Spotlight & Excerpt of How to Catch a Sinful Marquess

How to Catch a Sinful Marquess by Amy Rose Bennett

Series: Disreputable Debutantes

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: August 25, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

The third book in the Disreputable Debutantes series, How to Catch a Sinful Marquess by Amy Rose Bennett is sure to be filled with mystery, dark secrets and an intense romance! Read on for an excerpt!


A shy, tangle-tongued debutante and a former soldier make an unlikely but fated match as they hasten for the Isle of Skye.

Orphaned heiress Olivia de Vere should have the world–or at least the men of the ton–at her feet. But when she’s thrown out of a young ladies’ academy, Olivia doubts she’ll ever find someone who will love her, rather than her bank account. To make matters worse, her dissolute cousin Felix is determined to marry her against her wishes. A virtual prisoner in her guardians’ London townhouse, Olivia can’t help but develop a tendre for her neighbor, a handsome Scottish marquess.

Battle-scarred in more ways than one, Hamish MacQueen, Lord Sleat, has braved many dangers in life. But nothing has quite prepared him for the shock of having a young child dumped on his doorstep, with a note claiming she’s his daughter. Just in the nick of time his pretty neighbor appears, offering to act as a nursemaid for the young girl on their journey to his estate in Scotland. He suspects she has her own reasons for wanting to flee the country…

The close traveling quarters leads to a fierce attraction between Olivia and Hamish that seems impossible to resist. But when ghosts from the past and monsters from the present threaten to tear them apart, will their unlikely love survive?


How to Catch a Sinful Marquess Excerpt

Chapter One

Town might be quiet at the moment, but the Beau Monde Mirror will endeavor to keep our readership abreast of all the latest tonnish on-dits.

If there’s a scandal brewing-an illicit affair, an elopement, or anyone high in the instep puts a foot wrong-you can be sure we’ll let the proverbial cat out of the bag first.

The Beau Monde Mirror: The Society Page

16 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair

September 14, 1818

If it weren’t for Lady Charlotte Hastings’s troublesome tortoiseshell cat, Olivia de Vere would not be in such a mortifying predicament right now.

Of course, if Charlie were actually here at this very moment (as opposed to being miles away at her father’s country estate in Gloucestershire), she would surely tell Olivia that her current situation-straddling the six-foot-high, ivy-clad wall adjoining the Marquess of Sleat’s back garden as she made a futile attempt to coax said cat from the branches of a towering beech tree-was an “opportunity,” not a disaster waiting to happen.

Olivia shot a quick glance at the back of her guardians’ rather grand town house. Or, to be more precise, her town house, considering the rent was drawn from her very own inheritance money, currently held “in trust.” When she ascertained no one was watching her, she permitted herself a tiny sigh of relief. If Uncle Reginald or Aunt Edith caught her committing such an indecorous act, or her cousins Prudence and Patience, or, even worse, her warden-cum-lady’s-maid, Bagshaw . . . Olivia shuddered. There would be the devil to pay, that much was certain.

Ever since she’d been expelled from Mrs. Rathbone’s Academy for Young Ladies of Good Character three years ago for decidedly unladylike conduct-along with the other three members of the Society for Enlightened Young Women, Sophie, Arabella, and Charlie-she’d been mired in disgrace and labeled a social pariah. A “disreputable debutante,” according to scurrilous gossip rags like the Beau Monde Mirror.

She really couldn’t afford to court disaster again.

But it seemed that was exactly what she was doing.

Her gaze flitted to Lord Sleat’s town house. Now, if the forbidding yet altogether fascinating marquess happened to discover what she was up to . . . Olivia shivered again. While she longed to make the man’s acquaintance, this was not a prudent way to go about it by any means.

As Lord Sleat was a good friend of Lord Malverne-Sophie’s husband and Charlie’s older brother-Olivia had it on good authority that the Scottish marquess was considered to be a very eligible bachelor indeed. Of course, Lord Sleat also had a well-earned reputation for being one of London’s worst rakehells. A serial seducer of women.

