Review: The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

Please excuse me while I fangirl so hard over this book! The cover alone threatened to send me into a swoon. It’s perfection and I love it so much.

I would have read the book for the cover alone, but the title—lord the title promised a perfect gothic romance which was exactly what I have been in the mood for lately!

When I cracked this one open, I couldn’t wait for the glory that was promised between the pages and what glory it was! Spoiler—I absolutely adored this book and can’t wait to read more by this author!


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 death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.

Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.

Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers. (summary from Goodreads)


While this book wasn’t necessarily a haunting, spooky ghost story, it does have a supernatural element which leads a little extra gothic feel to the book which is fantastic! I love gothic romances and this book had all the things I loved—-scandalous widow, crumbling castle, a haunting. It was so moody and for a romance novel, there was surprising depth and development with the characters. After I read Bringing Down the Duke, I wanted something with similar snappy dialogue but a little more moody and this book was absolutely both of those things.

I was hooked from the beginning and couldn’t wait to read the entire thing cover to cover (which I almost did in one sitting mind you!). I loved Alva, I thought she had an interesting story arc and was an interesting match for Sam. But in this book it’s Sam who steals the show. Sam Moore and his family are an absolute hoot. I want to be part of this family in the worst way. I actually kind of hope the author makes this a series featuring the other family members and friends because the characters were quirky, funny, and just plain fun. I am not ready to say goodbye to them at all.

Sam made me laugh so hard so many times. His humor and charm won me over, which is so true to character. It’s not often that I find my romantic heroes sexy when they are odd, quirky, and funny. I find the dark mysterious type much more sexually appealing, but Sam Moore changed my mind on that front. He was believably sexy and I loved that he was intelligent and went against the grain of traditional sexy heroes. He will easily be one of my favorite romantic heroes for a long time to come.

This book is perfect for fans of gothic romances and solid historical romances that have substance and plot. I can’t wait to see what this author writes next!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Review copy provided by personal collection, all opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: historical romance, historical fiction, romance, gothic romance


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