An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England Book #3)

Written by Roseanna M. White
Review by Rebecca Cochran

Barclay Pierce is an unlikely hero in this 1915 tale, set in London. His family is extensive with several “adopted” siblings he has rescued over the years, and his history is interesting, if a little disreputable. A reformed thief, Barclay now aids the government, using his special skill set to aid the war effort. He works for a mysterious man known only as V, and his work at first seems dubious. Sent to study (and perhaps steal?) the work of a local clockmaker, Barclay gets more than he bargains for. Evelina Manning, on the other hand, is looking for a little adventure and independence. This does not, however, include being rescued by Barclay on the night she is mugged outside their home. The mugging, and a subsequent break in at the Manning household seem a bit mysterious, and together, Evelina and Barclay set out to figure it out. Then, when her father is kidnapped, they become even more determined to solve the mystery and rescue Mr. Manning.

This is the third in White’s inspirational Shadows Over England series, with several of the characters from previous novels popping up. However, while fans of the series will appreciate these cameos, newcomers to the series may get a little overwhelmed by the many characters that come and go throughout. It is sometimes a little hard to keep track of everyone. One small disappointment, too, is that the war only plays in the background; the story focuses more on character development and plotline. Even when Evelina and Barclay travel to war-torn France, the scenery is not as well described as it could have been. The storyline itself is intriguing, though, with just the right amount of tension, romance, and mystery. While earmarked as an inspirational romance, the Christian elements are light and work well with the character development.