15 September 2016

Review: A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M White

Outstanding Conclusion to Trilogy

Book Description

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 the danger that has haunted her brother and their friend, and she won't wait for it 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 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 friends arrive on the scene and try to threaten him into a life of crime. 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 dangerous people who seem ready to destroy them all?

My Review

This is this third and final novel in the Ladies of the Manor series, and while I thought each of them was excellent, I thought this was definitely the best. There are several reasons for that view. First, this story was excellent. Ella and Cayton were both wonderful characters, determined not to do anything so foolish as to fall for each other, but both unable to stop themselves. Their joint scenes were they weren’t interested in each other (ha!) brought a smile to my face.

It was also good to revisit the main characters in the two previous books, Brook and Justin from The Lost Heiress, and Brice and Rowena from The Reluctant Duchess (it was less good to revisit some of the evildoers from previous books, but they were equally important as characters). But the main reason I enjoyed the Ladies of the Manor series was the way each novel was a standalone romance, but there was the mystery of the Fire Eyes underlying each of the three novels.

I’m also continually impressed by the way Roseanna White brings out truths about human nature and about God without ever descending into preachiness:

Ours is a God who delights in providing for His children, who charges us to be whole, complete, to find joy in all our circumstances through Him.
It only takes a moment to marry someone, but an entire lifetime to have a marriage with them. Faith is like that. It takes one moment to confess it, and a lifetime to live it out.
And sometimes her writing is just plain funny:
It was terribly cliché to be attracted to a man just because he was a good father … and handsome … and clever … and charming. And Ella hated to be a cliché.
Roseanna White also demonstrates a solid understanding of human nature. Ella says:
Some women like the challenge of a man who needs saving. Others see the potential hiding under the layers of the world, and it is that they love.
Yes, too many women (and men, perhaps) fall for the person who needs saving, and find themselves in difficult or abusive relationships (naming no names, but too many popular novels perpetuate this lie). Ella goes on to clarify her own view, a lesson too many women still need to learn:
Fall for a man in need of saving and you will be sorely disappointed to find you are no savior. Fall for a man who is only potential, and you shall be constantly disappointed that he doesn’t live up to it. No, I prefer gentlemen who already know redemption and who have sloughed off the ways of the world.
All in all, A Lady Unrivaled is a novel unrivaled. I’m sorry to see the end of Ella and her friends and family.

Thanks to Baker Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Roseanna M White at her website.


  1. I started listening to the Ebook on Friday. Very impressed so far, hope to get the paperback at some point. Edwardian Fiction is not usually my forte, but I got into Downton Abbey this year, and then read 'The Lost Heiress', followed by Carrie Turansky's first book, so I'm more into them now.

    1. Carrie Turansky's The Governess of Highland Hall was the first Edwardian fiction I read as well. Both are excellent series.