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Publisher's Summary

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 money lender 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.

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

©2020 Josi S. Kilpack (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Rakes and Roses

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  • Yara N.
  • 09-05-2020

A disappointing addition to the series...

Rakes and Roses is the third book in the Mayfield Family series by Josi S. Kilpack. This book, like the previous books, is part of the proper romance genre - which means it's clean when it comes to sexual content. Additionally, these novels might have Christian content thought they vary wildly as to how overt the Christian content might be - sometimes, you might not even notice it. Having read the first two books in this series and enjoyed them very much, I was looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, this book was not a good addition to this series. There was no chemistry between the two main characters which means romance was absent in a romantic novel. Additionally, unlike on the previous two books the Christian messaging was obvious and unmistakable. For those who are not religious it might be uncomfortable. The Highlights For a proper romance, I thought the premise of the story was intriguing and a change from the typical plots we see in this genre. You get a lot of "House Parties" in this genre for some reason. The story follows Harold "Harry" Stillman, a degenerate gambler and drunk who hits rock bottom and Lady Sabrina, the bastard daughter of a duke. She survived an abusive marriage and now dedicates herself to helping others. Lady Sabrina has a savior complex and has decided to focus this on saving young men who find themselves down on their luck because of their poor life choices. Posing as the moneylender, Lord Damion, Sabrina seeks to help young men by getting them out of the financial trouble, and as payment, they must mend their ways and leave their vices behind, or else they lose everything they have. Interesting, right? And it was for the first quarter of the book. It depicted this storyline in a very tame and clean way, but it had potential. I will give credit for writing a somewhat credible, if not supremely sanitized, depiction of having to go through withdrawals from alcohol abuse. At least the author made an attempt at creating a realistic scenario. The Lowlights So while the premise of this book was intriguing and different from the usual fare, it's execution wasn't as strong as it needed to be to carry this story to the depths it had the possibility of achieving. It ended up feeling a bit shallow, early on in the story we see how low Harry's vices have brought him and we see him battling his alcoholism, and yet it still felt very superficial. Sabrina's past with a violent marriage also felt unexplored a frankly, it felt like a device to give her vulnerability rather than being part of her character growth. Additionally, unlike the two previous books, the Christian message in this story was loud and clear. Harry basically had to "find Jesus" to help him battle his vices and addictions. They were even bible verses included. Now, I'm not religious, but I'm not opposed to having religious content as part of the story if it's done, so it is an organic and warranted part of the storyline and not just a tool. For example, before Harry seeks the help of Lord Damien and feels like the world is caving in on him, why not have him try to pray as a last resort, asking God for his help even though he doesn't deserve it. Then, when he gets help in the form of Lord Damien, he can reconnect with God because he believes that God sent him Lord Damien to him as he had prayed for when he was down on his luck. This felt to me like it was included because it was a requirement. It felt preachy, which I really disliked. I don't want to read proselytizing in my romance novels. The chemistry between the two characters was non-existing. I'm not exaggerating, I felt nothing for them as a couple, and I kept on waiting for romance to start, but it never did. Sabrina feels an attraction to Harry almost from the beginning, but it's not a very strong attraction, and Harry doesn't start seeing Sabrina as a love interest until 2/3 of the way through the book. No romantic tension, no chemistry, no real build-up. Finally, it's a small annoyance, but I wish they had not changed the style of the covers. I liked the cover art style of the first two books; it was unique. This cover looks like every other proper romance cover out there. Conclusion This book was a huge disappointment for me, I've been waiting since last year for the continuation of this series, and it was sadly a letdown. I do think I'll continue reading this series. For those who like proper romances I recommend the first two books, but don't go any further. The second book “Daisies and Desire” is my favorite of the first two books. Audible Note Justine Eyre narrated the audiobook. I've listened to many books narrated by JE, and I like the way she narrates and her ability to create distinctive voices for each character.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JKM89
  • 02-08-2020

Best in the series

A solid romance novel. Narrator did a wonderful job reading the story. and that's it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 15-07-2020

excellent

excellent. my favorite in the series so far. Havi g read the other two, this was not predictable from the start, which was awesome.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-2020

Loved it!

This is the 3rd book in this series and Josie Kilpack knocked it out of the park again! Loveable characters and an important message of regret, remorse, repentance and forgiveness. A truly wonderful, beautiful story that can't be missed!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • isabell360
  • 30-06-2020

Loved Every Page

This was such an enjoyable read. I love a strong heroine and Sabrina is just that. She not only survives but then turns to helping others. Harry’s desire to change and humility make him very likable and their relationship was incredibly sweet. I can’t wait for the next addition!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-2020

Wonderful, romantics story

I l really enjoy the performance. The story was moving and created hope in a difficult time. I was cheering for Harry. His personality made you want to cheer for him.

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  • Morgan Window
  • 07-05-2020

Not the best in the series but sweet

I enjoyed about 80% of this until the last hour where the entire is wrapped up a little rapidly for my tastes. There was just something substantially lacking, which was a shame because it was a story that had immense potential. Harry’s arch could have, and was on its way to being impressive, but then it stopped developing: the same can be said bc of Sabrina, but it just never seemed to develop. She never really seems to confront her pain or her demons, and then suddenly she is healed. And considering how much time we hear about her past it isn’t confronted. Harry’s finding out is dealt with in the space of half a sentence and then they don’t talk about it. Ugh it was so frustrating! It was sweet until the end completely spoiled it. Book 2 in the series is still the best in my opinion. I honestly would skip this one, which I’m sad to say.

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