- Title: Rakes and Roses: A Mayfield Family Romance (Book 3)
- Proper Romance series
- Author: Josi S. Kilpack
- Tour Dates: May 4 – May 22, 2020
- Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
- Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (May 5, 2020)
- Length (320) pages
- Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1629727356
- eBook ASIN: B085FSQNGV
- Audiobook ASIN: B0844W7ZQM
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
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.
Another round started as Ward returned with another drink. Harry ignored this one, his stomach burning and his head pounding. The smoke in the room was thick enough to choke on.
“Can we call it a night, Stillman? It’s nearly three o’clock in the morning.”
Ward leaned in and lowered his voice. “Every round is a new risk. You’re further ahead than you’ve been in months.”
“Bad luck!” Harry turned to scowl at his friend. One never talked about losing when at the tables. It was almost as bad as having a woman stand on your left side. Thankfully, the group of light-skirts who ran pretty fingers down a man’s arm and laughed at jokes that were not funny had thinned out considerably after one o’clock in the morning. However, women had not served as a distraction for him for months now.
Harry ran a hand through his hair, which felt as grimy as his skin, willing his heart to slow. He began to swirl the cup—his main was nine this round, so he needed to swirl the cup eight times counterclockwise—eight was his universally lucky number—and nine times clockwise.
“. . . Stillman’s got a fortune waiting if he’d just find himself a wife.”
“Shut your mouth!” Harry yelled, snapping his head toward Ward, who sat backward in his chair, elbows propped on the table.
Ward raised his eyebrows. “I was just telling these blokes that I don’t know why you spend so much time here when you’ve a fortune just waiting to be—”
“Stop!” Harry barked as his heart sped up even more. It had been a mistake to tell Ward about Uncle Elliott’s gracious offer—an inheritance if Harry married a genteel bride—but Harry had been too drunk to be wise the night it had come out. Harry was too drunk to be wise most nights. He was not too drunk tonight, however, to keep Ward from revealing private information.
“Why should I not tell your friends?” Ward challenged, his eyes bleary with drink but also anger. He wanted to leave.
If only Harry could.
“Afraid the rest of us will be jealous of your opportunity?” Ward pressed. He was trying to pick a fight, likely thinking it would force Harry out of the hall, but he did not understand that Harry needed to stay. Ward was as much a gambler as Harry was, but he had better income and more understanding parents. Harry’s parents were dead, Uncle Elliott had cut him off more than a year ago, and he’d burned through his quarterly profits—such as they were—within weeks of the last payment.
“I shall ask you to keep my business private, Mr. Ward,” Harry said through his teeth.
Harry tried to focus his attention on the game, but his thoughts had been jumbled by Ward’s reminder of the world outside this club. There was no doubt in Harry’s mind that Uncle Elliott’s “bribe” that he settled upon his nieces and nephews when they made a good marriage had mostly been directed at Harry—Uncle Elliott had never liked Harry very much. Two of Harry’s cousins—Peter and Timothy—had already saddled themselves with wives, but Harry had no plans to do the same. Harry had inherited his father’s estate, which meant he could
make his own way. However, Uncle Elliott was no longer paying Harry’s debts now that he’d presented an opportunity that he believed would turn Harry into a respectable gentleman.
Harry had seen his uncle only once since his explanation and presentation of the “marriage inheritance” plan almost a year ago. Harry had lost nearly five hundred pounds the night before and had been in the depths of misery, so many of the details had been lost on him.
He’d been able to sell fifty acres of his land soon after meeting with Uncle Elliott, however, which paid off his debts and allowed him to live well through the fall and winter off the remaining profits and improved luck at the tables.
In January, he’d received his profits for the last quarter of the previous year and been surprised at the decreased revenue. The fields had not produced well, his solicitor had explained, and there were concerns about the old steward’s ability to manage. Two tenants had moved to a neighboring estate due to unfinished repairs Harry had neglected for three years. The solicitor had suggested Harry spend some time at the estate setting things right and improving profitability, but Harry had been sure that the faster way to make up for the lost profits was at the tables.
Chapter One Pages 12-14
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.
RAKES AND ROSES BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
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)