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The Widow of Rose House

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  764 ratings  ·  343 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 sudd
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Susie Eaton It is a reference to the declaration made by the heroine near the end of the book, when she said, at the end of four previous items she was…moreIt is a reference to the declaration made by the heroine near the end of the book, when she said, at the end of four previous items she was enumerating, “ Fifth, I love you.”(less)

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Alva Webster returns to New York from Paris in the midst of false scandalous rumors after fleeing her abusive husband three years before. Now that her husband is dead, Alva wants to move on with her life and purchases Liefdehuis, a neglected mansion in Hyde Park. Her plan is to restore it and write a book about the process. Stories of it being haunted circulate quickly, getting the attention of famed inventor Samuel Moore who wants to research it, scientifically of course. When he sees Alva for ...more
"The haunted mansion is the perfect home: spacious, well-furnished, and it entertains your guests for you." (Walt Disney World)

The Widow of Rose House is a colorfully wrapped package that touches on moments of the Gilded Age, the draw of romance, the weight of shifty crime, and the eerie stream of the paranormal. Diana Biller will see to it that you are entertained throughout.

Alva Webster sits rigidly at a table in the famous Delmonico's restaurant in New York City. She k
Katie B
3.5 stars

It's not very often I will read something involving ghosts but the synopsis sounded interesting so I rolled the dice and took a chance on this one. Thankfully my gamble paid off and I thought this was a pretty cute historical romance. Always good to step out of your reading comfort zone from time to time.

It's 1875 and you aren't going to find many people who have a kind word to say about Alva Webster. Even though she had been living in Europe, gossip about her and her marri
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
The Widow of Rose House is a very enjoyable and satisfying read. It is a story of second chances and redemption. This book is a mix of different genres and multiple themes - suspense, mystery, paranormal, romance, abuse, bullying, and mental illness. Above all else, The Widow of a Rose House is an engaging romance novel with a paranormal twist. Most importantly, it has an unusual take on haunting and ghosts, which I found clever and captivating. This is not your usual ghost story by any means! ...more
June Hur
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's almost Halloween and as I've been telling everyone, this spooky historical romance will go well with pumpkin spice latte and maybe some autumn scented candles. It's a book that will make you laugh so hard, cry as hard, and also make you hold your breath in suspense.

THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE is among one of the best book I've read in YEARS, and this is saying a lot coming from me - an incredibly picky reader. I can't tell you how many books I've stopped reading after the first chap
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Alva’s back in New York after the death of her estranged husband, partly to salvage her reputation from the rumors and gossip written after their separation, and to revamp Liefdehuis, an old Hyde Park house. She plans to publish the process of renovation as well as interior design ideas for the middle classes, a new and emerging market. But the ghost stories surrounding Liefdehuis threaten to derail her plans, so she has no choice but to investigate and hopefully dispel. Here’s where Sam Moore, ...more
Lisa Leone-campbell
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Infamous widow Alva Webster decides to buy a run-down house in 1800’s New York. Having had to endure horrible rumors during her marriage and with her husband now dead, she decides it’s time to start over with a brand new life so hopefully her notoriety will wane. She has already gotten herself a book deal, unheard of during the time for a woman, in which she will chronicle the restoration and decoration of the house. But when her contractor and his laborers refuse to continue their work on the h ...more
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Another excellent debut! :)

I loved the way the author incorporated a ghost story with HR!!! She did it in a way that avoided the gothic feel of the usual ghost stories! What was really good here is the way the MCs act, think and think!

I loved the unusual hero, Sam - a scientist to the core who gets distracted by scientific pursuits in the most unexcpected moments! LOL

He was such a breath of fresh air! In a romancelandia populated by arrogant alpha dukes, earls
5++++ stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What a fabulous read!!!!
Such a fascinating Historical Romance with a built in ghost story. I totally loved and adored this book.
It was captivating, well written with a wonderfully thought out and unique storyline .
Sam, what a hero!!! Smart, humble, funny and charming.
Alva, so fierce - a survivor, bent but not broken.
I really admired her "character".

