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Between a Rake and a Hard Place (Regency Rakes) [Kindle Edition]

Mia Marlowe , Connie Mason
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Plenty of action and passionate, wicked adventures."—RT Book Reviews on One Night with a Rake

Lady Serena's List of Forbidden Pleasures
Attend an exclusively male club.
Smoke a cigar.
Have a fortune told by gypsies.
Dance the scandalous waltz.

Sir Jonah Sharp thinks Lady Serena Osbourne will be just like any other debutante, and seducing her will be one of the easiest services he's ever done for the Crown. Then he catches her wearing trousers and a mustache in his gentleman's club and she demands he teach her to smoke a cigar. But what will truly be Jonah's undoing is finding out he's an item on her list too, which makes him determined to bring her all the forbidden pleasures she can handle.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1404 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (7 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F3D8KLA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #372,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mia Marlowe has always been a dedicated Anglophile and is proud her ancestors came to America from England. Of course, since they made the trip in the 1600's, it probably means they were in a spot of trouble in the UK, but she tries not to dwell on that. Especially since she loves setting her historical romances in England, Scotland and Ireland (along with a few Viking tales that wander a bit further afield.)

Mia's work was featured in the Best of 2010 edition of PEOPLE magazine. She regularly receives starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and raves from other review sites. Her books have been translated into over nine different languages and she will pass the twenty published novels milepost in 2013. For more info, visit

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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Regency rakes 7 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Third of a trilogy though I read this one second by mistake. If you like regency romances this is for you. Not the usual bodice ripper! Well writen good story
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ummm 13 May 2014
By Nic
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It took a little getting into and there wasn't all that much action but the plot and characters were good.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 25 Jun. 2014
By lesley
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Connie Mason books not as good in my opinion when she writes with Mia Marlowe
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading 7 Jan. 2014
By LAS Reviewer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
What made me pick this book was the novel idea of a proper, prim and otherwise perfectly pedigreed young lady of the ton having a naughty bucket list and the determination to do it all before she’s potentially leg shackled to a royal husband. How is she going to pull it off? And what kinds of things does an innocent maiden think are decadent? It was interesting to find out.

Serena is a very strong willed and adventurous lady. Unfortunately for her, the very first time she tries to check an item off of her list, she gets found out, gets covered in some type of orange cream and ends up enlisting the aid of a very rakish gentleman. The book only gets more madcap and interesting from there. I think the authors had a fun time torturing the heroine.

A lot of the meatiest torture comes from the internal angst felt by the hero, Sir Jonah Sharp. His is not an altruistic interest at all and the reasons for that slowly come to light as the story gets told. At first he’s more like a puppet dancing to someone else’s tune. But as with all good romance stories, love gives the hero a different kind of conflict and the motivation to find a way out of the mess he’s gotten himself into.

The threats against their relationship notwithstanding, the romance experiences baby steps in growth, most happening when Lady Serena’s endeavors go awry and the hero sees a side of the heroine he never expected. She’s a woman with brains, fortitude and a sense of fun not to mention a devious interest in all things sensual. When the two of them get together in various levels of sensuality, touches and seduction, it made for entertaining reading.

Dialogue both external and internal, between the main or secondary characters seemed to fit, kept the plot moving and revealed key insights into the hero and heroine when needed.

Although Serena is as strong a woman as she can be for the times, she still does something that smacked of cliché. I almost wanted to give up reading the book at that point because I knew it was going to happen and I really hoped it wouldn’t. And yet, it did and despite that, I kept reading because the authors hooked me enough with the conflict that I needed to find out how in the world it was going to work out. I’m glad I did because what happened at the family estate was nothing short of surprising. Granted, Serena’s pleas to Jonah didn’t impress me and I rolled my eyes at that point but otherwise it was a satisfying resolution to the dilemma. The author’s wrap up sentences regarding that choice made it clear that many other characters in the story did find the solution more than adequate. I guess I’m outnumbered.

The authors did provide a wonderful happy ever after to round out the adventure. In fact it could be said what goes around, comes around and it was rather humorous. An interesting tidbit is the final page where the authors shared with readers the history and inspiration behind this story and the previous two. I hadn’t read the others and did not feel I was missing anything in this current tale. This is most definitely a standalone read.

