Welcome to the first stop on my Between a Rake and a Hard Place Virtual Tour!


Between a Rake and a Hard PlaceBetween a Rake and a Hard Place hits the bookstore shelves tomorrow. There’s actually some real history behind the premise to this series. In 1817, Princess Charlotte died along with her newborn son, the only legitimate heir to the British Crown after “Prinny.” The Prince Regent’s younger unmarried brothers realized they had an opportunity to put their offspring on the throne if they could be the first to marry and sire a child.

In Between a Rake and a Hard Place, my heroine Lady Serena is on the short list of possible royal duchesses. She chafes at the restrictions placed upon her gender and realizes that her life will be further restricted once she joins the royal family. So before the expected offer comes and she is forced to accept, she makes a list of forbidden pleasures she intends to sample.

Sir Jonah Sharp is more than happy to help her tick experiences off her list, especially since he’s been commissioned to seduce her so that she doesn’t receive an offer from the royal duke. But once he realizes he’s an item on Serena’s list, he wonders who’s seducing whom.

To Purchase Between a Rake and a Hard PlaceAmazon | Kindle |Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Chapters/Indigo  | iBookstore |IndieBound | Kobo | Discover a New Love | Sourcebooks

When I researched this story, I was a little aghast at the inequities women faced during the Regency era.  A woman was regarded as a child or an imbecile in the courts, unable to be responsible for her own affairs. If a wellborn woman fell upon hard times, she had limited acceptable methods of providing for herself. She might become a paid companion to a wealthy lady or a governess, but she couldn’t go into business for herself and retain her respectability among the ton. 

There have been lots of advances in women’s rights during my lifetime. I’m dating myself a bit, but when I was a girl, we were forbidden to wear pants to school. When the rule was finally lifted, I had to bring a note from home proving my parents knew that I wasn’t wearing a skirt. And this was in public school!

In order to enter for the giveaway today, all you need to do is share some way you personally feel a  woman’s place in the world has improved. And here’s what you might win:


DragonsongSourcebooks is offering a giveaway copy of Between a Rake and a Hard Place (open to US and Canada) and I’d like to add another from me to sweeten the pot. Two winners will be chosen—one for the Sourcebooks print novel and one for a Kindle or Nook version of my newest Rock*It Read, Dragonsong. This sensual, adventurous story is perfect for readers who love the History Channel’s Vikings, but want a hero who knows how to love with faithfulness!   

Be sure to check back next Sunday when I post the winners! Oh, and please join me at the other stops on my Between a Rake and a Hard Place Virtual Tour. Tomorrow I’ll be at Casablanca Authors and Books-N-Kisses with new giveaways. See you then.

42 thoughts on “A List of Forbidden Pleasures

  1. Katherine_Garbera Katherine_Garbera says:

    Sounds like a great book, Mia! Can’t wait to read it. I like the forbidden pleasures list. I’m a good girl from the get-go so the thought of doing something forbidden always tantalizes me. 🙂

    I think that woman’s roles have changed for the better simply by the fact that most of us don’t die in childbirth any more.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Oh, yes, that’s a huge leap forward.

  2. MaureenE says:

    Congratulations on your new book Mia! It sounds like a good one. I think so much has changed for women in a relatively short time. When my mother wanted to go to college her parents told her that she would be kicked out of their house if she went. Now there are more women than men attending college in our country.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      I was the first female in my family to graduate from college. On either side.

  3. Laurie W G says:

    I’d love to read Serena and Jonah’s story!

    Women are allowed to be single without the stigma of being an “old maid”. Women’s vote in the USA has more clout than ever before. More woman politicians, Hilary Clinton running for president, more woman voting in several countries, more women than men in medical school, more woman running businesses both large and small, woman NASCAR driver, women astronauts, women college presidents, woman Cabinet members, women on the Supreme Court, Finally more women are working as the primary breadwinner and husbands are staying home to watch the children.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      You’ve certainly hit on a lot of them, Laurie.

  4. What a great storyline, Mia! Sounds like such a fun book–it’s a lot safer to follow Lady Serena as she breaks the rules than it would be to tick things off my own list, right? 😉

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Well, that’s the beauty of fiction, isn’t it? All of the fun and none of the risk!