This is a new favorite for me, it was also a very memorable read. One of the best books that I have read this year!!! I will definitely be adding it to my
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!"
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 romance in equa
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
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
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 d
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gothic romance lovers
THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE by Diana Biller is highly recommended to those who seek the full gamut of entertainment, from love to laughter to creepy bumps in the night, with a genius cast of endearing characters.

An eccentric inventor meets a lady of notorious reputation. Of course, they need to investigate her haunted house before she can remodel it. Sam is one of the most unusual heroes I’ve had the pleasure to read about. Alva is a great match because she accentuates his eccentricities
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was invited to read this story and after hearing good things from a trusted friend, I was excited to get to it.

I loved Alva and Sam. She’s trying to find herself again and keep a low profile. He’s a genius and basically famous. Together they have fantastic chemistry and conversation. I loved his persistence and her reluctance. I especially loved how he always listened and prodded her for ideas and opinions. His family was absolutely one of the best ever written and I’m ready to hang out with
Shelleen Toland
It's 1875 and Alva has a tarnished reputation and her abusive husband is dead and she is staring over and has bought a mansion that needs a lot of work and is reported to have ghosts. She doesn't believe in ghosts. Sam is a professor and wants to see if there are really ghosts in the mansion but she keeps telling him no. When the crew, who was working on her house, just up and left one day, and were going to make her still pay them, says there are ghosts as well.
Alva is also dealing with h
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
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ohhhhh did I love this book! It's so utterly delicious. I preordered just because of the basic concept (Gothic Victorian American ghost story slash rom com) combined with stellar early reviews - but then the moment I started reading, I fell head over heels in love.

The characters are just SO wonderful. I adored Alva, the scandalous widow (who left her abusive husband before his death and has been shunned by society and her own family ever since). She is grouchy and stubborn and smart and secretl
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
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
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Goodreads and St. Martin's Press for my giveaway win!

The Widow of Rose House was not what I was expecting. But, I really enjoyed it.
Alva returns to the US from France in 1875 after the death of her husband. She brings with her scandal, and her infamy follows her everywhere she goes. In order to make a life for herself, Alva contacts a publisher and decides to write a book on renovation and interior design. She chooses an old abandoned house with a history of Ghosts as the
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.
Jenny Q
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books!

4.5 Stars! The Widow of Rose House was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and it did not disappoint! I'm not going to go much into plot so as not to spoil anything. I'm just going to tell you how I feel about it.

First, it's hard to believe this is a debut novel. The characters are fantastically drawn. While I may not have made the same decisions Alva did, I found her to be admirable. The poor thing tried so hard not to show vulnerability and no
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 a
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 of putt ...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
My interest for this book was piqued by just a few words: dilapidated mansion, widow and Gilded Age. That's all it took to snag me.

The story started off strong with some humorous banter, an absent-minded gent and a delightfully creepy old house. But the story soon ventured into 'less haunted mansion' and 'more bodice ripper romance' with a detailed and quite lengthy sex scene that felt a little out of place. My interest wavered soon afterward as the focus became muddled and there was
Taryn Pierson
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How dare this book be so good? And how dare Samuel be so sweet and kind and smart and wonderful HOW DARE YOU SIR
I won this book through goodreads' first reads.

First off, this is not historical fiction. I only know of its existence because of its placement on a "Historical Fiction 2019" goodreads list, but while it is set in the past all the characters are completely fictional and there's not much historical accuracy to their behavior. You can reference suffragettes in passing but when your characters all act like they'd fit right in at the local coffee shop . . . it doesn't work for me.
In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.

3.5 stars rounded down to 3 stars recorded to comply with Goodreads full star only rating system.

This book was definitely more of a historical romance than anything else. The ghost story that I
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