An emotional romance full of heart and second chances... Rakes and Roses by Josi S. Kilpack (Review) @JosiSKilpack, @ShadowMountn

Welcome to my tour stop! I'll be on this tour twice, today for a review and next time for an interview, for Josi S. Kilpack's newest Mayfield Family Romance. 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. Check our my review and follow the tour below...

Rakes and Roses
(A Mayfield Family Romance #3/Proper Romance)
By Josi S. Kilpack
Adult Historical Romance, Christian
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
May 5th 2020 by Shadow Mountain Publishing


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.


"Uplifting...Kilpack flips the typical Regency romance script, with the heroine rescuing the hero. Kilpack's strong, upright heroine who finds a way to claim her power in Regency society sets this love story apart. This magnetic tale will appeal to fans of emotional romance."—Publisher’s Weekly

“Kilpack takes traditional regency roles and challenges them. She shows how one person can make an impact in the world. I found the story and premise unique.”—Heather Gardner, Fire and Ice

“This is a story of redemption above all else…the ending was perfect.”— Lucinda Whitney, author of Rescuing the Prince

My Review

RAKES AND ROSES is a story of a man who has lost it all due to poor choices and the woman who chooses to save him. It is very character focused as the hero has to give up all his vices to become the man he wants to be and earn the love of a woman. It's also about a woman who has been terribly hurt in the past and must decide if she is willing to open her heart again. An overall story of redemption that will tug on the heart and leave the reader with a delightfully sweet ending.

I loved Sabrina's and Harry's first meeting, which set the stage so well for this story. It gave a bit of a glimpse as to the man Harry could be before we jump to present day where he has given in to all his vices and lost everything, becoming a despicable part of society. He helped Lady Sabrina once and she sees his potential and decides to help him. It is one of those stories that isn't necessarily enjoyable to read in parts because Harry is in such a bad state and has a difficult climb to get himself better. He isn't someone you necessary respect at first, so he's a work in progress. However, he comes around—thanks in large part to Sabrina.

I loved Sabrina from the start! She ended up in a terrible situation with her husband, but has come out of it strong. She definitely has her own insecurities and has closed off her heart, but she is doing her best to make a life for herself and to also help others. Harry, as I mention above, is someone that grows on you. He is naturally charming, particularly when he wants to be, but is also now aware that he needs to be more careful in his choices. I loved the last fourth of the book the most when Harry steps into more of the man he should be and takes control a bit of his relationship with Sabrina.

They were an interesting couple. I did feel that there was a bit of a maturity gap between Sabrina and Harry. Even though Harry has made a mess of his life, I did think as he is in his late twenties that he should have come off a bit older instead of a young buck. That difference between them did feel wider than I thought it should have been and made it a bit more difficult to picture them together as a couple. The author definitely makes you feel the chemistry and friendship between them grow, but I also wanted Harry not to still act like a boy, but to come more into his own gradually over time instead of just as the very end.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was another enjoyable read in the Mayfield Family Romances. Grab this book if you enjoy stories where the hero completely turns his life around, strong heroines, and romances that move from acquaintance to friendship to something more. Of course, the ending was perfect and all that I could ask for.

Content: Some references to marital abuse, violence (a man being severely beaten), and references to past indiscretions, but nothing overly descriptive.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to my reviews.)

About the Author

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.

Tour Schedule

May 04
My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)
Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
All About Romance (Guest Blog)
May 05

Timeless Novels (Review)
Literary Time Out (Review)
May 06

For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)
Courtney Reads Romance (Review)
May 07

Fire and Ice (Excerpt)
Gwendalyn's Books (Review)
May 08

History Lizzie (Review)
Wishful Endings (Review)
May 09

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)
Relz Reviewz (Character spotlight)
May 10

Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)
Delighted Reader (Excerpt)
May 11

Frolic Media (Guest Blog)
A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
Bringing Up Books (Review)
May 12

Lu Reviews Books (Review)
May 13

English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)
Adventure. Romance. Suspense (Review)
May 14

Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals (Interview)
So Little Time…So Much to Read (Spotlight)
May 15

Storybook Reviews (Excerpt)
May 16

The Book Diva’s Reads (Review)
The Fiction Aficionado (Review)
May 17

Inkwell Inspirations (Spotlight)
Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)
May 18

Romance Junkies (Guest Blog)
Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review)
The Lit Bitch (Review)
May 19

The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Interview)
Heidi Reads (Review)
Bookworm Lisa (Excerpt)
Laura's Reviews (Review)
Katie's Clean Book Collection (Review)
May 20

The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)
Joy of Reading (Review)
Austenesque Reviews (Review)
May 21

The Calico Critic (Spotlight)
Getting Your Read On (Review)
From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
May 22

Wishful Endings (Interview)

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