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9.30.2018

An Hour Unspent ~ Review

An Hour Unspent
Shadows Over England #3
By Roseanna M. White

Barclay Pearce is very good at what he does. His skills honed as a child made him one of London's top thieves and boss of his own band and territory. But now his skills are at the behest of the British Admiralty.

Barclay's current assignment is to get close to master clockmaker Cecil Manning who may have invented something that would aid the British efforts in the war. And if necessary he is to remove the plans from the Manning household. But Barclay wants to put as much distance between him and his old life as possible and assisting Manning is his preferred method of obtaining Manning's work.

Barclay's first attempt at meeting with Manning introduces him to Evalina Manning whom he rescues from an attempted mugging. Is it mere coincidence that the daughter of the very man whom Barclay is supposed to connect with threatened within feet of their home? Barclay is determined to discover the identity of this stranger who is where he shouldn't be.

When Barclay's interest in Manning's work results in an offer to mentor him the intricacies of watch movements Barclay is more than happy to accept. And his interactions with Evalina prove most interesting especially once her mother returns home with Aunt Beatrice in tow. With a broken engagement, Evalina needs Barclay and his family as a means of escape from the tense and oppressive atmosphere that has come home.  Evalina is determined to enjoy her little rebellion - after all Barclay is everything her mother doesn't want in a husband for her. He works, doesn't have connections or wealth and as her friends advise her, "have a little fun" while she can. But losing her heart was never a possibility or was it?

With his responsibilities to his family, Barclay doesn't have time for romance. Nor does he have the means to provide for someone of Evalina's status. The family barely has the means to put enough food on the table every day and now they are saving up for furnishing for their new home. But marriage was something he'd never contemplated for himself until Evalina declared that he was her new best friend.

As Evalina and Barclay work through what they are feeling with whom they are danger comes closer and everything that they hold dear is threatened. Once again Barclay faces the prospect of having to make his behind enemy lines to save not only a life but to protect England.

With An Hour Unspent Roseanna White has brought Barclay and his story forward so that the reader gets to know him. Barclay is a most admirable and likable individual and his care and concern for the orphaned and abandoned children of London just makes him that much nobler. This book can be read alone but as good as the other books are, just go ahead and read them all - this way you'll have the backstory without wondering "what are they referring to?".  Fans of WWI historical fiction will enjoy this one as it deals with the threats to England found within her borders.



About the Book:
With danger creeping ever closer,
do their dreams still matter?

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 fiancĂ© 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 it.