Blog Tour and Review: Rakes and Roses

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cover by Josi S. Kilpack

Series: Proper Romance Regency (Book 3)
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (May 5, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629727350
ISBN-13: 978-1629727356

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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 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.


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While we see a glimpse in the prologue of the caring man that Harry Stillman could be, we are introduced to him in chapter one when he is at the lowest of the lows that is of his own making through drinking and gambling. Lady Sabrina is introduced to us as a battered wife who is hiding in a rose bush in fear of her brutal husband.

As a 32 year old widow, I like that Sabrina is an older more mature heroine. While she has had many benefits in her upbringing, she is very much aware of what her life could have been like as the illegitimate daughter of a Duke. She now wants to use her position for something good.

Even if we cannot personally identify with Harry’s struggles of drunkenness and gambling, there are a number of things we can learn from it in this book.

Whether positive or negative, the words that we say can greatly affect another person. Harry’s father’s words tore him down but Sabrina’s words helped lift him up.

We also have to be careful not to become an enabler for other people. Feeding in to their vices is not helping them in any way.

I usually have a hard time liking a rake. Especially one who has put themselves so far into the gutter because of things they did. I liked that this story showed what could happen if someone believed in them and extended them mercy and grace. No matter what we have done, we all need this in our life.

*This book includes topics of drinking, gambling, domestic abuse, and the loss of a child. All of this happening in the very first chapter.


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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.

Daisies and Devotion (Mayfield Family #2) – Review

daisiescover by Josi S. Kilpack

Series: Mayfield Family (Book 2)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (May 14, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629725528
ISBN-13: 978-1629725529

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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.


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I found myself not liking Timothy at first. He is shallow and clueless and hurts people; though unintentionally. But he is also so real. He has a lot to learn and I enjoyed being on that journey with him.

Maryann is a far more forgiving person than I am, especially when it comes to her potential suitors. While she does not have a chipper personality by nature, she does not hold on to people’s mistakes and truly wants those she loves to be happy. I hurt for Maryann for some of the things that were said to her and the way she was treated.

I liked that this book had a realistic feel. Everything wasn’t all tied up in a neat bow. People had real and raw feelings and there were consequences to them.

Timothy and Maryann’s relationship reminded me of a quote from Jane Austen’s Emma

“Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another”

This was the second book in the Mayfield Family series. While we do get to see Peter and Julia again from Promises and Primroses, each book can be read as a standalone.

Miss Wilton’s Waltz – Review

wiltoncoverby Josi S. Kilpack

Series: Proper Romance
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (May 1, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629724130
ISBN-13: 978-1629724133

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Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls’ boarding school. She is different in Bath—more comfortable with herself—and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there.

When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine—Lenora’s newest and most troublesome student in the school—is Mr. Asher’s niece. Catherine is a difficult student, and Lenora works hard to make progress with the girl.

When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever—until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything.

Lenora closes her heart to him, and Aiden, caught between his obligation and his heart, must do what he can to make amends. And Lenora, after years of hiding from everyone and everything, faces a decision only she can make.


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The Vicar’s Daughter was my favorite book written by Josi S. Kilpack, so I was extra excited to read Miss Wilton’s Waltz.  While Miss Wilton’s Waltz is a stand alone book, you will love it even more if you have read The Vicar’s Daughter.

I always felt bad for Lenora in the Vicar’s daughter. Though Cassie was always meant to be with Evan, Lenora’s personality held her back from a lot of things in life. It seemed she was finding her braver self in Bath when she fell in love with a man she didn’t know was engaged bringing her back to the girl she used to be.

The characters were all written as realistic people with a lot of depth who found themselves in complicated situations. I like that everything wasn’t so simple and straightforward.

Catherine’s situation really resonated with me. There are so many children with tough childhoods that make them act out and people give up on them. I love how dedicated they are to helping her. I also like that they realize things won’t ever be perfect and to look for the good in the improvement.

I would love a future story that features Catherine.

Some of my favorite quotes:

You fight for what is important to you

Avoiding pain was not the same thing as healing. Being safe was not the same as being right.