointed out in case that’s a trigger for anyone. Specifically – manual strangulation as a form of physical abuse. It’s on the page in this one, folks. Be wary. Her abuse serves several purposes and I understand why it’s on the page, but it’s always more important for people to stay safe. So if any type of abuse – seriously, almost every type of abuse was in this book, even if it wasn’t explicitly discussed – triggers you, maybe avoid this one. Take care of yourselves, always!

And now, my big, glaring dislike in the book – Alva’s argument didn’t make sense. IT. DIDN’T. MAKE. SENSE. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, because this one is fun, but A L V A. Come on, girl. You’ve got to be honest with yourself here! You love the dude! Just let that be what it is and stop trying to make up reasons to not be with him! Mmkay? Mmkay.


A reminder of the rating scale:

  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

I really, truly enjoyed this book, and I especially liked that it was outside my comfort zone but still so exactly what I wanted and needed last week. What a wonderful surprise it was! I’m giving The Widow of Rose House a BLUE rating! So fun! Spooky season!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour. I’ve had so much fun taking part!

Happy (spooky) reading!

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