Rakes and Roses by Josi S. Kilpack

Harry Stillman cares nothing for his future and spends his time at gaming tables, horse races, and in the company of whatever beautiful woman has caught his eye that week. He has little use for society or his uncle’s approval—until his debts begin exceeding his profits. When Uncle Elliott refuses to pay off the debt, and instead offers him a large, monetary wedding gift if Harry were to marry a woman of his uncle’s approval, Harry is offended, angry, and … scared. His dire straits drives him to seek out the infamous Lord Damion—a moneylender who extolls a heavy price for his assistance.

Lord Damion, however, is not a lord at all, or even a man. When Lady Sabrina’s cheating husband leaves her, then ends up dying in a carriage accident, she creates a plan to ensure her future security through the secret persona of Lord Damion, and she is quickly becoming the richest woman in England.

When Harry presents his case to Lord Damion—hidden behind a partition and communicating through notes, not speech—she finds him ridiculous but somewhat endearing and agrees to consider his situation. However, when she finds Harry unconscious in the gutter later that day, his leg badly broken and his face barely recognizable from the beating that’s left him on the edge of death, she transports him to a house she keeps in Wimbledon.

When Harry wakes, he is surprised to find himself in widow Sabrina’s house. Through the weeks of recovery, Harry is humbled by Sabrina’s selfless care, and reveals details of his character he has not shown to anyone. For her part, Sabrina finds herself more and more drawn to him, impressed by his determination to gain his strength and change his ways. Secretly, Sabrina pays off his debts to preserve him from further harm and tries not to let her heart become entangled. To love a man like this, again, would be her ruin.

Knee-deep in secrets, both Harry and Sabrina must decide what true love means to them, and how to navigate the pitfalls of high English society. In the end, they must both decide which is more important: wealth or true love.

Title: Rakes and Roses

Author: Josi S. Kilpack

Published: May 5th 2020 by Shadow Mountain

Genre: Proper Romance, Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Romance

Stars: 4 Content Rating: Clean

This is the 3rd book in the Mayfield Family series, but you do not need to read the previous two to enjoy it! This series starts with the Uncle who is trying to change is wayward nieces and nephews. He decided to do this by cutting them off and only giving them their inheritance if they meet his requirements. One being marriage! I have loved this series so far and can’t wait for the next installment!

I honestly felt that the title being “Rakes and Roses” would mean that the chemistry would be crazy intense. True to being a proper romance I didn’t feel the chemistry like I do with other romances, but I think that is because their connection was deeper than sexual banter. At the beginning when you get the pro log of Sabrina and then Harry’s encounter with the lender that was become dangerous due to his outstanding debts; I felt like the story was going to be predictable. It WAS NOT. It brought to light how hard it can be to give up ones vices. How addiction ruins lives. Sabrina held her ground and was caring but fiercely determined to stick to her guns. Same with the Uncle. When you love someone, sometimes they need your tough love to become a better version of themselves. Because only they can make those deep changes within.

I have not read a proper romance like this one. It was different and I thought it very intriguing to see a woman of means helping those less fortunate in her own way. Her own past with a husband that was drunk and abusive made her want to help other young men that found themselves following that path. I really enjoyed this one! Its a quick read and a great addition to the series! Thanks for reading!


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