Title: How to Catch a Sinful Marquess
Series: The Disreputable Debutantes
Author: Amy Rose Bennett
Genre: Historical Romance
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 320 Pages
I received an ARC copy of this from Berkely via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
After being thrown out of a prestigious young ladies academy, Olivia de Vere is a virtual prisoner in aunt and uncle’s home. And when they to force her to marry her brute of a cousin, she grabs at the opportunity to escape.
Her Scottish neighbor, Marquess, and known Rogue Hamish MacQueen is battle-scarred in more ways than one. When a small girl is left on his doorstep, he enlists Olivia’s help watch the girl on the long journey to Scotland.
As they travel the country and share close quarters, the attraction between Hamish and Olivia becomes difficult to resist. And when ghosts from their past come back to haunt them, they’re forced to make choices they never thought they would.
➸ POV: 3rd Person, Olivia & Hamish’s POV
➸ Olivia de Vere: Orphaned, Heiress to fortune, Has a speech impediment, Entrusted to her Aunt and Uncle
➸ Hamish MacQueen: Scottish, Marquess – Lord Sleat, Scarred, Ex-soldier, Younger brother Angus and younger sister Isobel, Rogue
➸ Content Warnings: Death of a Parent, PTSD, Night Terrors, Fire, Assault, Abuse
Oh boy… this was a bit flop for me unfortunately. This had so many elements and tropes that I normally love! Forced proximity, scarred-hero, marriage of convenience. But where this lacked for me was in the believability of the romance.
I really enjoyed the actual plot of this. I thought the travel element was great and added that forced proximity and natural tension. But despite that, I never bought into the romance.
The characters are attracted to each other from page 1. And by the 25% mark the heroine is already confessing ‘love’. Despite them having been together for like a total of 6 hours on page. My main issue with that is no matter how much you tell me happened off page, the romance doesn’t feel rooted in reality to the reader. I need to see why they like each other – and it has to be more than ‘he’s attractive and I just know there’s more to him that people know!’
And even as this story progressed, too much of the romantic development happened off page. So the relationship always felt surface level and a bit unbelievable.
On top of that, I didn’t think the characters were that well developed either. Each characters seemed to have a “thing” and then not much else to them. And more often than not, the reader was told personality traits but never shown them. Olivia is constantly described as stubborn, but beyond forcing herself on Hamish, she never did anything to show that.
And lastly, this book was just too repetitive – entire sentences were repeated multiple times. By the end I was just completely over hearing Olivia trying to rationalize why she should force herself onto a man who repeatedly said he had no interest in a relationship. I’m all for hero who doesn’t believe they want a relationship, but Olivia was constantly trying to force him to change his mind and it was frustrating.
Sadly this one was a big miss for me and I don’t think I’ll be reading any other books in this series.
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