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?
(excerpt from back of book)
So once again I've found myself entering a trilogy as it's reaching its final act. Unlike other books, however, this time I'm highly recommending finding the first two books and reading them prior to starting the wonder that is A Lady Unrivaled. Roseanna M White is a gifted author, her worlds are crafted with depth and her characters have the nuances and spark that make them leap off the page. T
That said, in my opinion, one of White's great strengths is her ability to write an intriguing plot. A Lady Unrivaled takes readers on twists and turns from love and life to murder and intrigue and that's why I highly recommend finding The Lost Heiress and The Reluctant Duchess. White's plot builds upon itself, referencing back and recalling that which has come before; it makes a more interesting, depth-filled story but also one which could leave readers a tad confused if the jump into the middle.
Ella and Cayton's interactions are a definite book highlight. Their actions are witty, caring, and break away from some of the usual standards seen in this genre (a refreshing change just like their first kiss, what a moment!).I loved the balance between them and how White wasn't afraid to have both of her main characters asking difficult questions when it came to faith and life. Faith plays a key role in White's story and I'm guessing this is one of the areas I was unable to fully grasp the importance of due to missing the first two books.
Another wonderful point of this work was the contrast of the high English society (now so much more familiar thanks to Downton Abbey) and the many strong female roles White's including in this work. With the Duchess and Ella representing the aristocracy and Kira and Felicity representing the working class, the book is filled with moments of strength both traditional and unexpected.
Grounding all of these elements together is the curse of the fire eyes diamonds. Honestly, this is was a well thought out story line and was the source of most of the intrigue and danger, driving the story forward and separating it from other historical fiction which seem to rely more on the romance for forward motion. I loved the mystery (and stayed up far too late waiting on the resolution) but found myself laughing at the perfection of how White chose to wrap up such a central plot. Given Ella's cheerful and delighted personality I couldn't have dreamed a better ending to such a dire circumstance.
5 out of 5 stars.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."