Friday, November 21, 2014

Aloha to Mia Marlowe and A RAKE BY ANY OTHER NAME - Book Review


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.

Romain "ruin" at Schönbrunn
Released to Public Domain (link)

As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled. - Victor Hugo

Mia Marlowe once wrote that she's rather have an adventure than a new sofa.  This is a telling statement that is reflected in her writing.   Mia delivers a romantic adventure in the English countryside with A RAKE BY ANY OTHER NAME.   She brings together the classic elements - an impoverished lord, a merchant's daughter, a scheming family, a flippant friend, an almost fiancee, and a host of "downstairs" staff betting on the outcome.  Just as humor is rolling along, Marlow takes the reader on a few twists to add her unique touch to Regency romance.

Both hero and heroine stand out with their personalities.  Richard is an honorable gentleman who find himself at odds with his conscience - does he follow his heart with Lady Antonia or protect his family with Miss Sophie?   As he comes to know Sophie, Richard realizes she is a "riddle with feet" - a riddle that intrigues him.  Meanwhile, Sophie has no desire to be a "purse with feet", yet she finds herself drawn to Richard as she steals away special moments with him, away from family, friends, and fiancee (once such scene takes place in a folly as pictured above).   Indeed, Marlow swept me off my feet with this heartwarming historical.  The icing on the tea cake is the inclusion of the "downstairs" staff as they also seek a better life.  It would be easy to label A RAKE BY ANY OTHER NAME as Regency Romance meets Downton Abbey - but it is much more with Marlow's storytelling.

A RAKE BY ANY OTHER NAME is Book 1 in the Somerfield Park series. I am looking forward to more romantic adventure with the Barrett Family!

Recommend read for historical fans who enjoy witty banters with non traditional characters.

I received a print ARC from Sourcebooks for an honest review.

Dunmore Pineapple

I am giving away Regency swag to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1.  If you were to build a folly in your backyard, what would it be? The Huffington Post featured follies at this link - naturally I like the Dunmore Pineapple, reminding me of my beloved Hawaii.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, November 29, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 30.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Check out my interview with Mia at this link

Coming in June 2015


  1. I like the temple of philosophy - I think it would be a quiet place to read.

  2. Mine would be a temple where no noise is allowed.

  3. I would build a gazebo with lush tropical gardens surrounding it.

  4. I like the Temple of Philosophy.

  5. Mine would have a little pond beside it, together with water lilies and some ducks.

  6. Something pretty surrounded by roses :)

  7. I like the Forgotten Folly really neat!

  8. Something totally surrounded by nature.

  9. Thanks, Kim, for your take on Mia's Regencies. I find her writing to be delectable too. :-) And I have built a so-called "folly" in our backyard. We have stepping stones that lead from the back patio to the garden area at the back of the yard...and I thought to put an arch over the stepping-stone path, with a colorful vine entwined throughout the arch. Looks great! We've even had a couple of backyard family weddings under that arch. :-) Thanks for the interesting question.

  10. I would probably choose a miniature replica The Colosseum. I have always been fascinated by it.

  11. Mine would be the the Wonderful Barn. I love that it makes me think of a castle and at the top you can look out and see for a long ways around you.