However, Olivia was certain the marquess wouldn’t even spare her a passing glance at this particular moment in time. With her skirts and petticoats rucked up about her knees, her silk stockings torn and smeared with something mucky and green-moss, perhaps-she looked an absolute fright. Not only that, but what she was doing certainly bordered on trespassing.

If Lord Sleat did see her, he’d be well within his rights to summon the Bow Street Runners.

But what could she do? She absolutely had to rescue her dear friend’s beloved pet. If Peridot fell or escaped into the mews . . . Visions of the cat darting between carriages and horses’ hooves or being stalked by a lascivious tomcat filled Olivia’s mind’s eye, and her whole body trembled like the dark green leaves above her head.

Despite Olivia’s edict to the servants that Peridot should not be let out unless accompanied, the cat had somehow slipped into the garden on her own. When Olivia looked up from the pages of Northanger Abbey-she’d been reading in her bedchamber after dinner-and spied Peridot leaping from the wall into the tree, her heart had taken flight like a panicked bird.

And now here she was, her heart fluttering wildly, her belly tumbling with fear, and her head spinning with dizziness whenever she looked down. How inconvenient that she’d belatedly discovered she was terrified of heights. Olivia huffed out a breath to blow a stray lock of hair away from her face. She daren’t let go of the brick wall lest she fall. She’d already lost one of her shoes; in the process of clambering onto her precarious perch, her pink silk slipper slid off her foot and landed in a dense, rather prickly looking bank of rosebushes guarding the perimeter of Lord Sleat’s garden.

On her side of the wall, the stone bench she’d climbed upon looked far away indeed. And part of the ivy-choked latticework she’d used as a makeshift ladder had already cracked ominously beneath her weight. But she really couldn’t afford to panic about how she’d get down. First of all, she had to reach that blasted cat, and quickly. The light was fading fast, and it wouldn’t be long before her presence was missed.

Olivia drew a bracing breath. “P-P-Peridot.” Her stammer was little more than a ragged whisper. “Here, p-puss, puss. There’s a good k-kitty now.” Knees trembling, heart pounding, she forced herself to inch forward along the wall so she could peer up into the beech canopy.

There. Directly above her on a sturdy branch, but just out of reach, sat Peridot, her black, white, and tan fur barely visible in the shadows. The cat’s fluffy tale twitched when Olivia called her again. A disdainful gesture if she’d ever seen one.

Little minx. If Olivia survived this foolhardy escapade, she was going to pack Peridot into her basket and send her back to Berkeley Square posthaste. Let the Hastings House staff deal with their young mistress’s cat. Charlie meant well when she’d suggested in her last letter that Olivia might like to look after Peridot for a few weeks until Charlie returned to London in the first week of October. On the surface, her friend’s reasoning was sound: a pet would provide Olivia with congenial company, affection, and a source of amusement-three things that were sorely lacking in her life.

Ignoring the scrape of the brickwork along the tender flesh of her inner thighs, Olivia crept forward again. And then the hem of her muslin gown snagged on something, and she winced at the sound of fabric tearing.

Damn, damn, and double damn again.

How on earth was she going to explain the damage to Bagshaw? She’d be sure to tattle to Aunt Edith, who’d tell Uncle Reginald.

And then she’d be punished.

But at least Peridot will be safe-

“Ahem.”

The low, unmistakable sound of an adult male clearing his throat made Olivia simultaneously jump and squeak with fright.

Oh, no. No, no, no. Her heart plummeting like a dislodged stone, Olivia’s gaze whipped down to collide with that of a man’s. But not just any man.

It was the Marquess of Sleat. The very object of her girlish infatuation.

The subject of all her silly, romantical dreams.

In the flesh.

And what flesh it was. Well over six feet of muscular, broad-shouldered, square-jawed man glowered up at her.


About The Author

Amy Rose Bennett has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. As she is an avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed–and sometimes a little racy–stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

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