  5. catslady says:

    I am older because I never got to wear pants to school. Even when I started to work it was a while. Then pants suits came in and the top had to reach my fingertips with my arms down to my side. Since I worked there have been tons of improvements. When interviewed they could ask what kind of birth control that I used and I had one boss that insisted no women could have long hair (I wore a wig for 3 years until he retired)!! I could go on and on lol.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Yikes! It’s no one’s business what birth control you used or didn’t.

      1. catslady says:

        Even then I thought it was unfair but of course the assumption was I would get pregnant. Same assumption my dad made because my sister got pregnant early on and that’s why girls didn’t go to college which I really wanted to do. I waited purposely 15 years to get pregnant even though I was married the whole time.

  6. sandy h says:

    I remember not being able to wear pants to school – we used to wear them under our skirts so that we wouldn’t freeze while walking to school [no, not 3 miles uphill in the snow and sleet — usually :>]
    the book sounds great — i love how women fought — and often won — for the right to ‘act like a man’.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      We could wear snow pants while we walked to school, but only under our dresses! And yes during Midwestern winters it did feel like 3 miles uphill both ways!

  7. Kim V says:

    Can’t wait to read this! It seems to me that a woman’s place in this world has improved in most every aspect. It really feels as if we are viewed as equals most of the time. And in many instances, we are even looked to as the authority.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Kim. Hope you love Between a Rake & a Hard Place.

  8. Kristan Higgins says:

    I was the first woman in my family to graduate college, too, Mia! I think the biggest difference I’ve seen is in politics. So many women running for office (and doing a great job) at every level of government, from the first selectman in my little town to Supreme Court justices and members of Congress and Senate.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Workplace equality has really improved too. I was a banker in my last day job and my boss was a woman. So was hers.

  9. Nancy Robards Thompson Nancy Robards Thompson says:

    Congratulations on the new release, Mia! It sounds wonderful. I’m glad women can write books and not be forced to take a nom de plume.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Good point. Of course, I do write under a pen name, but it’s not to mask my gender.

  10. Virginia says:

    Congrats on your new book! I think things have changed for women but not enough. Our pay is usually less then a mans but things are a little better then they used to be. We have came a long way but have a long way to go before we are equal.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      I think it depends on the job. My DH is with Google and the female IT engineers make as much or more than the males. In that sector, it’s the position and level of responsibility that determines pay, not gender.

  11. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    I remember working in my dad’s bank as a teenager. I was just working during the summer, serving popcorn and drinks to the clients in personal banking (the rich ones). I came down wearing nice slacks and a blouse, and my dad was like, “No way. I don’t allow women to wear pants in my bank.” What? He was lucky I wasn’t dressed in goth clothes with black nail polish and lipstick. I changed, but I complained so bitterly that by Christmas (when I was serving wassail and cookies for personal banking), he was rethinking the policy. This was in the late 80s too!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      He was trying to make his clients comfortable. When I worked at the bank as late as 2007, we had a “no visible tattoos” policy. One of the tellers had to wear a bandage on her neck to work every day. I thought at the time that customers would get used to whatever she was hiding sooner than the bandage. Instead they had to wonder what she had under there that never seemed to heal.

  12. Oh,this one sound interesting! It’s now on my TBR pile!

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Nelle. Hope you love Between a Rake & a Hard Place.

  13. Janie McGaugh says:

    My senior year in high school was the first year they allowed us to wear pants (no jeans) to school, but only if it was 10 degrees or below! When I started college the next year, that was their first year that they allowed women to wear pants (with no temperature restrictions). Of course, the first and second year undergraduate women still had curfew then, too. Even at time, I thought all of this was ridiculous.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      When I was at university, I lived in a women’s only dorm. A man wasn’t allowed to be on the floor without an “escort.” Fortunately, my friends knew my DH (who wasn’t my DH then.) and would walk him up to my room for me. Since then, it’s become entirely co-ed. I really don’t think I’d have enjoyed running into a guy on my way to the shared bathroom & showers in the mornings. I’m not at my best then.

  14. Glenda says:

    Oh Wow. Where to start on the list of improvements? Career opportunities – including the military; educational opportunities – no longer expected to attend college just to get a ‘Mrs’; single women no longer considered spinsters; medical care improvements (including more birth control options); the list could go on and on. . . .

