Good Afternoon everyone,
Today I’m bringing to you an excerpt of Rakes and Roses, the third book in the Mayfield Family Series. This book was written by Josi S. Kilpack and published by Shadow Mountain as part of their Proper Romance Series.
I’ve read a couple of books from the Proper Romance series this year and really enjoyed them, so even though I have not read Rakes and Roses, I imagine this is another great book from this publisher.
The excerpt we are sharing today is part of Chapter 9 and I hope you enjoy it. If you feel curious about this book, take some time to check the first books in the series: Promises and Primroses & Daisies and Devotion, they have high ratings on Amazon, and look really promising 🙂
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.
You can find Rakes and Roses at:
She pulled the hood of her cloak forward to hide her face, took a step, paused to listen again, and then took another. There was no good time of day for a woman to be alone in London, but outside of business hours was the most unsafe. She gripped the strap of the satchel concealed by her coat. She must not lose the satchel.
The unmistakable sound of a groan turned her around, and she scanned the barrels and crates stacked on one side of the alley.
The moan sounded again.
With another glance to make sure no one was watching her, she moved toward the barrels, then gasped when she saw a foot, or, rather, a boot, sticking out. As she moved around the pile of crates, she inhaled sharply when a man’s body came into view. His face was a patchwork of bruises and blood that made his hair look as black as hers in the shadows of the alley. Hurrying forward, she dropped to her knees beside him.
“Sir,” she said in a soft voice, leaning close to him. “Sir, can you hear me?”
He groaned again. His shoulder was set at an awkward angle, and she cringed; a dislocated shoulder was relatively simple to fix, though the very devil for pain. The wound on his forehead was no longer actively bleeding, so Sabrina ran her hands up and down the man’s arms first—no breaks—then his legs to check for additional injuries. He tried to pull his right leg away when she attempted a tactile assessment, but she could already see the fabric of his trousers tight around his calf—possibly broken. The upper portion of his left leg was tender too.
Could he have two broken legs? One upper and one lower? Other than having fallen from a great height, there was only one explanation for such injuries. But it was an early Monday morning, not a late Saturday night when a man would have to be on his guard against a robbery. His clothing and boots marked him as a gentleman. What was he doing here this time of day?
She tensed and looked about herself. Were his attackers nearby?
Sabrina felt a sudden urge to run for her carriage and get as far from here as she could, but she couldn’t leave him. She would fetch Jack! He could take over as the rescuer and call for
She started to rise, but the man groaned, drawing her attention and her sympathy back to his poor battered face.
“Sir,” she said again, leaning closer so he could see her face if he opened his eyes—at least one eye did not look too swollen.
“Wha-what . . .”
He must be trying to ask what happened. It was a mercy that victims of such violence often did not remember it.
“I think you’ve been attacked. Robbed, perhaps.” She looked down the passageway to where Adam would be waiting with the carriage. So close, and yet he’d have to leave the carriage to help her if she chose to go to him for help instead of Jack. “Have you a family member I can contact on your behalf? Do you live nearby?”
“No one,” he said, the words slow and . . . sad. “P-please.”
He opened his eye, and the blue of it stood out clear and bright amid his damaged face. With his good arm, he reached toward her face. She took hold of his hand before he touched her, then pushed the hair from his forehead, catching the first glint of its actual color—golden-blond.
He was a young man, not past thirty. What on earth is he doing here this time of day? Perhaps he had not yet returned home from an evening of entertainment that had
ended badly. Oh, England, she mourned, do you not see what you are allowing to happen to your legacy?
“There must be someone I can call on for you.”
He shook his head and closed his eye, sending a tear to track through the drying blood on his face.
She felt her mother’s heart rise up in her chest—all the love and protectiveness she’d have given to her own child bursting forth like it had so many times before when someone in need crossed her path.
“No one would come,” he whispered.
No one? Could that be true? Unfortunately, Sabrina had known enough dissolute young men of society to know that it absolutely could be true. The poor foxes who did not outrun their hounds.
“I am Lady Sabrina,” she said, wanting to give what comfort she could and earn his trust.
“S-stillman,” he said. “Harrison Stillman.”
Her breath caught in her throat.
We are at the end of the blog tour, but you can still go back in time to learn more about this book! Here is the 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)