book review | a name unknown

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my review.

OKAY. SO. I actually read this a while ago, but I loved it so much that I let my friend borrow it … and … yea. 

I just got it back. 

Way to go, friend.

… a couple months later… 

OKAY SO I LEGIT LET ANOTHER FRIEND BORROW IT AND SHE STILL HASN’T GIVEN IT BACK YET… but that’s okay, I’m not bitter at all. Am I weird that way? Like, I always have to have whatever book I’m reviewing right there next to me so I can touch it and flip through it and all that? I’m sure I’m not the only one… *starts singing Sam Smith* 

*coughs loudly* GRACIOUS why can’t I focus right now???


“And the best sort of villain is smart and subtle and so very tricky that you don’t even know he’s the villain because he thinks himself the hero in his own story.” 

So so so. 

Let this review actually begin, shall we? Okay let’s just go before I get distracted again (FOR REAL, my friends literally make fun of me so much for being so loopy, I swear I can focus when I really try to) (ALSO I might be a little bit weird in this post because I just got my wisdom teeth pulled and my head hurts so just… y’know don’t judge me too harshly mkay? It’s all good, life’s great) (OKAY now the review can start). 


Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

– r e v i e w ~ 5 stars –

I honestly do not know how I actually survived before I read this book. In all honesty, this was probably one of the best written historical fiction novels I have ever read. HANDS DOWN, SHE IS ONE OF MY NEW FAVORITE AUTHORS. 

Let’s be real here. [RANT ALERT] How many Christian-his-fic novels will you pick up where that characters are actually this unique, where the plot is actually really thrilling, and where everything is just so bloody perfect??? 

UHM *cough cough* LIKE 0% ACTUALLY.

I have, unfortunately, had a pretty pathetic experience with Christian historical fiction because 1) they’re all so cliche, 2) they always seem to be about the same person, 3) the romance is just overall super-duper cringey and I want to cry now bc I hate how cringey it is, and 4) the spiritual messages protrayed are honestly so preachy and forced, oh, and 5) the plots are almost always centered around the cringey romance (even if it’s not supposed to be, it always ends up thattaway, you get me, Janet?). HONESTLY. These are the vibes I’ve gotten from the majority of the Chris-his-fic novels I’ve ever picked up; sure, there were some good ones, I’m not saying they’re impossible to find. I’m just saying if you wanna find a really good, unique, fantabulous one… you REAAAAALLY gotta look. At least for me. Maybe that’s just my luck, I DON’T KNOW.


I am not exaggerating when I say this book has literally changed my life… because it honestly has. It has given me this hope that not all Christian-his-fic are going to be cringey, WHICH FEELS AMAZING. I fell in love with the cover first, then I read the dedication and fell in love with that, and then the writing, and then the MC, and then the storyline, and then the spiritual message, and the romance, and the people, and just EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK HAS GOT ME SO FIRED UP FOR AMAZING STUFF IT FEELS SO GREAT. [END OF RANT]

I’m sorry for shouting so much. I’m very passionate about this book, can you tell?

b e a u t i f u l – t h i n g s 

  • the characters – y’all know how much these cinnamon rolls mean to me in a story. If an author is planning on including anybody in their story (I mean I guess you’d have to… unless it was a story all about landscape and bushes *shrugs*), they better be warned that they either have to go big and dangerous or go home bc this girl doesn’t do weak little characters with no backbone and no voice, okay? Okay… can we just appreciate HOW PERFECT THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY ARE IN THIS STORY? LITERALLY.

Rosemary is L.I.F.E. goals. SHE’S:

a thief / passionate / loving / arrogant / outspoken / strong / extroverted / and so very, very empathetic (when she deems it a good time to be) / quick to act

The one thing that really drew me into loving her character was her passion. She saw something that needed to be changed, and with all her power she tried to change it; she didn’t just sit back and hope for someone else, more capable to come along and do it, no! There was this energy within her that just compelled her to do things that she didn’t necessarily want to do, but it needed to be done and so it was. Sure, she had her flaws. She’s messed up and mislead… but that’s the beauty of humanity, right?

Her voice was so strong, she was so stubborn it was SO invigorating, it made ME want to step up and do something to change the world, even if it was small… she had this way about her that was just so exciting, I couldn’t wait to see what she did or said next. Everything had a point to it, there’s no such thing as stuff-n’-nonsense with Rosemary. She was straight to the point and hard-headed and IT JUST CLICKED WITH ME BECAUSE I’M SO LIKE THAT.

