Thanks for joining us for the blog tour for Never Resist a Rake by Mia Marlowe! The second in the Somerfield Park series, this story is a fantastic continuation of what’s shaping up to be a fantastic historical romance series. We’re thrilled to have Lady Phillipa herself here to share a priceless piece of advice! You won’t want to miss a terrific excerpt or a chance to win your own copy of book one in the series, A Rake by Any Other Name.
GUEST POST: Advice From the Dowager Marchioness
The road to love is never easy and often times it takes some well-placed advice from an older and wiser friend or relation to make Happily Ever After happen. For the denizens of Mia Marlowe’s Somerfield Park, the Dowager Marchioness of Somerset, Lady Phillipa, is the lady to call upon for such advice. And so, to celebrate the June release of Never Resist a Rake, we are pleased to share a piece of advice from Lady Phillipa:
“While one cannot disregard the importance of bloodlines, great men are made, not born. Most often, however, it takes a woman to find and shape that bit of greatness.”
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Can he fool his new family?
John Fitzhugh Barrett, surprised to learn he is heir to a marquessate, is determined his new status won’t mean giving up his freedom. But as families from all over England descend upon Somerfield Park for the shooting season, their unmarried daughters are lining up to bag the newest trophy buck—him.
Or is he only fooling himself?
John’s instinct for self-preservation inspires him to divide his attentions between a scandalous young widow, and the safely ineligible Rebecca Kearsey, daughter of a destitute baron.
The charade gives John the illusion of controlling the game but when he loses his heart to the beautiful Rebecca, all bets are off.
Series: Somerfield Park #2
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
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John Fitzhugh Barrett was not going to make a fool of Baron Kearsey’s daughter. No, sir. From all accounts, the new Lord Hartley had been running with a fast crowd and had no doubt kissed dozens of women.
Fancy women. Loose women. Women whose kisses would turn a man’s knees to water.
Rebecca would show him. A virtuous girl was just as good as a bad girl. Better. She’d kiss him all right. She’d kiss the man into next week.
She prided herself on reasoned thought and knew she was being illogical, but before she could untangle all the invalid syllogisms running through her head, she pressed her mouth against his with such force, their eye teeth knocked together. No matter. He wasn’t going to think her a missish little thing who kissed like an awkward first cousin. She was going to put some passion into it.
As much as she knew about passion, at any rate.
He covered her hands with his and she realized he was trying to encourage her to soften her grip on his ears. So she uncurled her fingers and slid her hands down to palm his cheeks.
He groaned into her mouth.
I’m getting good at this.
Then when he groaned again, she decided it was probably not a good thing. There was a definite edge of pain in the sound. Her fingertips were pressing too hard on the skin around his swollen eye.
Botheration! There were so many things to think about all at once. She eased up. Her lips softened and she slanted her mouth over his.
This time the groan was different—pleased and needy all at once. A little feral.
The thrill of danger danced on her spine. Imagining kissing a man was safe. Holy, almost. She could envision a perfectly acceptable setting for the kiss—a garden in full bloom, an elegant parlor after a well-spoken proposal, before an altar and a church full of witnesses. Heaven knew, she’d dreamed of a kiss often enough.
Kissing a man for real as he reclined in his bed was wicked beyond imagining.
Her imagined kisses were always chaste too. This one was decidedly not. Something inside her went all warm and liquid.
John cupped the back of her head with gentleness as he teased her lips to part by tracing the seam of them with the tip of his tongue. She gave up, and he invaded her. His breath swirled into her, filling her, drawing her back into him.
His tongue, oh Lud, his tongue…
Rebecca had never suspected a kiss could be so…so…involving. It wasn’t just their mouths meeting. Every fiber in her body strained toward him.
She had to stop right now or she’d never be able to. She pulled back and, to her surprise, he let her go. She almost expected him to drag her down onto the feather tick with him.
A wicked part of her was disappointed when he didn’t.
Mia Marlowe’s style has an easygoing air that makes Never Resist a Rake unfettered and enjoyable to read. Her seamless delivery allows you to truly focus on what’s happening rather than being tripped up by grammar or structure. For lack of a better word, it’s comfortable, giving a reader almost a warm sense of welcome and familiarity even if the characters and settings are brand new.
Inequality in social status is a common element in historical romance. This kind of love-against-the-odds story implores you to root for the characters to fight against society’s bonds so that love can prevail. The social constructs of the Ton are one of the reasons I love historicals so much; I enjoy watching the players try to navigate their boundaries while staying true to themselves. There’s always one or two that throw caution to the wind and pursue true happiness, something that appeals to my inner bad girl. (I keep her buried deep inside, trapped by my rule-following ways.) The rebellious nature of many historical heroes or heroines adds an element of uncertainty that makes me nervous and keeps me on edge.
Rebecca is a heroine I think everyone can get behind. She has a good heart, strength and determination. She’s level-headed, intelligent, and desperately wants to do what’s right. Although we do glimpse a side of her that’s maybe a bit naughty. Apparently even the innocent, inexperienced Miss Kearsey has an inner rebel. In many cases half the fun is seeing how long debutantes will shroud themselves with morals and values before giving in to chemistry and attraction. Temptation is a powerful thing, I’m telling you.
It’s not all chemistry and social constructs, however; Marlowe weaves a sweet, beautiful romance between two incredible characters. I could feel them bonding in that first fleeting moment in the museum, and the connection on continues to grow. One of my favorite parts of their relationship is how Rebecca inspires John to be a better version of himself. For someone who’s currently trying to rediscover exactly who he is and his place in the world, that’s important. She doesn’t allow him to settle for being a stereotypical Lord, reminding him of his roots and the good, honest man he was raised to be. The scandal surrounding his parents has jaded him, it’s plain to see, and I enjoy watching as Marlowe works through those internal battles with him.
Ultimately Marlowe takes us on a wild ride of courtship and conspiracy. The way it all ends is a real treat, one that takes a devious, creative genius to put together. Marlowe hatches a plan that manages to unite some of the most unlikely characters against a common villain. I’ll admit I was on the edge of my seat, impatiently turning page after page, eagerly awaiting the outcome. To say it’s entertaining is an understatement. Thank you, Mia Marlowe, for a truly fantastic finish, neatly assembling any loose threads in a way that’s just good, old fashioned fun to read. I’m not sure I’ve felt that good about someone getting what he deserves in a long, long time.
RATING: ONE BAD ASS BOOT, ONE STILETTO!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mia Marlowe is a rising star whose Touch of a Rogue was named one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top Ten Best Romances for Spring 2012. Mia learned about storytelling while singing professional opera. She knows what it’s like to sing a high “C” in a corset, so she empathizes with the trials of her historical heroines. Mia resides in Boston, Massachusetts. For more visit www.miamarlowe.com.
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