    I was a teen in the 80s and my dad couldn’t wrap his brain around the fact that most of my male friends were just friends. My daughter is lucky her dad is more enlightened. 🙂

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      I did get my MRS in college, but that didn’t keep me from getting a bachelor’s degree too. After we married during the summer of our junior year, we both went on to graduate while working a couple of part time jobs a piece as well. We spent our time together for most of that first year sleeping. Really. Sleeping.

  15. alyn says:

    I think women being able to voice their opinion and being taken seriously is a big leap. I am stuck between two cultures right now and the beliefs of one of them is still stuck in the regency era, maybe even older, minus the dress code only. As for dress codes, I remember in high school we were always threatened with school uniforms because they didn’t like how some students dressed. Girls would have no choice but to wear skirts, and I hate skirts. I think they still make those same empty threats. Too bad at that time I didn’t know that they would never go through with it, not that it would change how I dressed, I would have had less things to worry over though. I know, school uniforms aren’t even that big of a deal but it was for me back then.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      Clothing has been used to control behavior for centuries and I’m not just talking chastity belts. During the Regency, the narrow column dresses restricted the length of a woman’s stride. The tight sleeves of the Victorian era meant a woman couldn’t raise her arms above her head.

      I’m so thankful for the relaxed way I can dress now as a full time writer. If my body is comfy, my imagination is free to roam.

  16. Sheryl N says:

    It’s amazing when you read a historical novel and see how women are supposed to behave or talk. Women’s roles in life are more than being a mother and a arm piece for their husband. Congrats on the newest release

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      For many years, a woman’s best hope was the protection of a good man. Now I don’t want that to sound like I’m down on men. I’m not. Women need them and they need us. Together as equals we’re more than the sum of our parts.

  17. Sue Gorman says:

    Great idea for a book!
    I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, too. My daughter is the only grandchild pursuing a college degree as well.
    I have seen a huge difference in how women are treated in the working environment in the past 30 years. We are promoted on merit, not on looks or connections.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      And an accomplished woman isn’t suspected of “sleeping her way to the top” any longer.

  18. Betty Hamilton says:

    As a 20 year old I was told that my boss would not pay me the same as one of his male workers even though I performed the man’s job while he was on vacation. The reason, he told me with a straight face was that I was a woman….. period…. that was his honest reason. Years later I was in management for an international manufacturer and they also had different pay scales for men and women who basically did the same job. They gave us different titles, but the actual job was the same. I watched as their policies changed until women were making the same as their counterparts. It was awesome to experience those changes.

    1. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

      My DH was once told his raise would be less than his co-worker’s because the other guy had 5 kids and we had none at the time. This wasn’t fair either. It’s not about what a person needs to make or their personal situation, it’s about what the job is worth to the company whoever does it.

      1. Betty Hamilton says:

        No, it certainly was not fair. Its amazing what goes on in the minds of some of the people who make decisions on our pay and pay increases. For my company, raises were eventually based on job performance within the employee’s title/job description. Most of the lower management woman made out very well here as we had all been working harder, faster, more efficient, in order to maintain our level. Once we were all (men and women) on a level playing field…. our pays started to jump higher. We also started to see women achieving higher ranks that had been denied them before. As a woman in lower mgmt.., it was truly a great era to be involved with.

  19. Carol Luciano says:

    I am always floored at the restrictions on women period in the Regency era romances I read. It’s amazing how they basically were looked upon as “simple’ in my mind. They had no rights or choices and no voice. I can tell you I’d never have had a standing in society because I could never abide by rules like that. I do realize though they knew no other way. All of our rights to me are the greatest improvements. Realizing we are equals with different body parts took a long time coming but they did. 🙂 I can’t wait to read Between A Rake and A Hard Place and add it to my shelves of your books.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  20. glittergirl54 says:

    I love your books Mia ever since your Pirates ;-). The best success with your writing and enjoy your tour. By the way if I win give the print copy to someone else I’ll just take Dragonsong =)

  21. Marcy Shuler says:

    Congrats on the new book, Mia!
    I’m glad women have many more career choices. It used to be women could mainly be teachers or nurses and only until they married. Which is actually funny because I’m a nurse. LOL But it was my choice.

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