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The Widow of Rose House

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  102 reviews
A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel

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 d
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: October 8th 2019 by St. Martin's Griffin
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  164 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Katie B
3.5 stars

Took a chance on this one because I don't typically read anything involving ghosts. Glad I did because there was much more to the story than that as it actually had a pretty decent romance.

Full review coming soon.
June Hur
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to come!

But for now: THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD. It will make you laugh so hard, cry as hard, and also make you hold your breath in suspense.

Among the best book I've read in YEARS
Alyssa Palombo
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Get ready for this delicious, swoony, spooky, completely engrossing historical novel. I couldn't put it down! My blurb is below:

"Get ready to devour Diana Biller's magnificent debut novel in one sitting. THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE boasts memorable and vibrant characters, a delicious romance, great period detail, and a hint of the supernatural. Alva and Sam spring off the page and to life, so that I now feel as though they are friends of mine. This novel is a treat not to be missed!"
Rachel Paxton
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this book, and spoiler alert: it's amazing. Like pure and simple. I love it. I've always loved historical romance, but I'd never read a book set in the Gilded Age before. It turns out I love the Gilded Age. Unfortunately, I fear Diana Biller may have ruined the Gilded Age for me because I don't know how anything else from the time period can compare. Alva is super smart and reliable and witty, which is everything I want from my heroines. And Sam is ...more
Natasha is a Book Junkie
“Love isn’t naïve, Alva. It’s hope, and it’s faith, and it can outlast buildings and wars and empires.”

I’m forever on the lookout for stories that are not only well-written and deeply romantic, but that are also fresh, textured, unique and wonderfully quirky in their own way, so when I stumble upon a book that ‘ticks’ ALL the boxes—a book that is as quietly unsettling as it is tender, as emotionally gripping as it is witty—I get all giddy inside. A ghost-hunting adventure and sweeping romanc
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alva left Europe for New York hoping for a fresh start, but the rumors that her abusive husband spread about her supposedly salacious conduct only intensified after his death and have followed her across the pond. To prove to the world and, more importantly, to herself that she has something worthwhile to contribute to the world, she decides to write a book about interior design, which she loves and is good at. To this end, she purchases Rose House, a long-abandoned manor that she hopes to use a ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
3 stars--I liked the book.

"Historical romance with ghosts" seems to be a thriving subgenre! This one is very heavy on the romance. The writing is assured for a debut author, and the banter is fun. I enjoyed the characters, and the ghost (though not featured in the book as much as I'd like--I'm more of a gothic reader than a romance reader) had a unique method of haunting.

However, if you're reading for historical accuracy, this isn't the book for you. Characters spoke and acted very modern. It to
Maria Dong
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I knew from its opening lines that this book would be amazing, but it wasn't until I closed its covers a day later with a little sigh that I knew how perfectly right I was. THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE is an engaging, heart-warming, tear-jerking, thrilling, suspenseful, eerie, fantastically plotted and paced romance. Set against a richly textured Gilded Age backdrop, but with thoroughly modern sensibilities and morals, and with an incredibly engaging cast of characters with real, believable flaws and ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At first I thought this was a mystery like Lady Darby but it’s a straight up romance novel. I had no problems with that. I really enjoyed this book. The mystery was intriguing and spooky with ghostly encounters. The heroine was Alva Webster, who was pilloried in the press after leaving her abusive husband. It’s said she is very scandalous and engaging in affairs and orgies. The hero was absolutely wonderful. Sam is a genius inventor who comes from a genius inventor family and he is GOOD. He is s ...more
Joanna Loves Reading
I rarely gravitate towards books with a paranormal twist but decided to give this one a try, and it turned out be an entertaining read with a heart-warming romance.

Central to this story is the renovation of a dilapidated mansion, which is what drew me to the book, going through a renovation myself. I think Alva, the heroine, has it worse with a terrifying haunting. Alva is an enduring heroine, who has overcome personal challenges and scandals, without familiar support, to achieve a dream and fut
Debbie Burke
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. This was such a good story. It sucked me in and I was enjoying it so much I stopped reading one night so I would have some left for the next day. Well crafted characters, Sam is one of the best hero’s I have read in a while. I will be keeping an eye on this author.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I have no idea how to rate this as I am just not the right reader for this book. For some reason (a review or a blurb I read somewhere) I was under the impression this was going to be a dark, creepy read. It's completely the opposite. It's light, it's funny in places, it has some light paranormal activity and it's full of romance . Romance - not my bag. Hence my inability to feel confident with my rating. What I can say is that the characters were very well drawn and the author did a great job ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
She wasn’t going to cry. Not standing in the middle of a haunted house. This wasn’t a gothic novel, after all.

Ah, but my dear, it is. I love when characters are self aware.


Welcome to Liefduis, perhaps the most haunted house in New York. At that point most people would have the sense to stay far and well away but Alva Webster is determined and also needs money – so of course she is set on restoring Liefduis to its former glory. Besides there’s not such thing as ghosts, people talk and make u
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Will the open to life scientist be able to break down the defenses of the lonesome widow.

Twice in a short span of time I have read the first published book of a new historical author. Twice I was left stunned by both story,
With one only outcome, to read more about these awesome talented writers.

