A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White - Review

My first read of 2018! I'm glad the review date got extended for this tour, but I can't believe I never got around to reading one of Roseanna M. White's books before! Music and mystery in Europe during the first world war makes for an intriguing storyline...

Title: A Song Unheard [Shadows Over England #2]
Author: Roseanna M. White
Published: 2018 [Bethany House Publishers]

About the Book:
If Betraying Her Heart Means Saving Countless Lives, Will She Find the Courage?

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a critical task at the outset of World War I--to secure a crucial cypher key from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won--until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only distraction he finds from his worry is in meeting the intriguing and talented Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't--that she must betray him and find that key, or her own family could pay the same price his surely has.

The Artist Librarian's Review:
I first heard of Roseanna M. White when she was still an indie author, but I'd always wanted to read her historical fiction.  Now I'm wondering why I took so long to do so!  

A Song Unheard continues not long after the events of A Name Unknown (the first title in this series). Though there are slight spoilers regarding the protagonist of the previous book (as usual with trilogies in the romance genre), I felt like it can be successfully read as a stand alone (since I haven't read the first book yet).  Willa Forsythe's adoptive family of street urchins and strays possess unique "talents" that lead mysterious Mr. V to recruit them for secret government assignments. The musically gifted Willa is tasked with getting close to violinist Lukas De Wilde, whose father was a cryptologist and is perhaps in possession of a valuable cypher key.

Though some might say that Willa's photographic-musical-memory is too much of a trope (she can pretty much play any piece of music after hearing it once), I think it was plausible just enough to work --or at least, I had a willing suspension of disbelief.  I liked that the mystery/suspense aspect isn't as intense ... it was like a romantic historical cozy mystery (with spies)!  I also enjoyed the second storyline that takes place in Germany-occupied Belgium.  While the climax and conclusion wraps up a little too neatly, as a HEA (happily ever after) fan, I can't really complain.  The romantic and faith elements were satisfying to me as well, but my favorite part was Willa's brother, Barclay --I sincerely hope he's the protagonist of the next book (I ... think I personally connected with him as much as Willa).  I also felt like the historical elements were such that I felt like I learned a lot (just because I was less familiar with the time period) but without info dumps.  So overall, I enjoyed my first Roseanna M. White novel and am planning to find a couple of her previous historicals to read this year.  Do you have any suggestions?

About the Author:  

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
 What's the most memorable novel you've read that features music (historical setting optional)?

[Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.]


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