This was one of those books that took me longer to get through – but not in a bad way! It was almost frustratingly hilarious. At one point, my kindle estimated that it would take me 5 hours to finish a chapter. Cue the facepalm. Mostly because I loved this book, and real life should have more reading breaks. I wanted to finish it overnight.
Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge–and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger–and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.
Some of my favorite romances are the ones where the couple figures out fairly early that they like one another – there’s no doubt about that – the doubt comes from whether or not they can make it work. An Hour Unspent most definitely falls into that category. I LOVED Evelina and Barclay – their instant spark, his unraveling past (ever wonder about how he ended up on the streets?) and her distrust of it.
After all, who would trust a thief? Even a reformed one? It’s a bit of a morbid fascination for Lina given how much she enjoys his patchwork family. She just might risk it to spite her own dysfunctional family.
Their growth was fun to watch as well. I think, over the course of the series, we’ve enjoyed seeing Barclay as the good natured and ever-resourceful “older brother” and all the more so in An Hour Unspent, but Evelina’s arc was my favorite. We see she’s a suffragette as the story opens. But Barclay challenges her, causing her to wonder if she’s lost sight of what she’s fighting for. It was so interesting to see her explore that. And also to watch her family transform. Part of my struggle to finish came from taking breaks when things in Evelina’s life struck an accord. Maybe a little too close to home.
Still. So good. So worth it. And the history was just fantastic. I loved how it lends to the plot. From the origins of Rolex and the wrist watch to the zeppelin bombing of London. I hope you enjoy this installment of Roseanna White’s latest series, An Hour Unspent.
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.