Beauty, Ambition, and Charm in THE PROFESSOR'S LADY by Holly Bush
Meet the Thompsons of Locust Street, an unconventional family taking Philadelphia high society by storm…
The Professor's Lady
1870 Kirsty Thompson is determined to begin her own business bringing beloved Scottish fabrics and yarns to Philadelphia but first she must meet the men and women who weave the plaids and spin the wool. How will she ever escape her protective older siblings and sail to Scotland?
Albert Watson is a medical doctor focusing on research, especially that of Joseph Lister and his sterilization techniques. He speaks at universities in America and in England while visiting his London relatives. As he prepares to sail for just such an engagement, Kirsty Thompson boards his ship to beg him to take her with him. What’s a gentleman to do? Albert cancels his trip across the ocean to escort Miss Thompson back to Philadelphia and finds there is danger afoot for her and her family.
Soon he comes to realize there is also danger for his heart, even for a man who rarely pulls his nose from a medical journal. He finds himself unable to put Miss Kirsty Thompson out of his thoughts, where they belonged, because certainly a beautiful, ambitious, and charming young woman could have no interest in him. Or could she?
Enjoy an Excerpt from
The Professor's Lady
“Whatever has happened, Albert?” his mother asked when he found her in her favorite chintz-covered chair in the room she called the drawing room. “That Clawson person said you were not going to London! Have you contacted your Uncle Bertrand? Louisa will be expecting you! You must send a transatlantic immediately, even though it will be quite expensive. Albert? Have you heard what I’ve said to you?”
“Yes, Mother. I’ve heard it all. C-clawson has already sent a telegram to Uncle Bertrand and Aunt Louisa with my apologies.”
“Whatever happened? Clawson was quite mysterious and would not give me any answers! And I do not understand why that person must live here! In our home!”
“We have the space as there are sixteen bedrooms in this house aside from the staff quarters. It isn’t unusual in England for a s-secretary to live with his employer, and it is convenient for me to have him here. And he does have his own entrance.”
“It is bad enough that you have him dine with us occasionally. I would have insisted on his own entrance if he did not! I don’t want to be seeing him coming and going at all hours.”
“And Graybell and Mrs. Munchin live here in their own apartments.”
“Of course they do! B-butlers and housekeepers always live with their employers.”
“And often so do secretaries.”
She opened the magazine she was holding. “As usual, you are determined to ignore my wishes.”
He’d only been marginally aware of his mother’s histrionics until after his father died. He was away at preparatory school and then college, and when he was home, he spent most of his time reading medical books and working with his father while he was alive. It had come as rather a shock that his mother was as unpleasant as she was, which he’d discovered after his father’s funeral. From what he’d been able to wheedle from Graybell over the last few years, his mother’s behavior had not changed. It had just been hidden from him. He loved her. She was his mother. But he often wondered how a wife would ever fit in.
“A friend needed an escort, and I provided it, and therefore I did not sail with the Maybelle to England. Mr. Clawson will reschedule my speaking engagement, and I will ask Aunt Louisa if it will be c-convenient for us to stay on a new date.”
“Of course it will be convenient! Whyever would they not want you to stay with them? Your father was a successful and well-regarded physician to the highest echelons of British society and Bertrand just a merchant.”
Just a merchant, Albert thought to himself. Uncle Bertrand had made a fortune in bits for horses, although his wide range of metal products included everything from rails for the ever-expanding British railroads to containers for flour and sugar. “I’ll just want to make sure they have not made plans to travel or entertain other guests. I wouldn’t want to be a burden.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. They don’t travel. Louisa is a spendthrift, and they’ve three daughters to launch, none of whom show much promise to be beauties.” She looked at him with panicked eyes. “Whatever you do, do not let yourself be caught in a compromising position with the two eldest. Louisa would love to see one of them married to you and moved here to America, to live in my home!”
“Calm yourself, Mother. I’ve no intention of marrying any of my cousins.”
She took a deep breath, her back straight, her hands clenching a handkerchief, and turned her head to look out the front windows. “I’ve been preparing myself for your marriage. You’ll need to have sons to carry on your father’s title. I will have much to teach a young woman about household management.”
The reality of his situation came crashing down on him at that moment. His mother, his mother, could make it nearly impossible for him to have any sort of normal relationship with a woman. Although in his last letter, Uncle Bertrand had replied to his subtle questions about how his father had managed his mother’s tendency to drama through all the years of their marriage with this advice: Stand firm. Your father never raised his voice and did not allow your mother’s moods to threaten his, for as you know, my brother was the most even-tempered and pleasant person one could ever meet! What else he did not allow was when she disparaged another person, especially staff. I know you love her, as any dutiful son should, but your mother can be cruel, especially, it seems, to those of her sex.
“I will see you at dinner, Mother,” he said, refusing to begin a conversation about who actually ran the household—his mother or Mrs. Munchin.
End of Excerpt.
The Professor's Lady ©2022 Holly Bush. Shared with permission.
Holly Bush writes historical romance set in the U.S.in the late 1800’s, in Victorian England, and an occasional Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Connect with Holly at www.hollybushbooks.com.
Book Title: The Professor’s Lady
Series: The Thompsons of Locust Street, Book 3
Author: Holly Bush
Publication Date: 25th January 2022
Publisher: Holly Bush Books
Page Length: 216 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance Gilded Age
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