Between a Rake and a Hard Place is not only a clever book title, it’s a devious and unique story and a fun romance. Historical romance fans will find many things to delight them because Serena is just so unusual. Jonah might be a rake in the beginning but he’s a man who knows his own mind and I greatly enjoyed the scene with Serena’s father. That showed me Jonah’s strength of character. I was entertained by this novel, and for readers looking for a romance with a little light drama that is mostly character driven, this might be the book to read.

Originally posted at long and short reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious romance from the "dream team" of romance authors 9 Jan. 2014
By Kim Adams - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
He was a rake among scholars, and a scholar among rakes. - Thomas B. Macaulay

Three times is especially charming in BETWEEN A RAKE AND HARD PLACE, Book Three in the Regency Rakes series by Connie Mason and Mia Marlowe. This "dream team" of romance authors delivered a saucy heroine, Lady Serena Osbourne, who is curious about life outside the strictures of the ton. She is aided by a sexy hero, Sir Jonah Sharp, who is tasked by two powerful men. The first, an ambitious politician, is blackmailing Sharp to ruin Serena's chance of a Royal Wedding. The second, Serena's father, is bribing Sharp to protect Serena in the final leg in the race to wed a Royal Duke. The resulting adventure of these fated lovers is a sweet romance laced with passionate interludes. The crème de la crème - the witty dialogue would easily entertain Violet, the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey.

BETWEEN A RAKE AND A HARD PLACE is a satisfying end to the ongoing mystery in the Regency Rakes series. Yet it is a standalone book which will delight Regency fans with a jaded hero saddled with emotional baggage and a curious heroine willing to lighten his load.

I received an ARC from Sourcebooks for an honest review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fitting end to the Trilogy 8 Jan. 2014
By D. Salvagin La Deetda Reads - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a standalone, third book in a trilogy written by two accomplished Historical Romance authors. There are three rakes out to deflower three virgins who might be the intended fiancées of the Royal British Dukes. That is the trilogy. This, the third in the series, is about one of those rakes, Sir Jonah Sharp and his pursuit of Lady Serena Osbourne. The authors take us on a witty traipse through Regency attitudes and peccadilloes. The plot is well crafted and includes sensual romance, action, political machinations and a villain we love to hate, the same villain that was in the first two books of the trilogy.

A fitting finale to the trilogy we fall in love with Jonah and want his redemption and love from Serena. We are hopeful that she will make the right choice for this book is all about the choices we make and the consequences that ensue.

I recommend this book for Historical Romance fans who like there romances based on actual historical happenings of the era.
I received this book free for review from the publisher.
5.0 out of 5 stars Between a Rake and a Hard Place by Mia Marlowe and Connie Mason 27 Feb. 2014
By M. E. Almaguer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The third and final book in Connie Mason and Mia Marlowe's entertaining and collaborative historical Royal Rakes series, this was my favorite.

The premise of this series is based on historical fact. It takes place in 1818, when the three ducal sons of King George competed to wed and birth an heir…the next King of England. Unbelievably, the newspapers called it the Hymen Race Terrific.

The three heroes in the Royal Rakes series were all blackmailed in a questionable war incident to ruin the potential bridal candidates so that the royal line couldn’t continue.

The story starts out right away with mischief and excitement. Lady Serena Osbourne, a candidate to become the mother of the next King of England, has a long list of Forbidden Pleasures she wishes to try, the first being to pose as a man and gain access to an exclusive gentlemen’s club. She meets Sir Jonah Sharp when he helps her escape the club after her ruse is discovered. He later ends up helping her to accomplish her list. This plot reminded me of Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean but, in this story, Lady Serena is a very strong young lady, the daughter of a marquis, not an awkward and unconfident woman. She knows her duty yet she is determined to live her life on her own terms before she fulfills her commitments. I admired her strength and determination to follow through on her adventures and it is interesting to watch her strive for more from her life than mere duty.

Jonah Sharp is a gentleman with an air of command and mystery. He has earned a baronetcy under secret circumstances, but he eventually confides in Serena when her father arranges for him to protect her. This is almost too convenient. After all, he is being blackmailed to ruin her so what better way than to be in close proximity to her? I love the scene where Jonah stands up to her father when he tries to strong-arm Jonah into doing his bidding. A former military man, Jonah works for the Crown under dark and covert circumstances.

But Jonah’s conscience gets in the way of his assignment to ruin Serena. He comes to admire her very much and to care for her. And, after he confides in her, she comes to feel more for him than friendship as well. The dialogue and conversations throughout the story are wonderfully realistic as Jonah and Serena come to know and care for one another.

