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Scarlett Scott
The Matchmaker and the Marquess
You are cordially invited to the country house party of the summer… Five years ago, six exceptional ladies graduated from Twittingham Academy and successfully nabbed themselves the most sought-after matrimonial prizes in London. Actually, they didn’t. Not one of them. But the Countess of Fangfoss, formerly known as Miss Julia Twittingham, has a plan to see each of her past charges happily wed after all. Welcome to Second Chance Manor. Lady Clementine Hammond has earned her reputation as society’s most notorious matchmaker by catching couples in compromising positions. She’s perfectly happy remaining unwed herself. One small misstep at a country house party, however, leaves her with no choice but to become engaged to the most odious rogue she has ever met. Also, the most handsome. After losing the woman he loved to a romantic rival, the Marquess of Dorset has devoted himself to cultivating his reputation as a rakehell of the first order. When the unlikeable Lady Clementine quite literally gets a bee up her skirts, he reluctantly plays the gallant, only to find himself having to offer her marriage. Clementine loathes rakes. Dorset despises prim and proper ladies. Each is desperate to escape an unwanted union to the other. They agree to maintain a pretense for the house party’s duration with plans to discreetly break their engagement when they return to London. Everything is unfolding according to plan. Until their temporary betrothal starts to feel far too real and one kiss leads to another… Steam level: Scorching hot! Don't say you weren't warned...
A matchmaking spinster winds up accidentally betrothed to a jilted rake in this page-turning historical romance from Scott (the Sinful Suttons series), the first in the multiauthored Second Chance Manor series. Ambrose, Marquess of Dorset, arrives at a country house party looking to indulge in a little more of the libertine behavior he’s been known for since his betrothed jilted him years before the start of the book. He’s not pleased to find Lady Clementine Hammond, the meddling woman he blames for his broken engagement, also in attendance. Though he loathes her, chivalry requires him to come to her aid after a bee stings her leg—and inevitably, the pair are walked in on while he’s still fumbling under Clementine’s skirts. He manages to save her reputation by announcing their “betrothal,” and they agree to maintain the farce for the duration of their time at Fangfoss Manor. The resulting enemies-to-lovers romance flies by, and Scott supplements the love story by introducing a fascinating group of friends who will become the heroines of other series installments. It’s a lighthearted escape complete with clever banter and a charming British countryside setting. (Self-published)