She’s just that person that will be the first to speak up, the first to act, the first to accuse, and the first to throw a punch (even if it’s with her untamable sass).

Peter was a Cinnabon, allow me to protect him forever amen.

curious / intelligent + simple at the same time / passionate, but not impulsive / introverted / writer / hermit, by all means

Peter was just amazing. He was this precious burrito that was just filled with love and exotic wonder that left people thinking he was loopy. And, Y’ALL, he had a speech problem which made him soooo cute, literally cannot contain how precious and pure he is. Seriously. Can we just take a moment to appreciate his shy qualities, his thoughtfulness, his inability to communicate… gracious, let’s just all build a wall around him and protect from this cruel world who would DARE to speak ugly about my baby.

Being a writer, I can relate to Peter as well. WHICH WAS JUST DANDY. Him being literal gold, I just couldn’t not love everything about him. I mean. HE HAD A BEHEMOTH LIBRARY. CAN I GET AN AMEN???

 The dude was mega introverted and it was just so great. And the way he handled situations… he’s such a quiet thinker, but he takes in all the little details he can calculate the entire event with such discernment, he is just SO COOL. And yet everyone in the book was so convinced he was just this dumb person that couldn’t think for himself… and he wouldn’t fight back. I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU PETER, DON’T YOU WORRY MY PRECIOUS CHILD.

And while I can go on about the rest of the characters, I do believe I still have the rest of the review and write and who knows how long that will take if I talk about EVERYTHING I love about this book??? AND SOME? Priorities, my people. We are a civil community here and there will be order.

  • the plot- This was just all glorious. The plot of this book was just… so fun and it was thrilling but not too heavy, and I was kept guessing and wondering, but not frustrated. I have a lot of love for this story, not only because of the characters (although I adore adore adore them too). It felt driven and I could tell that the author had a lot of passion for the story in and of itself.

A group of street rats. A search in a library. A hermit writer with secrets. Political theft.

It’s beautiful, is it not?


  • england- I’m such a sucker for stories in other countries, especially Europe (who doesn’t??), so THIS beaute basically settled so perfectly with me, it’s kind of creepy. Kind of. OH, and how it was showing things that lead up to WW1, that was pretty cool. I’ve read a lot of WW2 books so this was a bit new for me, but y’know what? I loved it so… 🙂
  • the family elements- These characters were hardcore when it came to family. Didn’t matter what kind of family they grew up in, especially Rosemary and her siblings. They loved so hard and were extremely loyal but with a realistic flare of siblings rivalry and it was just so relatable and sweet and I can cry just thinking about them.
  • the sass- Let’s be honest. I probably enjoyed this entire book because of Rosemary’s (and the occasional Peter’s) sassitude. It got lit, y’all xD
  • oh the beauty of luv- the romance. The romance was bloody adorable and I cannot contain myself any longer *squeals* IT WAS EPIC AND SWEET AND JUST GREAT. It was great. Because…. because you have Rosemary, outspoken, determined, hardheaded, and just Rosemary… And then you had sweet, kind, gentle, dear, dear Peter. AND IT WAS MAGIC. It was literally gold. I can’t tell you how many times I screamed because of their cuteness. And it was a pure kind of cuteness that was….. AGH.
  • the spiritual message- THIS MADE ME CRY. LITERALLY. I WAS CRYING. Well, not throughout the whole thing, but more than one part brought me to tears. I loveloveloveeee the message portrayed in this story, especially with Rosemary. I can relate to her SO MUCH, so this really hit core for me. How the Lord just shaped her and guided her, it was so beautiful. So sweet and tender and heartbreakingly beautiful. I’d give this 19,438 stars just for how well God’s love was portrayed.
  • just all the people were amazing. 
  • there were so many leads and elements that just GAH befuddled me in the best way bc mystery 
  • the writing was really really great- This was a HUGE thing for me. I adored the writing, which is weird for me to say about a Chris-his-fic novel. But I’m not kidding you, I could read these books for ages — errrm mebbe — and not got tired of it.

And now I think it’s safe to say that this book was just perfect and you should really just go read it now. Because I don’t have an “Ugly things” list for you. 

Other than it ended, but y’know. 

– c o n c l u s i o n –

This is a wonderful novel that will change your life. It had an epic storyline, endearing characters, a thrilling mystery, and amazing vibes (and a hilarious sass level). I enjoyed this book so much, it will probably always be on my favorites shelf because #perfection. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES!


mkay, thanks for reading :))


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