Review for ‘White Roses’ by novelist, Thea Hartley


White Roses is a bouquet of delight. A gripping historical novel, with the added element of suspense.

I was given an ARC of this book, and was so pleased to receive it, because it is one of the best books that I have read this year. This book is the second in the series of historical novels by Ms Rees that I have read. I was completely overawed by her excellent description of the area in Wales and its people. She brought characters to life, who lived in Merthyr Tydfil, and visited such venues as the music hall, where the main character in this book, Kathleen sang.

Her writing in both this novel and the previous “Black Diamonds” encompasses the atmosphere and narrative of “How Green is my Valley”, the famous book and film. Her brilliance of writing and storytelling has not emerged from Welsh novelists since that time… until Ms Rees began her series. I can’t wait for the next book “Blue Skies” which continues following the trials and tribulations of this Welsh valley family.

I highly recommend White Roses, plus Black diamonds, especially if you enjoy history and romance. After reading a few historical romances by other authors, this was like a breath of fresh air, it gripped me from the first page, and I couldn’t put it down. I finished the book in two sittings,

I read the first book in this series, “Black Diamonds” and fell in love with the characters, The main character in White Roses, is Kathleen, who had appeared in the previous book. She carves out a career as a singer, against the opposition of some of the family, and most definitely the local gossips, who spread malicious lies about her.

Black Diamonds was an excellent book, but White Roses is brilliant. It accurately portrays the dilemma of a young married woman with an exceptional talent, which could threaten her marriage. She is independent and ambitious in the days when these were seen as negative qualities in a woman. The book chronicles Kathleen’s ups and downs, as well as the fate of other members of the family and community in Wales. There are some shocks in store and twists and turns which keep you on the edge of your seat.

A book to be recommended if you like a meaty story, a gripping read and some absorbing surprises.

Available here!


Thea Hartley is a full time writer who has published several books across genres. She has written the Resa James Psychological crime series, Psychological thrillers, Romance, Erotica, and Biographies. Thea was formally a lecturer and practitioner of Psychology and Counselling for many years, and takes a lot of material from her experiences… as well as real life. She says she hopes to “keep on writing as long as possible.” Thea lives with her family in South Wales.



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