- Title: Rakes and Roses: A Mayfield Family Romance
- Author: Josi S. Kilpack
- Series: Proper Romance Regency (Book 3)
- Genre: Regency Romance
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Shadow Mountain (May 5, 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1629727350
- Book Design: © Shadow Mountain
- Cover Art: Lee Avison/Trevillion Images; Abigail Miles/Arcangel
Direction: Richard Erickson
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 ally.
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.
The third book in the Mayfield Family Romance series is very different from the first two. There is a reversal of roles and several twists woven throughout the novel. The main female character in Rakes and Roses has the power usually only associated with males. This was one of those twists that I really liked. It's not often that the female rides in to save the day, but this is exactly what Lady Sabrina does for Harry Stillman. He is the black sheep of his family with his gambling and drinking. He has no desire to marry and just wants to live his carefree life. When life turns upside down, Harry is left with nothing. Here is where Lady Sabrina enters his life and saves him in more than one way.
This novel is one of mystery, forgiveness, redemption, and coming full circle in one's life. The story is slow-moving the first half of the book as readers learn many of the trials haunting both Harry and Sabrina's lives. The story picks up as both the main characters start learning and growing as they mend themselves and grow as friends and more. Rakes and Roses is a great addition to the Mayfield Family Series. I look forward to the next book in the series.