Today I welcome Amy Rose Bennett to Behind the Pen, talking about her new release, The Laird of Blackloch, along with a few of her favourites. Over to you Amy!
What is your favourite…and why…
Character from one of your books?
I really wish I didn’t have to choose because I love all my heroes and heroines. But if I do have to pick one, I’ll elect Sarah Lambert, the heroine from my latest release, The Laird of Blackloch. Sarah, a twenty-one-year-old English heiress, is kidnapped and ransomed by the Scots Jacobite hero, Alexander MacIvor to ruin the Earl of Tay. Lord Tay, who is Alex’s nemesis, also just happens to be Sarah’s fiancé. Whilst Sarah is a kidnap victim, she certainly doesn’t sit back and accept her fate. I loved writing a female character who gives the hero, Alex, a run for his money.
Scene from one of your books?
I always enjoy writing the ‘first meet’ scene between the hero and heroine; there’s always the challenge of creating that first spark of attraction. I’m particularly fond of Alexander MacIvor and Sarah Lambert’s ‘meet-cute’ scene in The Laird of Blackloch. It takes place at a Saint Valentine’s masquerade ball in Edinburgh…
‘Looking for something?’
Sarah jumped like a startled rabbit and dropped the book at the unexpected question—spoken by a man. Her pulse skittering, she whirled around to find her mystery stalker from the ballroom standing only a few feet away.
Before she could even think or utter a word, he stepped forward and retrieved the book from the rug near her feet.
‘Ah, Clarissa,’ he said in a soft Scottish burr, offering her the leather-bound volume with a smile. ‘I’ve been told it is quite a good read if one likes weighty tomes about virtuous maidens. And then, of course, there is Pamela.’ He nodded towards the shelves behind her. ‘Although I hear it is a little more scandalous. I suppose it depends on what sort of mood you are in.’ His deep, smoky voice was just as potent as his gaze, his words heavy with secret meaning. It was as though he’d uttered a jest that she didn’t quite understand.
Sarah took the book with a shaking hand and held it against her chest. Now the man was closer, she could see his eyes were dark too—storm-cloud grey fringed with long sooty lashes that would make any woman green with envy. And he was much taller and more physically imposing than she’d previously thought. His black velvet frockcoat and brocade waistcoat were perfectly tailored to show off his muscular frame, and the snug fit of his black silk breeches did nothing to hide his long powerful thighs. Indeed, his masculine presence seemed to dominate the room. And to her great shame, despite her suspicions that this man was up to no good, she couldn’t look away. He was, in a word, mesmerising.
‘Wh-who are you? What do you want?’ she managed to stammer when she found her voice.
He shrugged and his chiselled mouth tipped into a half-smile as he leaned a wide shoulder nonchalantly against the bookcase. ‘I thought it was rather obvious, my dear Miss Lambert,’ he drawled as he slid a book from the shelf then flipped through its pages. ‘Like you, I thought I’d seek another diversion.’ He grimaced and put the book back before catching her gaze again, regarding her from beneath half-lowered lids. It was a sensual look, lazy but watchful at the same time. The look of a predator feigning disinterest, right before it pounced. ‘These affairs can be frightfully boring sometimes, wouldn’t you agree?’
‘How … how do you know my name?’ she asked, breathless with nerves. The stranger was standing much too close but she couldn’t seem to summon the urge to step away. Her cheeks felt hot and she had the awful feeling she was blushing.
The man’s mask didn’t hide the amused quirk of one slashing black brow. ‘Why, I was in the ballroom when you and your affianced were formally introduced. Lord Tay is a lucky man.’
Good. He knew who she was betrothed to. That should provide her with some measure of protection. Only a fool would cross a nobleman of Malcolm’s stature. Sarah felt some of the tension leave her body. ‘Thank you,’ she replied with an incline of her head. ‘Which reminds me, I should be getting back to my aunt.’ She picked up her discarded mask from the shelf. ‘She’s expecting me. And so is Lord Tay.’
