Monday, May 18, 2020

Review: "Rakes and Roses" by Josi S. Kilpack

I have recently become quite enamored with Shadow Mountain Publishing's "Proper Romance" line. (See my thoughts on all the Proper Romances I've read here.) So when the opportunity to read and review another one came up, I didn't hesitate!

A standalone novel in the Mayfield Family series with an unusual premise and an uplifting ending.

Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man's world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he's a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she's so carefully built.

Rakes and Roses is different from the other Proper Romances I've read in that it's less a romance than a redemption story. There's nothing wrong with that; it just wasn't quite what I expected. Still, I enjoyed the story so much that I didn't really mind the understated romance (mostly ...).

Sabrina was such an intriguing character. I loved the way she used her wealth to help others. Though I normally don't like rakes, I did enjoy Harry's transformation. I also loved his uncle Elliott, whose story is told in the first book in the series. (Each novel stands alone; I haven't read the others, but now I want to!)

While I very much enjoyed the story, the romance was just slightly lacking for me. I understood that Harry and Sabrina were falling for each other, but I didn't feel it. However, I did appreciate the way their story resolved, avoiding petty misunderstandings; instead, they talked about things like real adults!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Rakes and Roses. While it's my first Josi Kilpack novel, it won't be my last. 4 stars.


Follow the blog tour:

Bestselling author Josi S. Kilpack tours the blogosphere May 4 through May 22, 2020 to share her third novel in the Mayfield Family series, Rakes and Roses. Forty popular book bloggers specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, exclusive excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed Regency romance.


May 04 My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
May 04 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)
May 04 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
May 04 All About Romance (Guest Blog)
May 05 Timeless Novels (Review)
May 05 Literary Time Out (Review)
May 06 For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)
May 06 Courtney Reads Romance (Review)
May 07 Fire and Ice (Excerpt)
May 07 Gwendalyn's Books (Review)
May 08 History Lizzie (Review)
May 08 Wishful Endings (Review)
May 09 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)
May 09 Relz Reviewz (Character spotlight)
May 10 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)
May 10 Delighted Reader (Excerpt)
May 11 Frolic Media (Guest Blog)
May 11 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
May 11 Bringing Up Books (Review)
May 12 Lu Reviews Books (Review)
May 13 English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)
May 13 Adventure. Romance. Suspense (Review)
May 14 Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals (Interview)
May 14 So Little Time…So Much to Read (Spotlight)
May 15 Storybook Reviews (Excerpt)
May 16 The Book Diva’s Reads (Review)
May 16 The Fiction Aficionado (Review)
May 17 Inkwell Inspirations (Spotlight)
May 17 Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)
May 18 Romance Junkies (Guest Blog)
May 18 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review)
May 18 The Lit Bitch (Review)
May 19 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Interview)
May 19 Heidi Reads (Review)
May 19 Bookworm Lisa (Excerpt)
May 19 Laura's Reviews (Review)
May 19 Katie's Clean Book Collection (Review)
May 20 The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)
May 20 Joy of Reading (Review)
May 20 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
May 21 The Calico Critic (Spotlight)
May 21 Getting Your Read On (Review)
May 21 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
May 22 Wishful Endings (Interview)

Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books,
A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton's Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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