Mrs Diana Biller is one hell of a gifted with words person. She has crafted a moving and transcendental story of healing and redeeming the wrong done to others.
She brought all her characters to life, the
Rachel  Kellis
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was like drinking the warmest, happiest beverage--like hot chocolate--while cuddling with a beloved pet. A true delight, and I can't wait for release day so I can shove it into as many hands as possible!!!!
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just the right blend of historical fiction and gothic romance, "The Widow of Rose House" is a winner! Author Diana Biller knows how to build intrigue--not only in plot but romance. Be prepared for a slow simmer as Biller colors her characters: a young widow from one of New York’s most illustrious families, a quirky scientist from a renown family of inventors, a cast of others in this Gilded Age mystery, and a falling down house that "seems" to have not one but five ghosts. Quite the page turner ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received The Widow Of Rose House by Diana Biller from Goodreads Giveaways.

The Widow Of Rose House takes place in 1875 New York. There are two main characters.
Alva Webster, young widow, escapes from her abusive husband when he is robbed and murdered.
Samuel Moore is single, handsome, and a scientist about to invent electric lighting. Samuel comes from the famous Moore family scientists.
Alva buys Liefdehius house in Hyde Park. Liefdehius is in serious need of renovations. Carpenters are scared
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
After reading the acknowledgements section in the beginning of the book, I had a feeling I'd adore the journey of the characters. The author is funny and friendly and that extends to her writing style.

I easily could have read another 340+ pages of Sam and Alva's antics. I was smitten by the second chapter, and shattered at the end of the novel (I wanted more!!). I've always been a fan of historical fiction, but this novel packs a punch: it's also got loads of humor, neat prose and just the righ
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I won a Goodreads contest for an advance copy of this book. This is an honest review.

THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE was suspenseful, swoony and satisfying. This is the kind of romance novel that reminds me that I love romance novels. I loved that there was a bit of a gender swap. The male main character was pining and the female main character was the one who was reluctant to commit (for very good reasons).

It'll go on my to-be-reread shelf, and I'll be watching for more from Diana Bi
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I’m usually not the biggest fan of books set in the past, but this was a fun read. I would say the conversational language did not always match the time period for me, so it took me into present day a lot. Overall, I felt very connected to both Alva and Sam. It was a book I didn’t want to put down for sure.

Content warning: There are a few explicit sex scenes, so if that bothers you, you may want to skip this.

* Thank you NetGalley for the advance digital copy for review.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC in a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

The Widow of Rose House is a pleasant surprise to me in a number of wayss. It’s a engaging debut novel set in a period that is shamefully not explored enough for my liking, and hopefully finally puts an end to the string of subpar reads and DNFs I’ve had more or less in a row. While the focus is much more on developing the romantic relationship and the mystery plot over any period detail beyond what is needed to set the s
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
If the middle was as good as the beginning and the end it would have gotten more stars from me. I thought it would be more supernatural but it ended up being a romance with a graphic sex situation I wasn’t expecting. I loved Sams character but I just couldn’t get into Alvas character. Something about her annoyed me. It wasn’t a horrible book, but not a favorite.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3 ⭐⭐⭐
There was some things I liked about this book..... like the Moore family, ghosts, murder and romance, but over all I just didn’t want to keep reading and I started skimming at 52%.
It just wasn’t my kind of story and I can’t really put my finger on it but maybe to much was going on and not enough really happening.

This was a NETGALLEY gift and all opinions are my own.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
so... this is more historical romance than historical fiction and the writing style and overall story felt very modern... but i enjoyed the romance and there was also ghost hunting??

cw for past marital abuse.

arc by netgalley.
Mike Lasagna
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Romance with a dash of spooky. Perfect for the fall season.
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-to-read
A well done novel that combines historical fiction along with gothic themes very well. I fell in love with the characters. Sam was one of the most lovable male protagonists ever. He’s romantic, a genius, awkward, sexy, and so many things all rolled into one. His family was just as amazing, and I would love to read more about their whimsical lives. Alva was also a great point of view to read from. Her persona differs from Sam, but understandably so, because she has had a completely different and ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So, the first thing of note this is a Romance (NOT SUITABLE FOR KIDS) and that the ghost story, while the propeller for the plot, is not the main point of the book until the last half. Before that, its the romance.

Sam Moore is the best character in this. I love the description that Alva uses for him, he is a Good Man. A Good Man isn’t a Nice Guy, a Good Man is the kind of person who stands up for what is right and is honestly good. Good through his actions, and good through what he believes and
Lucy Dosch
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I intended to read a chapter or two to see if I had any interest and didn't put it down until I had finished the entire book.

The notorious Mrs. Webster has returned to New York and nothing is going to stop her from reclaiming her life -- not even a ghost.

Alda Rensslaer was seduced at 16 by Alain Webster. As a sheltered and unloved girl, she was the perfect naive target for Alain who was 14 years older. He ruined her and arranged their marriage so that he could have her money. After ten years of
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Widowed and scandalized Mrs. Webster is haunted by her past, so it is only fitting that the house she bought to restore is too. When famous inventor Sam Moore approaches her with a request to investigate the ghosts in her house, she wants nothing to do with it, unwilling to believe that those who tormented you in life could do so in death as well. But after her construction crew encounters something unexplained and refuses to do anymore work unless something is done she reluctantly teams up with ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ARC received through Goodreads Giveaways, from St, Martin's Griffin. Thank you to Goodreads and St. Martins Griffin.

I love books like this, where old, dilapidated houses are brought back to life, and in the process, family secrets are uncovered. Alva is a woman looking to restore her reputation in a time when that was an essential thing for women. When she returns to New York, to repair a damaged mansion in Hyde Park, she is confronted with mystery, intrigue and maybe even ghosts. An enigmatic
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