Named one of the Best Romance of 2020 by EW, Washington Post, NPR, and Bookpage!
Meet the SOCIETY OF SIRENS—three radical, libertine ladies determined to weaponize their scandalous reputations to fight for justice and the love they deserve…
She’s a Rakess on a quest for women’s rights…
Seraphina Arden’s passions include equality, amorous affairs, and wild, wine-soaked nights. To raise funds for her cause, she’s set to publish explosive memoirs exposing the powerful man who ruined her. Her ideals are her purpose, her friends are her family, and her paramours are forbidden to linger in the morning.
He’s not looking for a summer lover…
Adam Anderson is a wholesome, handsome, widowed Scottish architect, with two young children, a business to protect, and an aversion to scandal. He could never, ever afford to fall for Seraphina. But her indecent proposal—one month, no strings, no future—proves too tempting for a man who strains to keep his passions buried with the losses of his past.
But one night changes everything...
What began as a fling soon forces them to confront painful secrets—and yearnings they thought they’d never have again. But when Seraphina discovers Adam’s future depends on the man she’s about to destroy, she must decide what to protect… her desire for justice, or her heart.
About the Author
Scarlett Peckham writes steamy historical romances celebrating alpha heroines. Her USA Today bestselling debut novel, The Duke I Tempted, was named a Best Romance Novel of 2018 by BookPage and the Washington Post. Scarlett lives in Los Angeles, where she enjoys trying to think of new ways to say “wicked", collecting vintage romance clench covers, and dressing her cat up in bowties.
"A refreshing and entertaining romance that bravely stretches the genre's boundaries."
— Stephanie Laurens, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author on The Rakess
"THE RAKESS is the kind of story that leaves you buzzing, excitedly advertising it to your fellow romance readers at the gym/coffee shop/bookstore. Scarlett Peckham has an elegant and lyrical writing voice and a tremendous gift for emotional complexity, leavened by a wonderfully sophisticated, wry sense of humor... a lush, clever, erotic, truly adult love story, a romance between two brilliant, scarred souls who risk everything for each other."
— Meredith Duran, USA Today Bestselling Author
“I devoured THE RAKESS by Scarlett Peckham, with its unique role reversals, passionate couple, and rule breaking. The strong, brooding heroine rejects Society’s restrictions on a woman and lives life boldly on her terms. The widowed upstanding hero fights the pull of desire in order to protect his business and children. But love can seldom be denied.”
— Lorraine Heath, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
"Everything I want in a historical romance: smart, sexy and feminist."
— Maya Rodale, USA Today bestselling author on The Rakess
"The Rakess is a triumph, delicately written and unflinching in scope. The writing thrums with desire and conviction, and Seraphina and Adam will leave you aching for more of Peckham's passionate, progressive romances!"
— Sierra Simone, USA Today Bestselling Author
"A new and soon to be iconic voice in the world of historical romance, Peckham distinguishes herself as a master of her craft."
— Liz Carlyle, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author on THE RAKESS
"Passionate, powerful, and flat-out romantic as hell.”
— Eva Leigh, author of My Fake Rake on The Rakess
"Peckham deserves high praise for bravely creating a darker historical romance, confronting tough subjects such as addiction, gender inequality, miscarriage, and involuntary commitment... Highly recommended for those unafraid of a grittier love story."
— Library Journal (starred review)
"This is the first book in Peckham’s new Society of Sirens series, and like its heroine, it is thrillingly complex and suspenseful. Peckham’s previously established talent for creating strong-willed heroines and heroes who respect them shines here along with her knack for creatively spicy scenes of intimacy. Given how well each member of the Society of Sirens is developed in this volume, readers will be anxious to read the next installment. A compelling historical romance from one of the genre’s rising stars."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The open, exploratory love scenes sizzle with passion balanced by frank conversations about contraception and the risks of pregnancy. Peckham never shies away from the bleak realities facing women of the era while capably making 19th-century sexual politics feel relevant to today. This rewarding love story is fierce, feminist, and full of feeling."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Peckham's extraordinary reversal of traditional romance tropes is a surprising delight, as she launches her Society of Sirens series with a tale that combines authentic historical detail, a view into what women's lives were like, given the mores of the day, and flaming hot, imaginative sex scenes integral to the story."
“An astonishingly good debut...The whole book is a breath of fresh air, both a complex, layered story and a soaring romance with two very real people at its heart.”
— New York Times Book Review on The Duke I Tempted
“irresistible, wildly sex-positive... an assured, talented writer, who somehow manages to write with a style that feels both plucked from the periodicals of the 18th century and hilariously, outrageously modern... With her ability to tread the line between the most diverting of historical circumstances and a progressive level of sex positivity that makes me want to sing her praises from the rooftops, Peckham proves herself one of the most exciting romance authors on the rise.”
— Entertainment Weekly (A grade) on The Earl I Ruined
“Combining the rich emotion of a traditional gothic romance with complex, modern characters... A novel about the lies people tell, the barriers we build to protect ourselves and the fears we must overcome to let ourselves be loved.”
— Washington Post (5 Best Romances Novels of 2018) on The Duke I Tempted
“A beautifully written, character-driven story that expertly unravels a big misunderstanding, and surprises with its twists and turns and wicked secrets right up until the end.”
— NPR, on The Earl I Ruined
“I haven’t been this excited about a historical in ages and I am eagerly waiting for the next installment in this series. The combination of personal catnip with descriptive language and complex characterization is spot on. I recommend this for fans of vocal feminism, found family, angst, and explicit sex in their historicals. I plan to read my copy many, many times!”
— Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (A- Rating)
"The Rakess is a sexy, feminist, burn down the patriarchy romance with a delicious role reversal... Peckham lays bare all the ugliness of how women are treated from gaslighting to slut shaming to outright misogyny. And although the story is set late in the 18th century, there are elements of it you could easily see unfold today. Read it, read it, read it."
"The Rakess has a strong Gothic flavor with its craggy, stormy Cornwall setting and interrogation of themes worthy of the Bronte sisters. But Peckham captures the sublime nature of the Gothic, while also infusing her storytelling with something breathtakingly human. There’s a lot of pain on these pages, even if it’s wrought with a poetic precision, but it makes the sparks of joy feel all the more palpable in a world so vividly determined to deny it to women."
— Entertainment Weekly (A grade)
"This fierce, feminist series debut flips the typical Regency romance script... Peckham strikes a perfect balance of politics, passion, and emotional vulnerability."
— Publishers Weekly (Summer Reads 2020)
"[A] compelling, insightful, sensitive novel..."
— New York Times Book Review on The Rakess
"Inverting historical tropes and archetypes, the story offers comedy and catharsis, and ends with a happily-ever-after so perfect it will make you return immediately to page one."
— Washington Post (Best Romances of 2020)
"Scarlett Peckham’s excoriating first entry in her new Society of Sirens series exposes historical romance’s capacity for radical reinvention... The Rakess pulses with female rage, making it one of the most electric, vibrantly alive titles on this list. It interrogates double standards, champions female pleasure, and propels itself forward with righteous fury. Peckham leans into its sense of the Gothic with relish, making its sparks of joy all the brighter and more enticingly dangerous."
— Entertainment Weekly (10 Best Romances of 2020)