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The Widow of Rose House

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  211 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
ebook, 346 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  320 ratings  ·  211 reviews

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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 marriage still fo
"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 knows that there is an ab
June Hur
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 chapter because
Alyssa Palombo
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!"
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!

Lisa Leone-campbell
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
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
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
Rachel Paxton
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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, makes ligh
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 dream and fut
Maria Dong
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Debbie Burke
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel  Kellis
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 a distracti
Lee Husemann
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do not usually read paranormal/ghost stories but something about this book made me want to read it and I am
so glad I did. The story takes place in Hyde Park, New York in 1875 when Alva Webster returns after the death of her abusive husband. She buys Liefdenhuis, a dilapidated mansion and wants to restore it. Rumor has it that the house is haunted. An inventor, Professor Sam Moore, wants to explore the house for ghostly activity and he falls for Alva after meeting her. This is a really cute, r
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 had hoped it to be
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
Kelsey Hudson
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Widow of Rose House is one of the most unique books I’ve read recently- it takes place in Gilded Age New York, and there’s house renovations, geniuses, ghosts, and romance, so it basically has all my favorite things wrapped into one book. Alva Webster, a widow notorious for her(supposed) racy behavior in the press, has returned from France to write a book on interior design and home renovation in order to live a quieter life and escape her traumatic past. The house that she’s renovating has ...more
Alaina Maxam
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
marita lazarus
I am so loving this book!!!!! I need to finish it tonight..... it has me hooked

Thank you netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an advance copy

I loved this book. I was expecting a romance novel with a ghost story/mystery and boy did it deliver all that and more.

The story starts with the arrival of Mrs Webster in NY after 12 years in France - and becoming a widow. Her reputation is scandalous and she is trying to rebuild her life. Enter Prof Sam Moore - charming, good looking, wholesome - the per
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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