"It's 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren't as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn't need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva's new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva's history―and her heart.
Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers."
The Widow of Rose House was everything that I love in a gothic romance! Why are authors not writing more books like this? I've always enjoyed books like this but they are from older authors like Barbara Michaels or Mary Stewart. I'm sure you can imagine my delight when I read this description and saw the words Victorian Gothic included....I've never hit the request button on NetGalley so fast! This book was everything that I hoped it would be and so much more! One of the things that made this book stand out for me was Samuel's character. I didn't even realize that I would love his character so much until I did. The way that his mind worked just was so fascinating to read about, and I couldn't help but adore him. The romance between Sam and Alva was also just so very delightful to read about. Alva has had a hard time in her life - her marriage was horrible and her parents aren't much better. On the other hand, Samuel's family was absolutely the best (please, please tell me that we are going to get more books featuring some of his siblings) so they had very different experiences. The struggles that Alva faced with trust and love all came from her past and previous experiences. It made the romance that was developing between her and Samuel all the sweeter though because of it. I was fully behind these two working through everything so that they could find their happy ever after together. I also really, really enjoyed the haunted house that Alva was trying to renovate. I'm a sucker for a haunted house especially when there are ghosts in the mix. I was so intrigued by those portions of the book and what exactly was going on. Fair warning though, this book was unexpectedly darker than I thought it would be at times. There are a few trigger warnings in here that readers may want to be made aware of (just leave me a comment or email if you want more details). The ending of this book was absolute perfection - I cannot get over the fact that this book is this author's debut!
Overall, I enjoyed my time with this book so much and cannot recommend this book highly enough! I NEED more authors to dip their toes in the gothic romance waters for sure. I also need Diana Biller to keep writing books just like this because it was both amazing and delightful. This is honestly one of the top romances that I've read so far this year and I've already read some really great ones. Fans of Barbara Michaels and Mary Stewart - take note of this author and book! I would recommend this one to fans of romance, historical romance, and anyone who loves a great gothic read like I do. I will be just sitting over here impatiently waiting for whatever this author writes next now! Highly recommended!
Bottom Line: This book is everything that I wanted in a gothic romance without me even knowing it! Such a delight!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. Honest thoughts are my own.