Secondary characters are well rounded and colorfully portrayed. Amelia, Serena’s former governess-turned-companion—think Miss Taylor to Emma Woodhouse in Jane Austen’s Emma—is a baron’s daughter without a dowry. When Serena insults her dear friend with some hurtful words, it is painful to read.

Rhys Warrington and Nate Colton (the heroes from Waking Up with a Rake and One Night with a Rake) reappear as they band together to find the person who framed them in the war incident that hung over their heads. I enjoyed their banter and assistance to Jonah in his current assignment.

The romance is so beautiful to read I was worried how Serena would react when Jonah’s nefarious scheme was revealed. Both are very likable and I found myself rooting for them all the way. When Jonah helps her achieve a Forbidden Pleasure (ahem) not on her list, her hilarious first reaction is outrage that women don’t know about this and then proposes to write a pamphlet on how women can pleasure themselves until marriage.

Jonah admires Serena’s mind, something that both amazes and impresses her. “His odd compliment made heat bloom up her neck and spread across her cheeks. Some women were praised for their eyes, their swan-like necks, and white hands. Sonnets had been composed to the dimples on a lady’s knees in some of the more salacious love poetry she’d read. She’d never heard of a man praising the way a woman’s mind worked. It was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to her.” (p81)

The excitement of two parallel but connected mysteries as well as an entertaining romance is so engrossing I didn’t realize that the first love scene didn’t happen until page 102 and the full love scene until page 289. It didn’t seem like forever; it seemed just right.
One of the things I love about historical romance is the history. I learned that a “claque” was a paid group of clappers that was introduced to the theater during this time (1818). Mia Marlowe is a former opera singer so her theater descriptions are a delight to read…and this librarian loved researching her historical mentions.

I also love discovering the little attentions to detail in historical romance. For example, the image of sipping hot chocolate and hot buttery scones at breakfast (pp258-259).

Memorable moments:

"She dreamed of a few things for herself before she left this world. She wanted to experience romance. She wanted to feel passion. She wanted to know what it was to give herself to someone she cared for and be given to in return." (p19)

"And another part of him, a confused part, wondered if he was just another item to be checked off her confounded list. He wasn’t sure why it should be so, but it irritated the fool out of him to think he might be lumped with smoking a cigar. Neither more nor less important, but merely something Serena wished to try." (p208)

A lovely story filled with excitement and emotion, realistic and interesting situations, a poignant and beautiful romance, well-drawn and colorful characters, and two concurrent mysteries running throughout the novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrills, Romance, and Secrets 7 Jan. 2014
By Farrah - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A lovely conclusion to a fantastic series. Between a Rake and a Hard Place was a wonderful historical romance. It had thrills, romance, and secrets. I really enjoyed reading this book. Loved it!

Serena was one feisty heroine. She may have to marry a royal duke and spend the rest of her life in a gilded cage but, until then, she was going to have as much fun as she could. She created a list of scandalous things she wanted to do before getting married. And, who better to help her do them that a known rake: Jonah. I thought Serena was great. For the most part, her impulsiveness was fun, but there was one occasion where it kind of ruined everything and I wanted to throw something at her. But, it wasn't really a problem, just an annoyance. She was tons of fun to read about and I really liked her.

Jonah as also wonderful. He starts out completely determined not to fall into the same trap that his fellow rakes fell into. There's no way he is going to fall in love with the lady he is assigned to ruin. But, that's exactly what happens. And beneath all that jaded cynicism, Jonah was very sweet. He was wonderful and I adored him.

The romance was sweet and steamy. Serena and Jonah were adorable together. Even with both of them doing their best not to fall for each other, they did anyway. They were a perfect couple. And the sparks between them were hot! The steaminess was off the charts with these two. I only had one problem with the romance, which is also my only problem with the book. These two were so stubborn about not admitting their feelings, even to themselves. Jonah was determined to fall in love and Serena was determined to make her family proud and marry the duke. It made me want to shut them into a room together and lock them there until they admitted their feelings. It was a little frustrating. But, other than that, I thought they romance was lovely.

The plot was fast paced. I was hooked the entire way through. There were tons of thrills to go around, especially with Jonah closing in a witness to prove his, and the other rakes', innocence. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was perfect.

Between a Rake and a Hard Place was a fantastic historical romance. I loved this book! It was a perfect ending to a wonderful series. Lovers of romance, you definitely need to read this book, and the rest of the series, because it's brilliant.

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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