The Rakess

Avon. (Society of Sirens, Bk. 1). May 2020. 400p. ISBN 9780062935618. pap. $7.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Renovating an aristocrat’s home in Cornwall, Adam Anderson starts making the wealthy connections his architecture firm needs to support his family and repay a debt. Seraphina Arden, a notorious wanton, is at her family’s property in Cornwall writing her memoirs. Instantly attracted, Sera and Adam begin a steamy affair. However, Sera is deeply lonely, troubled by her past, shunned by the local community, and tends to imbibe to cope with some of these stressors. A widower, Adam is also lonely and falling in love with Sera, but her alcohol abuse and feminist politics endanger his family and future work prospects. Will Adam risk his heart with this fiercely independent woman or disavow her to maintain his genteel patrons? The continual angst between Adam and Sera slows the pacing and occasionally overshadows the romance. Regardless, Peckham (The Lord I Left) deserves high praise for bravely creating a darker historical romance, confronting tough subjects such as addiction, gender inequality, miscarriage, and involuntary commitment.
VERDICT Highly recommended for those unafraid of a grittier love story.
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