Title: A Rake By Any Other Name (book#1, Somerfield Park Series)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency
Author: Mia Marlowe
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Nov. 2014
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from author’s website:
When his father Lord Somerset tumbles off the roof, Richard Barrett, Lord Hartley, is called home from his Grand Tour to take the reins of the estate while the marquess recuperates. Somerset is in serious financial difficulty which can only be remedied by marriage to an heiress, Miss Sophie Goodnight, lately arrived from India with her nabob father.
Unfortunately, Richard believes he has already lost his heart to Lady Antonia Pruett. And Miss Goodnight isn’t too keen on becoming Somerset’s purse with feet, so she foils their families’ attempts to throw her and Richard together at every turn. To make matters worse, the reason Lord Somerset fell off the roof in the first place is a secret that threatens to upend all their lives.
Richard feels the overwhelming responsibility of his duty to his estate. He knows he must add to the coffers but he is reluctant to do it by marriage. He wants to find another way because he wants to marry Antonia a suitable match. Sophie is a bit of a “wild child” who doesn’t want to marry but is being herded that way by her father, a newly wealthy tradesman, who wants a titled grandchild. We are also introduced to the below stairs characters, their gossip and lives which makes this a uniquely original romance. There is a curmudgeon of a Dowager Duchess with a heart of gold who reminds me of Downton Abbey.
Mia Marlowe has given us a book with witty banter, some well-placed hilarity and a peek at the goings and comings of the servant class in the Regency era. This is a well-constructed plot with some surprises and mystery. The sexual tension is superbly developed. All in all a terrific start to the new Somerfield Park Series.