The stranger smiled as he gave a small bow. ‘I’m sure he is, so don’t let me keep you. Good evening to you, Miss Lambert.’
‘Good evening.’ With her mask and Clarissa in hand, Sarah turned and left the library. Even though she didn’t look back, she swore she could feel the enigmatic stranger’s eyes upon her. It was only as the door shut behind her that she realised he’d never actually given her his name.
Movie of all time?
I write historical romance so of course, Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, is an obvious choice. Aside from the wit and romance, I just love Mr. Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy. Whilst Darcy is undoubtedly arrogant, Mr. Macfadyen manages to show his vulnerable side which I find very appealing. I swoon every time I watch that movie.
Book that you always keep a copy of and recommend to others?
This is another really difficult question as I adore so many books! But if I had to choose one, it would be Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë—I think that book was the catalyst for me to become an author of historical romance. I love Jane’s strength, the Byronesque Mr. Rochester and his teasing nature, the passion of their relationship, the social commentary, and the gothic elements of the story.
Fashion accessory that despite having plenty of, you still keep collecting?
Scarves! I’m addicted to them. My favourite is a classic Burberry scarf that I purchased from Harrods on my first visit to London a few years ago.
Drink that you enjoy everyday?
Coffee and probably a little too much!
Treat you indulge in?
French champagne. Veuve Clicquot is my favourite when it comes to celebrating special occasions.
Place to be?
Aside from being at home and writing on my trusty laptop, my favorite place to be is Magnetic Island off the coast of Townsville. Out family has had many a happy holiday there.
Person you admire?
JK Rowling and not just because she’s a brilliant author. I love how strong and intelligent she is, I admire her support of philanthropic endeavours, and I identify with many of her world views.
Season of the year?
Autumn. I love the cooler months and there’s something about the sight of autumn leaves that really appeals to me. My birthday is in autumn so maybe that has something to do with it too.
The Laird of Blackloch, Book 2 in the Highland Rogue Series by Amy Rose Bennett will be released with Harlequin’s Escape Publishing on March 12, 2018!
Revenge might be sweet, but love is far sweeter …
Following the Battle of Culloden, Alexander MacIvor returns to his ancestral home, Blackloch Castle, only to find the Earl of Tay, chief of the rival Clan Campbell, has laid waste to everything he holds dear. In the face of such devastation, Alex seems doomed to live the life of a fugitive Jacobite … until a stroke of good luck allows him to escape the Highlands and begin again.
Years later, styling himself as a wealthy Englishman, Alexander reclaims his forfeited estate, becoming the new Laird of Blackloch. But it’s not nearly enough to quench his thirst for vengeance. Hell-bent on destroying Lord Tay, he single-mindedly sets about driving his nemesis to bankruptcy. When he learns the earl intends to marry the very beautiful English heiress, Miss Sarah Lambert, thus escaping penury, he devises a devious plan: kidnap Miss Lambert and ransom her to hasten Tay’s ruin.
When Sarah Lambert learns Lord Tay is not the man she thought he was during a masquerade ball in Edinburgh, she is devastated. Reeling from her discovery, things go from bad to worse when a mysterious yet charming guest by the name of Alexander Black turns out to be a true devil in disguise. Abducted and whisked way into the wild Highlands by Black, Sarah is imprisoned in a remote, island-bound tower. Refusing to be a pawn in Black’s diabolical plan for revenge, she determines that somehow, some way, she will regain her freedom. If only she could unlock Black’s secrets …
Living in such close quarters, Alexander quickly discovers the spirited Sarah is more than a match for him, and even the best laid plans can go awry when passion flares and the spark of love threatens to revive his long-dead heart. When the shadows of the past begin to gather, will Alexander and Sarah find their way forward … or will the threatening darkness destroy them both?
Buy The Laird of Blackloch:
Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. 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.
Amy is happily married to her own Alpha male hero, has two beautiful daughters, and a rather loopy Rhodesian Ridgeback. She has been a speech pathologist for many years but is currently devoting her time to her one other true calling—writing romance.