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Rakes and Roses by Josi S. Kilpack

A wholly different kind of romance.

Title:  Rakes and Roses
Author:  Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #3
Publish Date: May 5, 2020
Source: Shadow Mountain Press – for my independent review

Publisher’s Description: 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.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*

Nervous Nellie says…

I loved the Mayfield Family romances to date and Rakes and Roses came from a different angle.  It’s still a proper romance but it’s the heroine that is completely the hero in this case.

The male protagonist is a down an out individual that has wasted his money, talent and resources on booze and gambling.  He does not recover quickly and save the day.  This is a study of how one man could get himself into such dire straights – beyond saving, but yet find a saving grace.

I found this story more along the lines of true life as far as what substance abuse can do to a person’s life.  How people that are thought of as friends, really are not there to prop you up, but let you fall a little farther.

This is not a modern story with a little historical thrown in for good measure, this is a true historical that, I feel, brought to the surface some of the darker elements of that time.

I have never read a romance that put an widely spread issue such as gambling and substance abuse into light as this one did.  Also, I found it quite extraordinary that once the male protagonist felt he could stand on his own, he didn’t just take over and assume the part of all powerful.  He still depended on the heroine and that’s what made it so special.

Our reviews in this series…


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Spotlight on Daisies and Devotion by Josi Kilpack

Book Spotlight on a proper romance written by Josi S. Kilpack and published by Shadow Mountain Publishing.






I am a fan of the Mayfield Family series.  Josi S. Kilpack is back with part 2 and it released May 14, 2019.  This is a proper romance so it is appropriate for all.

TitleDaisies and Devotion
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #2
Release Date:  May 14, 2019
Description:  Timothy Mayfield is ready to marry for love, but, since his personal finances are thinner than he’d like, he knows he’ll also need to find a wife with wealth. After receiving an unexpected inheritance, Timothy’s circumstances change, and he is free to pursue his “perfect woman”—one with blonde hair, blue eyes, a light laugh, arched eyebrows, elegant fingers, and a dazzling smile, among nearly twenty other characteristics.

Maryann Morrington doesn’t match anything on Timothy’s list—except for wealth. An heiress in her own right, she is tired of men pursuing her only for her money. But at nearly twenty-two years old, and not a particularly stunning beauty, she can’t be as picky as her friend Timothy is.

The two friends end up playing matchmaker for each other. Timothy will find a decent gentleman for Maryann, and Maryann will prove to Timothy that his “perfect woman” doesn’t exist.

Until Miss Shaw comes to London.

Now, with Timothy’s heart captivated by the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, Maryann must decide if she should risk her heart and reveal her true feelings for her friend, or if she should settle for someone else. It’s an up-and-down game of “he loves me, he loves me not” with both hearts and friendship on the line.

Promises and Primroses by Josi Kilpack

Sweet historical romance.  This book has two romances inside it’s covers and both romance couples have had or are having trials they aren’t sure they can overcome.  Families aren’t always perfect and this one truly isn’t.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #1
Publish Date:  September 4, 2018
Genre:  Historical/Sweet Romance
Source: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publisher’s Description:  Lord Elliott Mayfield aims to correct the very messy marital mistakes and spousal scandals of his brothers and sisters by requiring his nieces and nephews to choose worthy companions. If they choose wisely, they will receive their generous share of the family’s inheritance.

Peter, Elliott’s eldest nephew, thinks the entire idea is ridiculous. A widower with two young daughters, he simply needs a governess, not a wife. Julia Hollingsworth certainly has the credentials and the experience, but is altogether too young and pretty for such a job. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

Julia loves working as a governess, despite the objections of her mother, Amelia. And as it turns out, Amelia has a lot to say about the Mayfield men—none of it good. But Julia dismisses the rumors of ruined reputations and instead concentrates on helping Peter with his children and his fledgling business in canine husbandry. His kindness and gentleness is endearing—and increasingly attractive.

But Amelia, whose heart was broken thirty years ago by none other than Elliott Mayfield, is determined to prevent any relationship from blooming either between Peter and Julia—or between herself and Elliott.

Hearts and history collide as both couples must face their pasts and decide if risking it all is worth the promise of new love and a new future.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*

Nervous Nellie says…

Losing someone you love is a heartbreak without much comfort.

This is a sweet historical romance that is original in it’s design.  I’ve read lots of romances and they sometimes share the same qualities, but this story is different.  It’s engaging and although I might have known everything would turn out happy, there were some passages that made me hold my breath.

It’s also different whereas there is another romance in the same book.  While one is the center of attention, there is another that is just begging to surface.  I could really relate to the heroine in this book because she was down to earth, had common sense and not afraid to get her hands dirty.

I enjoyed the parts of the books where the dogs came into play.  I cried in some places and in the end was so very glad how it all turned out.  I have to say, though, I’m more happy for the sideline romance than the spotlighted romance only because it had a steeper hill to climb for happiness.

This book did not have sex and was not a cliffhanger by any means.  It was a very satisfying story and I enjoyed it greatly.

Other recommendations…

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.



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