Wealthy heiress Lady Sarah Osbourne is about to be sacrificed on the marriage altar to none other than the royal Duke of Kent. Though the thought of raising the next English monarch holds great appeal, Sarah cannot help but feel like she will be missing out on all life has to offer, so she makes a list of forbidden pleasures she has yet to experience.
Sir Jonah Sharpe has a dark past and is used to unsavory missions. Now he is being blackmailed to prevent Lady Sarah’s marriage to the royal duke by any means necessary. When he learns of her list, Jonah knows the best way to seduce her is to help her complete it, but with every item they cross off the list their mutual attraction blossoms. And soon Sir Jonah does not only want to prevent Sarah’s marriage to the duke, but marry her himself.
BETWEEN A RAKE AND A HARD PLACE is an enjoyable romance about duty to one’s family, friends and country versus the duty we all have to ourselves and our own happiness.
Jonah is a good parallel to modern-day soldiers coming home from war, haunted by the things he’d done and let happen. Whereas Sarah is a woman who wants to push boundaries and not let society dictate what she can and cannot do (even though she usually prefers the usual ways). Both Sarah and Jonah are very likable with commitments not entirely of their choosing, but obligated to fulfill due to obligations and personal integrity. The duality of their mutual dilemma is sometimes frustrating for a reader, but then again, more so for the characters.
Mason and Marlowe have penned a satisfying and well-rounded capstone to their Regency Rakes trilogy.