Cover image for Rakes and roses
Rakes and roses
Physical Description:
303 pages : genealogical table ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes discussion questions.
"When Harry Stillman finds himself deep in debt after a losing streak at the gambling tables, he turns to Lord Damion, a generous nobleman whose agrees to pay off Harry's debt, provided Harry turns his life around. Unbeknownst to Harry, Lord Damion is actually Lady Sabrina in disguise. Keeping her secret identity hidden from Harry proves difficult when she starts to lose her heart to the handsome rake"--


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A Mayfield Family Romance

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.

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

A rogue changes his ways in Kilpack's uplifting third Mayfield Family Romance (after Daisies and Devotion). Lady Sabrina Carlisle, the illegitimate daughter of a duke, is wary of marrying again after her abusive husband dies. Determined to do some good in the world, Sabrina uses her immense wealth and the alias of Lord Damion to help settle the debts of men she believes are redeemable. When rake Harry Stillman's uncle refuses to pay off his gambling debt, Lord Damion steps in to help. Harry meets with Sabrina disguised as Lord Damion in London and believes his fortunes are on the rise, but on the walk home he is severely beaten. Kilpack flips the typical Regency romance script, with the heroine rescuing the hero and taking him to her Wimbledon home to recuperate. Though Harry suffers alcohol withdrawal, he appreciates Sabrina's determination to help him heal. Their friendship blossoms into attraction, and Harry hopes that if he can prove he's changed his ways, Sabrina might consider a future with him. 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. (May)

Booklist Review

Harry Stillman thought he could stay one step ahead of his creditors by winning at the gaming tables. One unlucky throw of the dice, however, and Harry stands to lose everything. Fortunately, there is still one moneylender, the mysterious Lord Damion, who is willing to help even the most desperate of cases. Unfortunately, immediately after meeting with Lord Damion, Harry is roughed up by thugs sent to remind him of his debts. A badly injured Harry is found by Lady Sabrina Carlisle, who remembers the kindness Harry once showed her and takes him with her to Rose Haven, her country estate, to recover. Has Harry's luck finally changed for the better? In the third excellent book in the Mayfield Family series, award-winning Kilpack (Daisies and Devotion, 2019) deftly integrates such topics as spousal abuse and addiction into the compelling story line of her latest sweet love story. Fans of Mary Balogh's traditional Regency romances will be captivated by this quietly powerful tale of faith, compassion, redemption, and love.

Library Journal Review

Young, reckless, and addicted to a number of vices, Harry Stillman is not anyone's idea of a romantic hero. He's also gambled away his last penny. Hope comes in the form of a mysterious benefactor promising Harry's debts will be paid, but it's not enough to prevent Harry from being badly beaten by money-collecting thugs. Luckily, Sabrina Townsend finds the wounded Harry in time, and she happens to have a soft spot for down-on-their luck young men. Only Sabrina remembers that years ago, Harry reached out to her during a difficult situation involving her late, abusive husband. She's determined to reform the hapless Harry, even if it means confiscating his liquor and making him obey her household rules. As Harry grows stronger in both mind and body, Sabrina can't help falling for his charming ways, even though he's entirely unsuitable for her. VERDICT A desperate hero finds salvation with an older, wealthier heroine in an unusual twist on the typical romance power dynamic. Kilpack's (Daisies & Devotion) story will appeal to readers looking for themes of redemption and a mild sensuality.--Kathryn Howe, Saint John Free P.L., NB